By Jennifer Gong, KF9 Tanzania

My name is Jen Gong and I will be spending a few months at YOSEFO, a Kiva field partner in Tanzania.  I arrived in Dar Es Salaam about 2 weeks ago and here is my first entry…

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the YOSEFO CREW!

There is something enchanting about Tanzania.  Most travelers would say the charm is in landscape.  And without a doubt there is much to behold here.  I have not yet wadded in the turquoise waters of Zanzibar, climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro or spotted the exotic creatures of the Serengeti, but flying into Dar Es Salaam itself was a treat.  I wish I took a photo of how the tin roofs sparkled like stars against the blue Indian Ocean. 

But for those who have spent a little more time here and immersed themselves in the local culture, they will claim the charm is in the people.   Tanzanians are colorful, diverse and warm.  When my coworkers held a meeting to discuss about the upcoming marriage celebration of one of the credit officers, I was asked to be involved because they said “<I am> now a part of the YOSEFO family”.  My host family of three sisters, treat me like their own dada (sister in Swahili), and have been generously teaching me Swahili and Tanzanian cooking.

Nevertheless, the country suffers from the same woes of similar developing nations.  Because Tanzania depends on hydroelectric power, recent droughts have caused both water rationing and power outages to occur.  Infrastructure has not kept up to pace with the burgeoning population and has led to extremely bad traffic during rush hours.  And the abject poverty in which some communities live can be heart wrenching.

I have just started meeting clients in the field and have been observing Kiva processes at YOSEFO.  I hope to bring everyone more stories about the impact of Kiva loans on both clients and MFI.  In the mean time, please enjoy some pictures of this charming place!

 

 Credit officer Emmanuel collecting money in the Mbagala Community:

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Client “Mama” Showing off her Vegetable Stall in Charambe District (and Me):

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Kiva Lender, Ed Skoch, and I listening to credit officer Lazaro explaining the collection process at Buguruni Community

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