Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An interview

These past couple of weeks at MCDT, my primary task has been interviewing women who will be getting their first Kiva loan (though not their first loan) in order to write up the brief introduction posted on the Kiva website. You might want to keep an eye out on www.kiva.org if you’re interested in given one of these groups a loan.

I’ve been hearing so many stories doing these interviews, as you can imagine, it’s hard to select any particular one to share. But there was one yesterday that got to me and I thought I’d pass it along.

Fred, the loan agent, and I had gone to Lugala, a rural district near the western border of Kampala, where we met a group in a wooden shack that also served as a classroom. I interviewed six women, using a standard format, asking age, marital status, number of children, whether they are in school, along with a description of her business, her plans for a loan, and her goals.

My last interview of the day was with Christine who runs a grocery business. She is 27. She is married. She has six children. The oldest is 14.

Throughout the rest of the interview I kept looking at her, trying to find signs of how she felt about her life. Was she frustrated? Content? Angry? Resigned? I couldn’t tell. She answered everything in a dry and factual manner without a trace of emotion that I could see. But then, it’s not really an interview that lends itself to emotional outpouring. I am going to read into it, though, that when she said that her goal is to have enough money for all her children to complete their studies that she might be saying a little something about herself.

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