Life in the Field: Beauty in the Unexpected

Susan Lee, KF25 in Malawi

I have seen many beautiful things this week; amazing sunsets, cute children, delicious food but when I went to visit a group of villagers last week it was their 'gratitude' and sense of community that struck me as beautiful. It was something I 'felt'.
They had already been part of a successful dairy cow initiative and had been chosen for the new pig program between my field partner SSLLP, supported by Kiva.
Many of them expressed their thanks for this new opportunity despite not yet knowing the full details.
"I am thankful for this program. I am proud of my work and I finally have some money in my pocket to support my family."
One woman asked 'What happens if some of us get funded and not the others? How can we all help and support each other ?'
I spent most of last week visiting their homes, talking to them about their motivations, dreams and wishes. I was welcomed into each home like a family member.

Caroline Dorr, KF25 in Indonesia

You have to watch where you step in Bali! These beautiful little offerings (called canang sari) are placed all along the streets, outside storefronts and homes. The offerings, filled with flowers, incense, and treats, are a way for Balinese Hindus to express thanks to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (All-In-One-God).

Annie Lydens, KF25 in Kosovo

A KosInvest staff member who has become a good friend of mine and I drove to Radavc in Kosovo. While the sky was initially overcast, the clouds soon cleared and I was treated to some incredible mountain views. This particular picture was taken within the garbage-dumping area of the town; I can't believe the dump has these views!

Niaz Patwary, KF25 in India

On my second week of Kiva Fellowship in India, I traveled to a small town called Gundalpet. Kiva partner organization Micrograam was assisting artisans find a market to sell their product through an arts & crafts exhibition. This picture is of a hand made earthen-oil-lamp holder made out of brass by an artist, promoted by MandiKraft (Micrograam's micro-venture partner). The background is a wall-mural by a local artist which shows a Kathakali dancer in the iconic make-up.
Tony Chow, KF25 in Kenya

Fruteez Parlour sits in the midst of a dusty and unassuming cluster of restaurants, general stores, and even a pool hall that serves the nearby local community in Nairobi. Take a peek inside to reveal a cornucopia of fruits serving up an array of eye-catching colors that invite you in to try their juices, smoothies, and fruit salads. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've stopped by for an afternoon snack nearly every day this week!


About the author

Aurora Lee

Aurora hails from New England and has a background in communications, systems management and economic development. She first realized her passion for nonprofits leveraging social media while working in web communications at MSF. She is incredibly excited to join the content team at Kiva and explore the juncture of technology and international development more thoroughly. She spent nearly a year working in Tanzania with students and was lucky enough to witness the spirit of small-scale entrepreneurship and how it impacts communities firsthand. She holds a BA from Princeton University where she concentrated in politics and was a member of the varsity swimming and diving team. Aurora is a long-suffering, occasionally jubilant, Arsenal fan and copes with being dog-less by volunteering at the SF SPCA.