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Update from the Field:

Ceviche and chicharron at a festival on Peru’s National Ceviche Day – Eduarda Carmo Vaz, Peru

As we begin to get a feel for our new placements and our new countries, we Fellows have also begun to ponder items ranging from local business realities to simply why we love what we do.  The nine posts in this update give a great deal of insight into the work of a Fellow, local culture in the locations in which we are placed, and most importantly, where these elements come together to give a brief overview of what it means to be a newly-arrived Kiva Fellow.  For those of you frustrated with the slow few weeks on the Kiva Fellows Blog, this week’s update proves that Kiva Stories from the Field is stronger than ever and that we’ve got a great group of bloggers on our hands with the KF18 class!

All is not Quiet on the Homefront.  Challenges to Conducting Business and Living Life in La Paz, Bolivia
Isabel Balderrama | KF17 + KF18 | Bolivia
Having returned to her country of birth as a Kiva Fellow after living in the US for decades, Isabel contemplates how obstacles from transportation and medical strikes to police strikes define business as usual in La Paz.

Peruvians, Hawaiians and Italians…Small Scale Globalization?
Icaro Rebolledo | KF18 | Peru
Using the metaphor of an Italian chef’s frustration with Peruvians’ love for Hawaiian pizza, Icaro discusses the importance of a melange of opinions and experience, especially as it applies to our work and life as Fellows.

WASH Credit Training and Terror Trouble in Mombasa
Patrick Seeton | KF18 | Kenya
In the midst of intermittent terrorist attacks, Patrick heads to Mombasa to participate in a training on water products.  In addition to providing detailed information about the anatomy of these products, Patrick describes with pictures, words and a video how the training – which epitomizes a the show must go on attitudeproceeds.

Ken-ya Feel the Love Tonight?  There’s Plenty to go Around.
Muskan Chopra | KF18 | Kenya
In this post, Muskan describes the astounding love, kindness and pride she has encountered among the Kenyan people, both in the workplace and in everyday situations.

Pakistan: In the Heat of the Moment
Anya Raza | KF18 | Pakistan
As she exits her plane and enters the unique, contradictory, and sweltering city of Lahore, Anya contemplates what it will be like to be the first Kiva Fellow to serve in Pakistan.

Ceviche and Pisco Sour
Eduarda Carmo Vaz | KF18 | Peru
Through a series of photos and videos accompanied by a bright narrative, Eduarda walks us through a Ceviche Festival in Lima on Peru’s National Ceviche Day.

Stress Melting Away…Reflecting on San Francisco from Afar
Varick Schwartz | KF18 | Kenya
In this post, Varick discusses how he has adapted the laid back Kenyan lifestyle within mere weeks of being in Nairobi, and tells a story about how this anything goes attitude helped him solve a “crisis” in the workplace.

Fellows’ First Days in the Field
Luan Nio | KF18 | Nicaragua
Luan compiles stories of Fellows’ first days in the field to show readers that despite their differences, what these first days have in common are the new, crazy and unexpected situations they present.

Apricots, Vodka, and Videotape: My Introduction to Armenian Hospitality
Ward Lassoe | KF18 | Armenia
As a full day of Kiva borrower visits unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear to Ward that no client will let him leave empty-handed.  It also becomes clear that each parting gift will somehow outdo the last.  Armenian hospitality at its best!


Updates from the Past Month:

Life as a Fellow in San Francisco, a Walk through an Art Fair + Becoming Part of a Winning Soccer Team
Appreciating Volunteers & Poetry from a Newly Arrived Fellow
Introducing, a New Platform Designed to Empower Women in Entrepreneurship
Past and Present, Last-Minute Contemplation and General Appreciation


Plus, more pictures from the past week:

Two of many bags of apricots gifted to Ward in his long day of borrower visits – Ward Lassoe, Armenia

Lots of Kiva Love from a Loan officer at Faulu Kenya – Muskan Chopra, Kenya

SMEP employees leading a Kiswahili discussion on new water, sanitation and hygiene products – Patrick Seeton, Kenya

Buses blocking major intersections in La Paz during a public transportation strike – Isabel Balderrama, Bolivia

David Gorgani is currently serving his second Fellowship in Guatemala, working with FAPE and ASDIR to help them maximize their relationships with Kiva. David’s previous Fellowship was in the Dominican Republic, helping ASPIRE get started as a Kiva Field Partner and helping Esperanza International with borrower verifications.

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