Jan 25, 2008 KH Cambodia

This will be short, as it concerns my last blog entry. First and foremost, I should reiterate the importance of editing, which, no longer being recquired to do so at work, has meant that I have become what is called “fastidious.” Fastidiousness has its consequences, namely that, in my encounter with Anchor butter, I said that it WAS swill instead of saying that it is not. More importantly, I said that Thy gave me a gun. I am not exactly sure how gun came out, but it does share two letters with the word I meant, hug. Thus, for those of you who are concerned that I am...
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Jan 23, 2008 KH Cambodia

I will begin where I left off, my trip and arrival back in Cambodia. Ahem, rather, I will start with memories of my first time here. As is one of my customs when traveling, I feel it is necessary to sample the various local brewers’ specialties. In Cambodia, this means Anchor and Angkor beer. Har licquor, it seems, is largely westernized (Johnny Walker comes to mind), and this may be ignorance on my part, but other...
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Jan 23, 2008 KH Cambodia

entry 1, trip and arrival
Since the last 40 odd hours have involved sitting at a gate or in coach, it would seem odd that there exists the potential to write anything, but as I am still in a state of exhaustion, I’ll simply disagree with myself and write something anyway.  

 Leaving San Fran was really quite simple, and way better than my previous experience at LAX when I nearly went on the conveyor with my checked bag through security–interrupt: they have new keyboards at this internet cafe, which preclude me from being able to use...

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Jan 21, 2008 UG Uganda

Nabwire Carolyn, Manager of BRAC Uganda’s Kalerwe Branch, awakens at 5:30 each work day.  A devoutly religious person, she spends the first half hour of each day in prayer.  Next she prepares her two children for the day.   Joshua, age 4, attends pre-school and Ester, age 2, goes to day care.  Carolyn prepares breakfast for the children and her husband, Joseph, who is a computer programmer and web designer.  At 6:30 Joseph departs in the family car to drop the children off at school on his way to work.

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Jan 19, 2008 UG Uganda

How does a 48 year old widow in Uganda with no job, no savings, very little education, and no business training provide for eleven orphans, ranging in age from 9 to 17?

One answer is to take out a US $180 micro-loan from BRAC Uganda and work very hard to establish and operate two successful small businesses.

The story of how Bayiyana Regina came to be the sole supporter of eleven orphans is both a tragic commentary on life and death in Uganda and an inspirational tale of sacrifice and perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity....

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Jan 17, 2008 TZ Tanzania

It would seem that time with Kiva is flying by when I think about my remaining 4½ months left here in East Africa. Almost 4 down, almost 4 more to go. I have been receiving updates from friends in Chicago about their frigid weather and feel grateful even for Tanzania’s thick humidity. I prefer sweating to shivering any day. The bright red flowers on the trees are so beautiful here, and passing by moneys playing by the side of the road on my way to work makes me smile.

I am now helping out at two MFIs– Tujijenge Tanzania and BRAC Tanzania, which have distinct and...

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Jan 14, 2008 PE Peru

As a Kiva Fellow you realize the journals you write quickly become lost in the depths of hundreds of pages, full of testimonials begging to be read. I wanted to share one story I’ve found particularly moving, and hope you will, too.

An excerpt from a journal from Ayacucho, Peru:

“Celia has faced many difficulties in her life- her husband left her 21 years ago to raise 11 children on her own. She has lost three of those children, one just last year, and of the remaining children left in her care, three of them are blind due to a hereditary illness. While a challenge...

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Dec 21, 2007 UG Uganda

Here are some of the unique gifts I will be enjoying this Christmas in Uganda;

The Gift of Calm in the Midst of Chaos.  When I read that it is culturally unacceptable to express anger in public in Uganda, I did not really believe it.  Coming for the US, where people routinely drop “F” bombs in public, where  TV and movie plots always seem to involve violence and rage, and where the 24 hour news cycle is dominated by shouting, I found the notion of a society devoid of public anger...

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Dec 15, 2007 MZ Mozambique


I can’t believe my work here is almost coming to an end! It feels like just yesterday (or a couple days ago) that I was getting off the plane in Maputo – uncertain, nervous, and excited as to what this entire experience would be like. I still remember flipping over and over (and over) again through my copy of all of FDM´s Kiva clients, wondering what it would be like to meet them face to face. In fact, I looked at those pictures so many times that every time I met a client, I could literally see their picture and their description in my mind....

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Dec 14, 2007 WS Samoa

It was 3 months ago that I stepped off the plane and into the tropical Samoan rain. It seems those same storm clouds have gathered on my last day on the island to see me off. Over the course of my stay, I’d like to think that I learned a few of things. 

I’ve learned of the incredible dedication and hard-work it takes for the staff of a small MFI like SPBD to run its operations.

I’ve learned that despite their demanding daily schedules, the SPBD staff rarely shows signs of stress or frustration. I think I’ll have a better chance of...

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