Fellows Blog Posts by lizva

Aug 3, 2007 AZ Azerbaijan

OK, I’m not really lost, but I have been traveling like crazy the past two or so weeks and have not been able to keep up with journals or blogs! I apologize for the length of this, but I’ll try to recap:

14 – 16 July: I jumped on a mashrutka (a fancy name for a really old, unsafe, run-down mini-bus) and headed two hours north of Baku to NorMicro’s branch office in Khachmaz. I spent Saturday hanging out with Azerbaijani friends I have made on previous visits to Khachmaz this summer. On Sunday I went to the modest seaside...

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Jul 25, 2007 AZ Azerbaijan

Yesterday in Baku, sixteen Azerbaijanis from seven MFIs filled a small conference room for a class on writing business descriptions and success stories. They were craving training, not only on these critical elements of promoting their organizations, but also on writing in the English language. Among the attendees, employees from Kiva’s three Azerbaijani field partners were present: Murad and Jeyhun from NorMicro, Ulviyya from Komak, and Tamilla from AqroInvest.


The class was organized by Paul at ACDI|VOCA through...

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Jul 11, 2007 AZ Azerbaijan


Walking with a NorMicro loan officer through a small town bazaar in Azerbaijan is like walking with a pop star through a suburban American shopping mall. In Devechi, Nafira was mobbed by dozens of prospective clients as she led me through the crowded market stalls in search of Kiva clients. As he helped translate my interviews in Agsu, Namik often had to field questions from clients about the likelihood of their friend or neighbor getting a loan. The weekly “reception day” in each NorMicro branch office – that is, the day when clients...

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Jul 7, 2007 AZ Azerbaijan

Yesterday was a rather typical day for me in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. I left my host family’s nice home and walked fifteen minutes to the nearest metro station. On the way to the metro station I passed new apartment buildings, food shops with locally-grown fruit displays, clothing stores with bright skirts hanging in the windows, street cats lolling in the sun, bored taxi drivers playing backgammon, and street vendors selling cell phone cards. I weaved through and dodged traffic when necessary, Frogger-style. $0.05, three metro stops, and...

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May 24, 2007 AZ Azerbaijan

Hi, I’m Liz Vallette and I’m from Houston, Texas.  I just arrived in Baku, Azerbaijan last Friday to work as a Kiva Fellow with Normicro.  Normicro has 5 branches throughout Azerbaijan that serve internally displaced (IDPs) and low-income persons.  I was lucky to show up right as the branches are having their annual General Assemblies. 


Normicro has a unique structure that allows the customers to have a role in the governance of the organization.  Each branch has an elected advisory council made up of three male clients and three...

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