Fellows Blog Posts by marydear

May 23, 2010

(Left to right) Mary, Sive Chheng, Amy, and more MAXIMA rockstars!

By Mary Riedel, KF9/10

One day in the beginning of my fellowship at Maxima (one of Kiva’s Microfinance Partner’s in Cambodia), a former Kiva Fellow, Amy Killian, stopped by. She had returned to Cambodia on a payroll!

The staff was so happy to see Amy. There were hugs and laughs and stories retold; I was happy to be a witness. Most importantly the reunion gave me hope. I was so...

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May 8, 2010 KH Cambodia

Me and my colleagues getting our nails done!

Admist the client visits, operational costing, and process mapping, Kiva Fellows get to take some pretty amazing weekend escursions. Some of these trips take us to beautiful mountains, crystal blue volcanic lakes and still others take us to places impossible to imagine, until we’re there.

While watching the “Road Less Traveled” on Nat Geo the other night, the host said something, “To me travel is about...

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Apr 20, 2010 KH Cambodia

Yes! And I’ll say again!

Consumption! Consumption! Consumption!

But don’t worry, I’m here to tell you that Consumption is not a dirty word!

Before I became a Kiva Fellow, I was a Kiva Lender, and whenever I saw a consumption loan, I admit, I “clicked” away. I judged these loans, labeled them, and stuck them in a box called, “Lame: borrowers lack initiative.” My thinking was, “Why don’t borrowers just concentrate on improving their business, and then they could save-up their profits for X.”

The problem: I was...

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Mar 14, 2010 KH Cambodia

Left to Right - Mr Rithy, Chief of Operations, Bony and Norm, housekeeping, and Ms. Sive Chheng, Deputy Operations Officer celebrate Maxima's 10th Birthday!

If you think YOU work hard (well, you probably do) but so does my MFI….

I am a Kiva Fellow currently volunteering with one of Kiva’s Micorfinance Partner’s, Maxima, in Cambodia. MAXIMA MIKROHERANHVATHO CO., LTD was founded in March 2000 by a group of friends...

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Feb 9, 2010

I am not sure if it is an East Coast thing or a Catholic school thing but when I was in grammar school I loved field day. In kid language Field Day = “No more classes, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks.”A day full of watermelon to eat and games to play – a clear demarkation that summer and weeks of PLAYTIME were on the way – This was only the beginning!

Ahhhh the yester years of Playtime…. In our busy ADULT lives, it seems playtime often falls off the radar. How many times have you thought, “I need more fun in my life.” Perhaps you...

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Jan 10, 2010 PH Philippines

Mary Riedel KF 9 Philippines

Last month I picked up my clothes from the Washeteria. I was psyched, walking home with that, “I have clean clothes to wear,” feeling (you know the one). I got home, opened the cube shaped bag, it smelled so nice, even my underwear were folded! “What can I wear tomorrow?”

I stumbled upon a long blue, polyester skirt.  “Hmmm, this definitely doesn’t look like mine,” (although having worn uniforms for 12 years I did feel a slight connection.)

Quickly I worried, “If I have...

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Dec 31, 2009 PH Philippines

Mary Riedel, KF9, Philippines

It’s that day of the year when we look forward with hope as we let go of last year’s demons and angels; as they say, “let go or get dragged!” So we put on those funny hats, blow those horns, and dance like we just don’t care!

To inspire you this New Years I’ve collected some dance footage of Kiva Fellows bustin’ a move in the field at their respective Kiva Field Partners (Microfinance Institutes). Each fellow recalls feeling a little trepidatious at getting out on the...

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Dec 24, 2009

Mary Riedel KF9, Philippines

I’m writing a blog post and posting this video because

  • It makes me laugh
  • I’m behind!
  • Right now it feels like that’s all I can do. Why? Well since you asked…lemme tell you…
  • An overtired and ill (I still don’t know what I have, feels like more than a normal flu though) Kiva Fellow spilled an entire mug of coffee on her computer last week. I know it’s just a computer but when it’s a lifeline to your friends and family it feels like loosing a small pet (like maybe a parakeet). On the bright side I...

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    Nov 29, 2009 PH Philippines

    Mary Riedel KF9, Philippines

    Filipino Parols/Christmas Lanterns outside the NE Pacific Mall

    …”Tis the season,” and, “twas the season” from the moment I arrived in the Philippines on October 3rd – a Kiva Fellow bound for Kiva’s Microfinance Partner ASKI. (Microfinance field partners, are a critical link in connecting Kiva lenders with Kiva borrowers. Check out this rad video to learn more about the process). The Christmas Season...

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    Nov 17, 2009 PH Philippines

    Laughing with Myrna Data, a Kiva Borrower

    Mary Riedel, KF9, Philippines

    “…What do you think your biggest challenge will be if you become a Kiva Fellow?”

    I heard this question twice during my interview process with Kiva.  On both occasions I was sitting at my kitchen table in San Francisco, working from home (experiencing some cabin fever), and planing to meet up with friends later in the day. My answer was, “Feeling disconnected from friends and...

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