How To Make Shoes and Rice With One Flame

As I walked into Jose’s home I was greeted by tinkering noises of shoe making. The smell of onions cooking in oil over a fire drifted under my nose. A thin dog maneuvered gracefully between all the legs and commotion as I maneuvered like a tall clumsy English-Irish type bumping my head on various structures and door frames.


I tried as best as I could to fade into the background and simply observe. One shoe was being heated in the flame. Another was congealed to a sole.  A high heel gently hammered to hold a pink feminine strap. Another pattern was cut from shiny black fabric and passed to the sewing machine.  All the while clean laundry was being hung in the back while dinner boiling and bubbling, cooked in the front. With steady clinking, murmuring, and trained repetitive movements – I had front row seats to watch the choreography.

Don Jose, an ADIM client & Kiva Entrepreneur

I began to visualize the first days of his shoe making business.  Jose sitting solo, performing each of these tasks alone, skilled quick movements, his output only a fraction of what he now produces with all the synchronized help. And with ADIM and Kiva even more opportunities and choices lay ahead.

Read more about a wonderful field partner: ADIM

Monica Hamlett is a part of the tenth class of Kiva Fellows.  Her placement is in Nicaragua from February 2010 to May 2010 with La Asociacion Alternativa para el Desarrollo Integral de las Mujeres (ADIM).  Join the Lending Team Friends of ADIM.

About the author

Monica Ann Bernadette