Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF15, Togo

This week on the Kiva fellows blog, take a cooking class with a Kiva borrower in Ecuador and learn how to make two mouthwatering local specialties: quimbalitos and tamales. Continue on to Sierra Leone to see how autarky is the goal of Kiva fellowships as well as micro loans. Then return to Ecuador to watch a video about traditional dances, find out about the feeling of “saudade” and reflect on the juxtaposition of poverty and prosperity. Finally, learn how a social performance study can be constructed in Chile.

Ana’s Kitchen: A Cooking Lesson in Quimbolitos
Country: Ecuador / Fellow: Kate Bennett (KF15)

Kate gets an Ecuadorian cooking lesson in making quimbolitos from Kiva borrower Ana Victoria.

Ana’s Kitchen: How to Make a Tamale (or a Hundred)
Country: Ecuador / Fellow: Kate Bennett (KF15)

As Kate’s cooking lesson continues, Kiva borrower Ana Victoria teaches her how to make a tamale.

Of Autarky, Redundancy, and Giving
Country: Sierra Leone / Fellow: Eric Rindal (KF15)

As the Kiva coordinator at BRAC Sierra Leone is taking over the reigns, Eric considers how he is slowly becoming redundant and he compares this process to micro loans.

Video Blog: For the Love of Fiestas
Country: Ecuador / Fellow: Megan Bond (KF15)

Walking home from FODEMI’s office in Ibarra, Megan watches men and women practicing their dances for the festival of Saint John the Baptist.

Saudades
Country: Ecuador / Fellow: Megan Bond (KF15)

As she is leaving office of FODEMI for the final time, Megan feels happy and sad at the same time, a feeling that Brazilians describe in one word: saudade.

Here at the End
Country: Ecuador / Fellow: Megan Bond (KF15)

About to get on the plane that will take her back to home to Dallas, Texas, Megan reflects on the juxtaposition of poverty and prosperity she witnesses in her life.

Measuring Social Performance
Country: Chile / Fellow: John Gwillim (KF15)

How should a microfinance institution measure performance? John looks at how a social performance study can be constructed and the type of information that can be collected.

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Updates from the past month:
Update from the Field: Motorcycles, Ramadan + A Dollar a Day
Working Animals, Green Microfinance + The Ends of the Earth
Poverty Assessments, Bush Taxis + Meeting “My” Borrower
Externalities, New Faces + Loans that Change Lives
Zulu Weddings, More Country-Specific Microfinance + Fighting Crime
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Plus more pictures from the past week:

Ecuador (by Kate Bennett)

Ecuador (by Kate Bennett)

Sierra Leone (by Eric Rindal)

Ecuador (by Megan Bond)

Ecuador (by Megan Bond)

Chile (by John Gwillim)


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As the Field Support Specialist for Francophone Africa, Kathrin works with Kiva partners to make sure they get the most out of working with Kiva, and to ensure that Kiva responds effectively to partners' changing needs. Kathrin previously served as a Kiva Fellow Togo and Rwanda and holds a B.S. in International Trade & Finance. After working at Deloitte as a Senior Consultant for four years, she decided to leave the corporate world to spend a year exploring several countries in East Asia and Africa. Her journey has now led her to Kigali, Rwanda, where she is based when she is not visiting Kiva partners in Francophone Africa. Kathrin is fluent in German and French and she is currently working on her Kinyarwanda.