Update from the Field: Social Quirks, Justin Bieber + Lots of Carbs

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Many Fellows get around in fanciful local taxis (Indonesia pictured)

While it may have been a slower “official” news week than usual, I can assure you that the Fellows are keeping busy. One Fellow spent hours searching fruitlessly for borrowers in the jungle, another has been suffering from serious gastrointestinal issues (aren’t you glad he didn’t post about that?), and the rest of us have been plotting something very special for the end of the week. In the meantime, you can catch up on social quirks in Rwanda, transportation in West Timor, the importance of corn in Guatemala, and the latest from Mongolia all while taking a look at photos from South Africa. Enjoy!

Hissing, High Fives & Apologies; Some Habits I Have Acquired In Rwanda
Country: Rwanda / Fellow: Caitlin Ross (KF14)

Adapting to a new place is great while you’re there but potentially awkward when you return home. Caitlin figures out which habits she should leave in Rwanda (hissing) and which need to come back with her to the States (high-fiving strangers).

Photos from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Country: South Africa / Fellow: Alexis Ditkowsky (KF14)

There’s nothing like a quick trip to the field to keep a Kiva Fellow motivated. Check out pictures of borrowers, loan officers, and a very cute goat.

Hear that?? It’s Kupang Bemo Rap!!
Country: Indonesia / Fellow: Lisa Skowron (KF14)

Kupang, West Timor takes its taxis (“bemos”) VERY seriously and you can vote for your favorite at the end of Lisa’s post. Fortunately, listening to Justin Bieber for an authentic Kupang Bemo experience while voting is optional.

Corn People: A Staple Food and the Key to Human Creation
Country: Guatemala / Fellow: Gustavo Visalli (KF14)

Gustavo shares insights into the history of corn for the Quiché Mayan people and its essential role in everyday life today. Pasta and rice with a side of tortillas, anyone?

A field partner grows from the pilot to active stage
Country: Mongolia / Fellow: Amber Barger (KF14)

Read all about how Credit Mongol transitioned from a pilot partnership to an active partnership with Kiva and how Amber and previous Fellows guided them through the process.

Previous updates from the field:
Fun Facts, Field Visits + Back to Basics
Carnival, Collaboration + Cheese-Making
Man’s Day, Singing Fellows + Learning How to Count
Videos, Epic Commutes + Going Beyond Microfinance
“Christmas”, Trekking, Adversity + Good Company


Plus more pictures from this past week:


Guatemala (by Gustavo Visalli)

South Africa (by Alexis Ditkowsky)

Rwanda (featuring Caitlin Ross)

About the author

Alexis Ditkowsky