It seems like ages ago that I was frantically working on my Kiva Fellows application back in the spring of 2012 while traveling in Southeast Asia. Then the tense months of interviews followed by the thrill of being selected. And finally the excitement of preparing for my placement in mesmerizing Bolivia.
How time flies when you’re having fun and loving your job!
Now, after a blink of the eye, I am leaving Bolivia and my Kiva Fellowship after three whirlwind months of motivating work, meeting endearing people and learning fascinating things in a whole new world.
My moving on is bittersweet – while I am eager for the new journeys that await, I am so thankful for the meaningful opportunity Kiva has given me in the world of microfinance. I have absorbed so much and witnessed how access to low-interest credit can make a real difference for those living in poverty.
At every moment of this incredible adventure Kiva has provided outstanding support and open trust in my work and my mission. My Kiva family has showered me with love from beginning to end. I am eternally grateful.
And Bolivia! Oh my beguiling Bolivia: you welcomed me with the smiles of your handsome people, you gave me a home that I simply loved, you treated me to splendid sights and vigorous geography, you nourished my body with wholesome foods and you gave me friends to fill my days. My heart is heavy as I leave you.
I already miss your rugged landscapes, the comfort of familiar places and people, and my routine and purposefulness in your midst. You have shown me a new way to travel, one that comes slowly after considerable effort but rewards in powerful ways. I can’t wait to see you again!
I am so proud of my Kiva Fellowship – proud of the difficult changes I made in my life to get here and proud of the work I accomplished.
No, I probably didn’t change the world. But it changed my world.
And the best part of all this is knowing that it is only the beginning…