Fellows Blog Posts by Anna

Feb 6, 2011 PH Philippines

Anna Cleal, KF13, Uganda

Mindblank! Recently I have been at a loss for words, and haven’t felt so compelled to share anything on the blog. Instead I decided to focus my efforts on producing a video of my time in the field as a Kiva fellow. One of the most amazing parts of being a Kiva fellow is the beautiful meetings you have with microfinance clients. In these sessions you have the opportunity to chat with borrowers about anything and everything. At the end of an interview we all commonly ask borrowers what are their hopes and dreams for the...

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Nov 24, 2010 UG Uganda

Anna Cleal, KF13, Kampala, Uganda

These words were inspired by a recent conversation I had with a Ugandan man who had spent 10 years of his life living and working in the UK.  He left shocked over the lack of community, how you couldn’t just talk to a stranger on the streets like in Uganda, and how people would refuse to acknowledge someone sitting next to them on the subway.  ”They all just want their space!” he exclaimed mortified. He looked at his watch and said; “and it’s all about time.”

Here I seek to compile a list of my...

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Nov 8, 2010 UG Uganda

So what does week one of being a Kiva fellow entail? I can’t guarantee that this will be typical – we are all in very different places around the world, but for me…

Day One: I arrived at Entebbe airport Uganda. Found a taxi to take me into Kampala, to my new abode, met my new flatmates, and went to sleep. Don’t worry the week gets a little more exciting after this!!

Day Two; Comparison number one: The art of getting to work is VERY different to my home town of New Zealand, and a little different to the Philippines where I last worked as a...

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May 21, 2010 PH Philippines

Anna Cleal, KF10, Philippines

Ok so hear me out on this concept – I think it’s a good one.  In my eyes one of THE greatest things to come out of the last fifty years is the ability to travel.  The ability to see, to experience, to understand different cultures, and get a taste of what it’s like to live in a country vastly different to your own.

So what about Google Earth? Google Earth, is the ability to travel from the comfort of your desk, living room, or internet café.  Google Earth means that we can ‘fly over’ a country, do a bit of recon, so to...

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May 11, 2010 PH Philippines

Anna Cleal, KF10, Philippines

1)    How to smile

At the moment I am working as a Kiva fellow with the field partner organisation Community Economic Ventures (CEVI), based in Bohol, Philippines.  Here there are some of the most fantastic smiles I have ever seen.  It’s the real face lit up, all teeth accounted for, glowing beam that can spread far and wide.

Lesson: Plain and simple – Smile! Remember to smile as much as possible because everyone knows that smiles are contagious!

2)      How to laugh


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Apr 6, 2010 MN Mongolia

By Anna Cleal, KF10, Community Economic Ventures (CEVI), Philippines

Some people don’t like airports/train stations/bus stations but I do. I like those few moments in between where you’ve been, and where you are going. The fact you actually get a chance to reflect. I’m in a queue at the airport. Here are my thoughts.

Sometimes life rushes. Sometimes it goes so fast you don’t have time to check if you’re going in the right direction. Sometimes you see a slower, less comfortable mode of transport and assume it’s going in the wrong direction. Sometimes it’s not...

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Mar 21, 2010 PH Philippines

Anna Cleal, KF10, Philippines

It is becoming increasingly obvious to me, living here in the Philippines, that SO often money does not go into the right hands.   The two main shopping malls on the island of Bohol are owned by wealthy Chinese business men.  Chain stores like Chow King, McDonalds, and Jollibee are filled with customers.  When you ask people what they do in the weekend the common answer is “malling” or window shopping.  Malls are synonymous with air conditioning.  Air con means escaping the heat.  Less people shop in the open markets and side...

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Feb 1, 2010 PH Philippines

The best part about leaving a place is that it generally means you will be arriving somewhere new.  You’re sad.  You’re excited.  You’re a whole bunch of simultaneous emotions.  I want to write this, my first Kiva Fellow’s Blog, while these emotions are still fresh;

while the bitter sweet sound of karaoke is still ringing in my ears;

while the last shot of the night is still processing;

and while the memory of 30 smiling fellows is firmly imprinted in my mind.

First let me tell you why I am...

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