Fellows Blog Posts by careee

Apr 28, 2011 AM Armenia

By Caree Edson, KF14, Armenia

I was having lunch with a colleague who wants to practice his English when he offered to take me out into the field to witness a day in the life of a regional manager.  It was here that I realized that sometimes years worth of schooling happens in a single day on the other side of the world and there is no substitute for witnessing first-hand how and why microfinance works.

Avet is a regional manager for the Syunik (Southern) region in Armenia. He is in charge of 5 branches currently and is opening his 6th this week. An avid wine...

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Apr 22, 2011 AM Armenia

Compiled by Caree Edson, KF 14, Armenia

One of the unfortunate sight-seeing adventures that you never sign up for when you travel (especially in developing countries) is the unseemly amount of trash cluttering the otherwise beautiful landscapes. In Armenia, it isn’t possible to see the horizon through the smog most days and the streets are covered in cigarette butts and litter. I found no exceptions to this as I inquired from other Kiva Fellows about the dire situation in their countries. Environmental education and reform are simply not a top priority in many countries....

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Apr 3, 2011 AM Armenia

By Caree Edson, KF14, Armenia

It was about noon on a gorgeous Spring day in Goris, Armenia when I showed up at the local SEF branch to meet the employees there.  Goris is stunning in its natural beauty. The city center resides at the bottom of a bowl with caves and mountains towering on every side.

The valleys surrounding Goris

The tiny, three-person staff of the SEF branch welcomed me with tea, brownies and chocolate (a custom I plan to take back home...

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Mar 19, 2011 AM Armenia

By Caree Edson, KF 14, Armenia

While Kiva works with three microfinance institutions in Armenia, I have, thus far, only had the privilege to spend time with the staff at one. When I was offered an opportunity to do some Borrower Verifications for Nor Horizon (another partner institution), I jumped at the chance. Borrower Verifications, while requiring a lot of time and effort on the part of the fellows, are by far the best part of this journey. They entail going out into the field with credit officers and meeting with clients to ensure the accuracy of the information...

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Feb 16, 2011 AM Armenia

As I look back, I can’t believe it’s been a month already since I left my home in Colorado to serve as a Kiva Fellow in Armenia. It has felt much longer with incredible experiences, both positive and negative, that will surely shape my future in ways that I have yet to discover.

Where in the world is Yerevan, Armenia?

When I told people that I would be going to Armenia as a Kiva Fellow, the first response was always “WHERE IS THAT?” Most mixing it up with Romania or to my Spanish speaking students...

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