Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

The former Prosecutor's office, burnt out in April 2010's political upheaval in Kyrgyzstan

Kiva’s Field Partners are spread far and wide, from Nicaragua to Nepal, Afghanistan to America. As we lend $25 to a borrower in a distant land, we try to imagine what his or her life is like. This is one of Kiva’s greatest successes, in fact: it gives us a glimpse into the life of another person in a country we’re unfamiliar with. But no amount of transparency on the Kiva website, nor pouring over newspapers or guidebooks, can ever really illustrate the human condition in a foreign country. Misinterpretations, factual inaccuracies, and complete delusions abound. And we Fellows are just as hapless of victims as anyone else. This week in the field three Fellows clear up some common misconceptions and share some real life insights on the day-to-day in an oft-misrepresented country or culture.

Kyrgyzstan – Five Reasons Why I Am Not As Brave As You Might Think
Country: Kyrgyzstan / Fellow: Miranda Phua (KF15)

From talking dogs to civic engagement, Miranda walks us through life in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan- and it’s not what the travel websites have led us to believe.

Hijabs Included: Strong Women Working for Microfinance in Jordan
Country: Jordan / Fellow: Amy Kyleen Lute (KF15)
Amy Kyleen introduces us to two of the many strong women in Jordan and shows us that Hijabs or no, women are fending for themselves just fine.

Mosquito Nets: Subjective Risk.
Country: Sierra Leone / Fellow: Eric Rindal (KF15)
Eric “lifts his mosquito net” and realizes that life- and poverty- in Sierra Leone is much more than living with hunger.

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Updates from the past month:
Instability, Trust, + A New Home
Unsung Heroes, Community Alliances + and Mission Statements Made Reality
Personal Connections, Supply and Demand + A Culinary Excursion
Farewells, Mistaken Identities + Micro-Microfinance
Earth Day, Celebrations + Exceeding Expectations 


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Plus more pictures from the past week:

Kyrgyzstan (Miranda Phau)

Sierra Leone (Eric Rindal)

Jordan (Amy Kyleen Lute)


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Kate Bennett Prior to working with Kiva, Kate lived in Quito, Ecuador working in environmental management as a consultant for USAID implementing partners in the global south. After earning her B.A. in Political Economy, Postcolonial History, and Development from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in January 2010, she pursued a practice-based understanding of effective tools in development through work with New York based social change organizations and grassroots nonprofit organizations in Guatemala. Kate worked previously with Kiva as a Kiva Fellow in Ecuador and Peru, which fomented her commitment to microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation.
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