Clear Skies in Cambodia

In the wee hours this morning, I woke from a lucid dream – that kind where you’re partly awake and feel like you’re able to make decisions in the story. It went like this,

I’m riding my bike on the north shoulder of Texas Avenue heading East. “I’ve gotta cross traffic but it’s raining like crazy.” The intersection with 290 is just ahead and it’s not far to Houston. “If I keep this direction I can make it to Cambodia.”

Cambodia, wha!?  That’s when I woke up. I actually had a bike ride planned today and relative humidity is pretty close to 100%. “Maybe that’s what it’s about.” After stirring 30 minutes though, I remembered my old Kiva account. “Hmm, two years ago I loaned $25 to a family in Cambodia.” I decided to investigate further when I got to the library. Here’s what I discovered,


Total amount lent: $100
Amount Outstanding: $54
Total Borrowers: 4

  1. Phanna in Kandal, Cambodia (2015)
    $25 toward a $1500 community latrine
    50 lenders, 26 mo loan, 100% repaid
  2. Leab in Kampong Thom, Cambodia (2016)
    $25 toward a $3000 community latrine
    77 lenders, 19 mo loan, 56% repaid
  3. Sarwat in Lahore, Pakistan (2016)
    $25 toward $500 for milk bottles
    13 lenders, 14 mo loan, 22% repaid
  4. Adelina in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (2016)
    $25 toward a $1100 college loan (Sociology)
    42 lenders, 69 mo loan, repayments no started

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t add personal money to any of those cases, as much as I wish I had. My company at that time, Pearson Education, began setting aside lump funds for KIVA campaigns in 2015. In turn, they invite each employee to administer their personal allotment in $25 fractions, by searching for individuals you most empathize with. They’ve done this four times over the past two years, and I woke up thinking about Phanna.


Phanna’s Story

Total loan: $1,500 (powered by 50 lenders)

Status: 100% repaidBorrower image

Phanna, 53, lives in the Kandal Province of Cambodia. She’s the mother of four children. To support her family, she raises ducks and grows vegetables. On average, she sells 9.00 USD per day. So far, she’s been in this type of business for ten years. 

She wants to improve the general living conditions of her entire family by building a latrine. There’s no latrine near her house now. Therefore she’s borrowing from Kiva to buy materials and pay for excavation. By doing this, she is providing her family with better sanitation, improving their health, and reducing environmental deterioration. She’s thankful for the loan granted through HKL, which has a much lower interest rate than other lenders in her area.


I woke up thinking about Phanna, and wondered if she ever thought about the 50 people who lent her money. I also wondered about her family’s prayers before all this started.

“worship the LORD your God and serve only him” – Matt 4:10


Cambodia
by James FentonOne man shall smile one day and say goodbye.
Two shall be left, two shall be left to die.
One man shall give his best advice.
Three men shall pay the price.
One man shall live, live to regret.
Four men shall meet the debt.
One man shall wake from terror to his bed.
Five men shall be dead.

Acoustic: Cambodia
Artist: Kim Wilde, Select (1982)

“It doesn’t do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” ― J.K. Rowling

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