Archive for the ‘ Style ’ Category

Holiday Greetings – KF9 on Christmas

By KF9, All Over The World

Re-posted from the Kiva Fellows Blog.

Merry Christmas! This holiday season Kiva Fellows are celebrating Christmas all over the world, in all sorts of different ways. Whether it be traveling, feasting, or working hard to bring you some additional Kiva magic over the holidays, it’s safe to say we’re all thankful to be serving as Kiva Fellows and glad to have found a wonderful community in Kiva.

We wanted to share what Christmas is like for KF9ers out in the field and around the world. So enjoy – and happy holidays!

In no particular order:

Nicki Goh, KF9 Senegal
This coming weekend, the Senegalese have a 4 day weekend with both Christian and Islamic holidays straddling the weekend. I will make the most of the time off work to visit the Sine-Saloum Delta on the Atlantic coast of Senegal – an area where my MFI SEM’s work is extremely important to ecovillagers. The delta is an area of immense natural beauty which is sadly at risk of desertification and where there is a high level of unemployment. This time I will be on vacation but I hope to return there at a later date to meet some of the borrowers for myself. Happy holidays to you all – whatever your religion!

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It's Harder to Be Christian During Christmas in the States?

Ok, I admit that I mainly wanted to practice writing a “catchy” title for this post. I’m sure that people who know me are thinking something along the lines of “but you’re not even Christian!” And I’m not in the U.S. right now either. But I did just read a fantastic TIME article about how Christian church groups are standing up against the insane commercialization of Christmas in the States, offering some proof that this title might not be as outrageous as it appeared at first glance.

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The Dangers of Too Many Fiesta Meals, or Adventures with Filipino Eats

I guess it was just a matter of time before I did the obligatory food post about all the interesting dishes that I’ve been trying in the Philippines. Unfortunately what prompted me to type up this post was a string of eating mishaps, of sorts. On Tuesday a nearby barangay (or village) had a fiesta in celebration of its patron saint. As my co-worker informed me, this fiesta was for the Immaculate Conception, celebrating “the conception of the Virgin Mary without any stain of original sin.” Which was a tad hard for me to wrap my mind around initially because it’s celebrating an event as opposed to an actual saint, but I guess this barangay fiesta is the local equivalent of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

At any decent celebration, party, or fiesta in the Philippines there will always be lechon baboy, or roasted pig. The first time I had it was in Cebu, where it’s a local specialty. I had met up with fellow KF9er Ed Coambs one weekend and made a point to try out lechon baboy, since all my HSPFI co-workers kept telling me that Cebu has the best lechon baboy in the Philippines. We ended up getting a tame, chopped-up version in a restaurant recommended on Wikitravel. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing either. I much preferred lechon manok, or roasted chicken. And to be honest, on that Cebu trip Ed and I gravitated towards American comfort foods. Like McDonald’s and pancakes.

Breakfast at the Pancake House in Cebu

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The Most Bizarre Client Interview (Part 2 of 2)

Re-posted from the Kiva Fellows Blog.

Bizarre is probably not the best word to describe this client interview, but without a doubt we were intrigued and utterly fascinated by the alien-looking blob we saw sitting pretty before us. Corroi, HSPFI‘s Kiva Coordinator and I found ourselves staring at a live (or semi-live) sea cucumber during a visit to HSPFI client and Kiva borrower Ann Lagrada on Camiguin Island.

Ann Lagrada, Camiguin - Sea Cucumber

(This is the second part of my “most memorable client interviews on Camiguin” series – check out “The Most Beautiful Client Interview (Part 1 of 2)” if you haven’t already!)

(If you have a soft spot in your heart, an ongoing and lasting fondness for sea cucumbers like the one above, and the thought of chopping/prepping a sea cucumber for consumption would cause you much undue stress, do NOT click on the “more” link.)

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At War with the Ants

One of the hazards of leaving for the field for a week is that the ants take over. Before I left, the ants had a fairly well-delineated chunk of territory in my room and I had mine. We mutually respected each other’s space for the most part, plus or minus a few straggling explorer ants here and there. If I drop some scrumptious crumbs of food on the floor and, five minutes later, found ants crawling all over said crumb in “my” territory, I acknowledge that my accident equals fair game for them.

However, I came back after a week in Camiguin to find that the ants had greatly expanded their territory. They tried taking over my bed and that was a battle I had to win. They also took over a big patch of floor between my bed, the table and the sink. Which I probably wouldn’t have minded so much if I wasn’t constantly trekking in that area and resting my feet and shoes there. As I wasn’t particularly thrilled about having the little buggers crawl all over me as I read/ate/brushed teeth/etc., I spent about 10 minutes last night reasserting my space with the help of a broom. When I got frustrated I stamped and smushed, until I felt guilty and resorted back to the slightly more humanitarian method of sweeping away the ants trail. I felt a bit baffled at the lack of visible food or other attractions that might have prompted them to expand so aggressively while I was out. I concluded that these ants are sneaky little suckers.

As a second sweeping appeared to have kept the ants (and whatever they might’ve been interested in picking up) near the wall and back in their original territory, I’m hoping that’s the end of my war with the ants. For this week, anyways.

Volunteering @ White House Kitchen Garden

White House Kitchen Garden - WeedingBack in May this year me and a bunch of colleagues had the opportunity to volunteer at the White House Kitchen Garden – we basically spent a slightly drizzly half-day doing lots of weeding. Although it was a morning spent with good company, wonderful White House staff members, and also – Bo paid a surprise visit at the end! So overall, definitely was a memorable day. And as another work friend and I joked, the White House is one of those few places on Earth where people will line up to do chores like weeding or sweeping (if such opportunity were readily available!)

It took me a while to get photos from that day for posting, but here they are, finally! 😀

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