Compiled by Isabel Balderrama | KF17 | Ecuador

Welcome to this week’s Update from the Field! In the past few days we’ve had blog posts come to us from all corners of the world. From hearing about the prevailing Nomadic lifestyles of the people of Mongolia, to Kenya, where we journey along on an adventure-filled trip to meet a Kiva borrower in person. After touching down on Palestine and meeting a group of women that have successfully formed a cooperative, we are whisked away to the islands of Samoa where we are treated to two excellent videos illustrating life in this mysterious-to-some archipelago. From there, we drift back west where we find two fellows located in two very culturally dissimilar countries, Ukraine and Indonesia, comparing and contrasting their experiences with borrower privacy. Hope you enjoy this week’s trip around the globe courtesy of this ever-audacious group of Kiva Fellows!

Nomads: How Much Longer?
Jon Hiebert | KF 17 | Mongolia

Here, we ride along with Jon through Mongolia’s dusty “highways” looking to meet Kiva borrowers, hearding cattle, and finding out more about the Nomadic lifestyle of the country’s citizens.

The Women’s Cooperative of Deir Bzei, Palestine
Philip Issa | KF17 | Palestine

In this installment, Philip introduces us to a group of female borrowers that have formed their own lending cooperative. Through his article, Philip teaches us a little more about the “village-banking” lending model and we learn about some of the advantages of this methodology.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a Borrower… Part 1
Nessa French | KF17 | Kenya

Because visiting borrowers can be the most fun, scary, and important part of a fellowship, Nessa shares her detailed account of a trip to see a borrower in Western Kenya. Learn more about this arduous yet rewarding process and stay tuned for Part 2!

A Day in the Life: Loan Officers and Chickens
Adria Orr | KF17 | Samoa

Adria’s video blog gives us a much-needed insight into what it’s really like to live and work in Samoa. Through two captivating videos we are privy to the hardships encountered by loan officers (and by our Fellow herself) while attempting to fulfill their official daily duties.

Different Worlds: Two Perspectives on Borrower Privacy from Indonesia and Ukraine
Heather Sullivan | KF17 | Indonesia
Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Ukraine

Although the cultural differences between Ukraine and Indonesia may be obvious to most, what isn’t as obvious sometimes is the effect that these differences have in the way micro-finance institutions must conduct business in each environment. Heather and Chris compare notes on the way clients in both countries approach the issue of borrower privacy.

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Updates from the Past Month:
Update from the Field: Translation Follies, Contemplating Kindness and Comfort and KF Cribs
Update from the Field: Kiva’s new coffee partner and female empowerment in the Middle East
Update from the Field: Thoughts on Wealth, Religion and History, Foods from the Field, and a Day in the Life of a Fellow
Update from the Field: Poetry, Poverty + Truly Epic Amounts of Food

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Plus more pictures from the past week:

An epic camel ride – Jon Hibert, Mongolia

Some of the women from Deir Bzei Cooperative – Philip Issa, Palestine

A breathtaking view of Lake Victoria – Nessa French, Kenya

Ibu Masripah from Indonesia

A happy Kiva borrower posing for an impromptu photo – Heather Sullivan, Indonesia


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