Yekaterina, a HOPE Ukraine client and Kiva borrower from Melitopol, Ukraine, seems uneasy with the camera being pointed at her face.
Another one of my official Kiva Stories from the Field posts has been published! This one’s a collaboration with another KF17 Kiva Fellow, Heather Sullivan in Indonesia, and it’s a bit of a compare/contrast exercise between the two extremely different cultures we work in. Here’s the intro:
Different Worlds: Two Perspectives on Borrower Privacy from Indonesia and Ukraine
When not sampling local delicacies or fording swollen rivers to visit borrowers, Kiva Fellows occasionally find themselves stuck in the office, chatting on Skype and sharing experiences (both raucous and ruminative) from the field. In one recent conversation, the two of us, Heather and Chris, discovered that we were facing nearly opposite sets of problems surrounding the issue of borrower privacy. While Chris’s field partner in Ukraine was finding it hard to convince suspicious borrowers that sharing their photos and stories on Kiva would cause them no harm, Heather was struggling to convey to her Indonesian MFI’s clients that perhaps they shouldn’t be so nonchalant about how their information might be shared. What follows is a joint blog exploring some of the roots of those cultural differences—and their consequences for Kiva and its partner MFIs.
It’s significantly denser and less story-oriented than some of my past posts, but give it a shot! I think we’ve stumbled across some interesting insights into the historical and social factors that make Indonesians and Ukrainians so different from each other.
And for some lighter fare: Over the past month or so, I’ve contributed to several group posts on the Kiva blog that I haven’t yet highlighted here. Check them out below:
Hello Spring: It’s Time to Celebrate (compiled by Kiyomi Beach)
A bunch of Kiva Fellows got together and submitted our stories and pictures from various springtime celebrations throughout the world – including my own musings on the two Easters of western Ukraine (we celebrate both the Catholic and Orthodox versions here). I’m really happy with the three paragraphs I wrote for this one.
Lost in Translation (compiled by Philip Issa)
In this one, several of us from around the world engaged in collective laughter therapy by writing down our most embarrassing mistakes trying to conduct Kiva work in the local language. My own extended, actually kind of mortifying foot-in-mouth from Azerbaijan is second on the list.
Home Is Where the Fellow Is (written by Micaela Browning)
As Kiva Fellows, we generally get sent to our host countries for only four months at a time. That can make it hard for us to find housing… which means that we tend to get desperate and wind up living in some really weird places. I’ve spotlighted Micaela’s hilarious writing here before, and her Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous take on my old apartment in Baku is just as classy as ever.
That’s all I got! Go read something!