Fellows Blog Posts by Carrie Ferrence

Dec 18, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

I had been planning for today’s lasagna lunch since the second week of my fellowship when one my colleagues asked if I could make his favorite dish from the U.S. How could I say no? This man had picked me up at the border, arranged my housing, and even helped me secure a SIM card and cell phone, among countless of other tasks. Lasagna was the least I could do, right? Right? In the end the lasagna required more than 10 trips to various stores and the efforts of approximately 12 people, in three countries.

When I...

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Nov 24, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

In the past week I have met with almost 50 clients, which is way more than I met in the previous six weeks combined. I should feel inspired and excited by that accomplishment, but I mostly feel tired and battered. That’s because all of the clients I met with were BORING! I’m not exaggerating – I didn’t have one interesting interview. At least, that’s what I thought in the days surrounding the visits….

When I meet with clients, I ask a bunch of questions about their business, family, and personal...

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Nov 11, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

I wanted to share two really beautiful events from the past week: celebrating the election and attending my first Tajik wedding.

The U.S. Election

Contrary to the excitement that most were feeling on election day, I was feeling lousy. Here we were, on the edge of something truly great, and I was not able to participate. Of all the elections in all of the world, why did I have to miss this one?

Tajikistan is 10 hours ahead of the East Coast, so it was fairly obvious that Obama...

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Oct 14, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

I have to be honest, I was slightly terrified to become a Kiva Fellow, to travel halfway across the world to a place I had to look up on a map. Don’t get me wrong, I signed up for all the right reasons: I really believe in the way that Kiva operates, I wanted to delve deeper into the world of microfinance, and I thought that a three month sabbatical might help me gain some perspective.

But I also had a lot of little voices building up in the back of my head that didn’t think this was such a good idea. I felt uncertain: I don’t speak Russian...

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Sep 18, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

Personally, I really enjoy preparing for a big trip to some far away place.  There are so many unknowns: what will I see, who will I meet, what will I eat, and what type of terrifying illness will I suffer?  But preparing for three months in Tajikistan has been a bit different.

With only a little more than two weeks until my departure, I still have a some pretty important items to secure – like a visa and some very very warm clothing.  I am cramming to learn some essential Russian and Tajiki phrases so that I can actually get myself from the airport in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to...

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