By Rebecca Corey, KF9 Tanzania

I’m sitting in terminal three at Emirates AirDubai’s International Airport. The moving sidewalk beside me sounds like horses trotting on a packed dirt road. Since my 14-hour layover began a several hours ago, I’ve heard the Islamic call-to-prayer twice over the airport intercom system, followed soon after with enticing invitations to browse the duty-free shops that run down the center of the terminal. I should be sleeping, re-setting my internal clock, but the fluorescent lights and ribbons of Arabic that stream from the ceiling won’t let me rest.

Hi, my name is Rebecca Elizabeth Yeong Ae Corey, and I am a member of the Kiva Fellows Program’s 9th class. I trained for a week in San Francisco, had two days to pack up my bags and say my goodbyes in my hometown of Athens, Georgia, and now I am headed for Tanzania. Once I get to Dar es Salaam, I will settle into a homestay and begin work at Tujijenge Tanzania, Ltd., one of Kiva’s field partner MFI’s. I’m en route. I am Tanzania bound. 

Tanzania bound. This is one easy way of saying where I’m headed, my destination. But, being an English major in college and the daughter of a poet, my head immediately spins with what other meanings these words might bear.

So what does it mean to be bound?

bound1 definition intransitive verb
  1. to move with a leap or series of leaps
  2. to spring back from a surface after striking it, as a ball; bounce; rebound
I’m bounding into this new world, a little reckless and unsure, barely allowing myself to look back. Kiva.org is not a risk-averse organization. Innovation sometimes requires a leap of faith. I’m making mine.

bound2 definition adjective

  1. confined by or as by binding; tied
  2. closely connected or related
  3. certain; sure; destined
  4. under compulsion; obliged legally bound to accept
I have made a commitment, and I’m bound to it: Tanzania for a year, to study international development at the University of Dar es Salaam and to work as a Kiva Fellow. I will be collecting stories in the field, and must tell them honestly. I am bound to Kiva’s mission of connecting people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

bound3 definition adjective
  1. ready to go or going; headed: often with for bound for home
  2. Archaic ready; prepared
There’s no turning back now! I’m already some 7,000 miles from home. I’m ready for this adventure.

bound4 definition noun
  1. a boundary; limit
  2. an area near, alongside, or enclosed by a boundary
What boundaries will I encounter? The cultural and environmental lines drawn around me will be new and unfamiliar. Which challenges will I overcome and which ones will overcome me? What will I discover about this tool of microfinance and its impact on development and poverty?

bound Idioms

out of bounds

  1. beyond the boundaries or limits, as of a playing field
  2. not to be entered or used; forbidden
Can there be limits to what the human spirit can achieve? I am hopeful–no, I am sure that some things–love, compassion, imagination–know no bounds. We are all explorers who must fill in the map of the world around us. Every day we can discover a new outer limit to what can be achieved. Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “it’s not too late to seek a newer world.” I believe in Kiva’s vision of a connected world where social investors can help empower entrepreneurs to lift themselves out of poverty.

I’m on my way, I’m leaping into uncharted territory, I’m committed to this mission, I’m tied to the place, I’m challenging the boundaries…I am Tanzania bound.
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