Aug 26, 2016 TL Timor-Leste

A view overlooking the coast of Dili (the capital of Timor-Leste)
What could crocodiles, coffee and collective impact possibly have in common (other than some ingenious alliteration)? As a Kiva fellow, I spent a month in Timor Leste (East Timor) and found that these three things offer a taste of Timor through their importance in the past, present and future of the country.  First off, let’s take a step back. Timor Leste, where the **** is that!? Timor Leste is one of the world’s newest and least developed... Continue Reading >>


Aug 25, 2016 GO Global Update

Fellows are introducing old and new routines, hobbies and habits in their new environment. Here is what they are up to!
Trishna- India  
Something Old: Sticking to my Colorado roots I have continued my love for the outdoors and hiking by joining trekking...
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Aug 18, 2016 KG Kyrgyzstan

In December 2007, two things happened almost simultaneously: 1.) I enrolled in a Finance and Applied Mathematics dual-degree program at the University of Auckland and; 2.) Financial markets all over the world crashed overnight This naturally meant that my entire tertiary education revolved around the recession. I spent many nights using the benefit of hindsight to build financial models that could’ve predicted the timing of America’s housing bubble burst. For one of my favourite courses, we had to perform investment analysis and research before picking a ten-stock portfolio on Google... Continue Reading >>


Aug 10, 2016 GO Global Update

I am writing this blog from a cafe in Jaen, Peru. By my estimation I am the only white person in the entire city. I’ve come to this conclusion on account of not seeing anyone overtly non-Peruvian and being regularly stared at with great skepticism. Obviously, I have no qualms about being in such a scenario – it’s simply something I have never experienced. The first month and a half of my fellowship was spent in Cusco, Peru, a city stocked with foreign travelers making their way to Macchu Picchu, Canyon de Colca, Lake Titicaca or enjoying the nearby attractions. Cut to Jaen, Peru, a city of... Continue Reading >>


Aug 9, 2016 MX Mexico

As a Kiva Fellow on my own in a new country, I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts. One of which, the Marketplace Tech podcast, has a game called Silicon Tally. Every week on Silicon Tally, the host and a guest try to guess the significance of numbers from that week’s tech news headlines that have been stripped from their context. Here’s my version, Mexico Tally, with this week’s focus on Sistema Biobolsa. The numbers to guess are… 17, 196, 6%, 11, $260, $28-$40, 2.4 million+ While you prepare your guesses, I’ll provide a bit of background. Sistema Biobolsa (Biobolsa) is a social enterprise... Continue Reading >>


Aug 9, 2016 GO Global Update

Standing at a whopping 6 feet 2 inches tall, with kind eyes and a warm, toothy grin, Yessaya Lyimo is quite the presence in any room. He is the first person I met in Tanzania, and has probably been the most influential in making my time here a safe, engaging, and enjoyable one.
Yessaya at this desk in the office
  Since the moment he spotted me (not a difficult task, but hey) in the steamy arrivals hall of the Dar International Airport, Yessaya has taken me under his wing, and treated me like a child of his own.... Continue Reading >>


Aug 7, 2016 TJ Tajikistan

Last month I had an opportunity to meet two Kiva borrowers in Khujand, Tajikistan’s second largest city, a city with a long and rich history. Both borrowers are young and ambitious women. Both of their loans were facilitated by one of Kiva’s partners in the country, IMON International. Mavjuda, who just turned 20, is currently studying in a medical school with a dream of becoming a midwife and eventually opening her own private clinic for women. When we met at one of IMON’s offices in the city, Mavjuda was shy at first, but she began to smile and speak more freely when sharing her... Continue Reading >>


Jul 30, 2016 GO Global Update

I can’t read anything. That was the first daunting realisation that hit me as my airport shuttle found a spot in Bishkek’s morning traffic jam. Before moving to Kyrgyzstan as a Kiva Fellow, I had not lived and worked in a country where the official language was not english. In the capital, Bishkek, russian is widely spoken while the native, kyrgyz is prominent in the south. When you’re traveling for pleasure, it is easy to get by with only a handful of useful local words like gelato, bratwurst and phở. Here I was, learning russian Microsoft Excel formulas and trying to do my grocery shopping... Continue Reading >>


Jul 29, 2016 GO Global Update

I arrived in Dar es Salaam in early June, a hot and sweaty mess, after 24 hours of flying time. It is my first time on the continent, meaning that every sight, smell, and experience is a new one for me. This has thus far made for an incredibly interesting, challenging, but ultimately enriching experience. While I have had moments where I have questioned my decision to embark on this journey (several hours on an over-packed dala dala, or local bus, in traffic will do things to your head), I have also experienced some seriously incredible, out-of-this-world moments, that reaffirm why I... Continue Reading >>


Jul 27, 2016 GO Global Update

In anticipation of my fellowship in Peru, I hopped on the computer and began taking a look at potential living situations. All fellowships carry a certain level of ambiguity with them, so signing month-long leases generally doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Fellows are frequent visitors of temporary housing sites such as Couchingsurfing, Airbnb, Homeaway, Hostelrefuge.com, etc. While browsing airbnb.com, I found a private room with all the necessary amenities and a 15-minute walk from work. For just ten dollars a night, I figured it would suffice. Twenty minutes after booking the room, I... Continue Reading >>


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