Updates from the Field: Past and Present, Last-Minute Contemplation and General Appreciation

Compiled by David Gorgani | KF17 | Dominican Republic

Ma, a Kiva borrower, and her business in San Felipe del Progreso, Mexico – Emmanuel von Arx

The KF17 Fellows are heading home.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, many of KF17′s Fellows have already ended their service and many more will be ending theirs within the next few days.  Through retrospective contemplation on what we have and haven’t accomplished in the past four months, through appreciation for what we have loved most in our time as Fellows, and through last-minute insight on the economy and culture of our second homes, this week’s Updates from the Field expresses KF17′s common sentiment of closure.  As the next generation of Kiva Fellows begins their training (today!) you may see a lull in blog posts, but fear not!  KF18 is looking great and they’ll surely be providing some great material for your reading pleasure.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (The more things change the more they stay the same)
Michael Slattery | KF 17 | Togo
Michael poses the question of whether or not Togo has changed from its description in the 1969 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, and subsequently discusses the observations that have led to this question in his past four months as a Kiva Fellow.

The Legacy of Trujillo
David Gorgani | KF 17 | Dominican Republic
After giving some background on the Dominican Republic’s three decades under the dictatorship of Generalissimo Trujillo, I discuss the complex opinions of the average Dominican on the street toward this dark period in Dominican history.

Work Hard, Play Hard
Natalie Sherman | KF 17 | Cameroon
In this post, Natalie expresses how much she has enjoyed getting to know the staff at her MFI and presents a video that sums up her experience as a Fellow with ACEP in Yaoundé.

Kiva’s First Full-Tuition Student Loans: Looking at both Sides of the Coin
Nessa French | KF 17 | Kenya
Nessa discusses her experience working with one of Kiva’s most innovative partners on one of Kiva’s most innovative products: full-tuition students loans with Strathmore University in Kenya.

Recycling for Life and Family in the Mexican Countryside
Emmanuel M. von Arx | KF 16 & KF 17 | Mexico
In this post, Emmanuel discusses one of his favorite activities as a Kiva Fellow – meeting Kiva borrowers and discussing items beyond the call of duty.  Emmanuel then tells us about one such meeting with a client of FRAC in Mexico.

More than Microfinance: The Holistic Experience of a Kiva Fellow
Jamie Greenthal | KF 17 | Philippines
Jamie tells us a bit about his work with the children that live in homes supported by the Kalipay Negrense Foundation, which provides financial, operational and managerial support to children’s homes in the Baclod area of the Philippines.


Updates from the Past Month:

Nomadic Lifestyles, Road Trips + Cultural Perspectives
Translation Follies, Contemplating Kindness and Comfort and KF Cribs
Kiva’s New Coffee Partner and Female Empowerment in the Middle East
Thoughts on Wealth, Religion and History, Foods from the Field, and a Day in the Life of a Fellow


Plus, more pictures from the past week:

Dusk falls in Lomé – Michael Slattery

Peter: One of the first full tuition Kiva loan students at Strathmore – Nessa French

A home in Don Salvador, Negros – Jamie Greenthal

David Gorgani is a Kiva Fellow serving in the Dominican Republic, helping ASPIRE get started as a Kiva Field Partner, helping Esperanza International with borrower verifications, and attempting to learn salsa and merengue on the side.

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