Posts filed under ‘Peru’

Update from the Field: Going the distance in Pakistan and putting Kiva Zip together. Plus, a word on the Olympics.

Compiled by Isabel Balderrama | KF17 + KF18 | Bolivia


It’s once again time for an update from our Fellows in KF-18. This week we have three posts from four fellows, all of whom are busy learning from and making a difference in their respective assignments. From looking for potential Kiva Zip borrowers in Kenya, to crossing a wide swatch of the South Punjab region in order to visit clients, these fellows will do what it takes to get the job done. And best of all, they are willing to share their unique experiences with us all.

Continue Reading 6 August 2012 at 08:00 2 comments

The Olympics and Microfinance in the search for Identity

By Icaro Rebolledo| KF18 | Peru

As our new job title appears to have changed to ‘Global Head of Olympics Events Watching’, our often dormant patriotic side comes out with a vengeance ready to shout at or even knock down the TV screen in an effort to support our athletes (I say ‘us’…  is it just me!?). You have had the pleasure of enjoying a unique feeling of celebrating ‘just’ the effort and hard work despite the lack of triumphs (unless you are Chinese or American, then you celebrate stuff like gold medals!) and you have now officially become an expert in sports that you didn’t really know existed (if you have any questions about weightlifting, I’m the man!). Yet, even though the Olympics seem to strengthen the existence of national borders, they also break the barriers of language, age groups or culture to show that in the end we have more similarities than we think; I see no other explanation to Mr. Bean’s ability to make 1billion people laugh with such simplicity! I give him a gold medal.

Such similarities often make us strive to differentiate ourselves from the rest and look for our own identity. Elements that encourage identity building also lead to a greater likelihood of motivation to think about our goals and achieve them via self-believe. So… as Peruvians proudly celebrated their Independence Day on the 28th of July,  I started thinking about why my work is contributing towards the provision of an environment that is prone to inspire people to think about their own identity. (more…)

3 August 2012 at 09:40 2 comments

Lessons from building sand castles and from peruvian micro-entrepreneurs

By Icaro Rebolledo| KF18 | Peru

Meet my new friend Piero and our new castle! We randomly met whilst I was running by the beach and he was just hanging out; yet we immediately identified a fundamental issue uniting us on that Saturday morning… WE WERE ON A MISSION TO HAVE FUN! After a failed attempt to find a football, I asked…“Do you know how to build sand castles!?”; his eyes brightened and I interpreted that as a clear sign that he was an expert at it! So, excited he replied…“No! But you must know!?!?”. Well…I really could not remember me having ever lead a group of people or lead myself to build a sand castle!… but the pressure was on and I needed to perform! So, together we created what you can see (above) is a pretty solid sand structure with direct access to the beach!

Who would have thought this experience was going to, not only boost my self-esteem as I discovered a new talent, but also freshen my perception of my adventures in Peru so far.

For the past two weeks, I have been visiting people from mainly rural areas in Northern Peru, who have taken a loan with Kiva (more…)

13 July 2012 at 14:58 5 comments

Fellows’ First Days in the Field

by Luan Nio | KF18 | Nicaragua

We think we are all well-travelled, educated and smart, with great interpersonal skills and able to handle difficult situations. But what does actually happen at a Kiva Fellow’s first day in the office?
Most of us have not worked in microfinance before, have never visited their destination country and sometimes don’t speak the local language as well as they might think.

Here are impressions from around the globe during our first day with our assigned Kiva field partner.

(more…)

30 June 2012 at 11:03 4 comments

Ceviche and Pisco Sour

By Eduarda Carmo Vaz | KF18 | Peru

For those of you who have never been in Peru on a 28th of June, you might have missed a very important fact: today is the NATIONAL CEVICHE DAY.

Ceviche, a dish made of fresh raw fish marinated in lemon juice and spices, is without any doubt the most famous Peruvian dish.

So what does a Kiva Fellow in Lima do in such a day? Logically, it goes to a “Ceviche Festival”.

Continue Reading 28 June 2012 at 17:00 7 comments

Peruvians, Hawaians and Italians…Small scale globalization?

By Icaro Rebolledo| KF18 | Peru

Back at university, a friend of mine used to tell me that if I couldn’t cross the road walking (as opposed to running) then I should not cross the road. Personally, I thought he was just being lazy, but he had a point… so I started walking. However, here in Chiclayo (Northern Peru) I would argue that if you don’t run to cross the road, then you really are not 100% sure you’ll make it to the other side… so I have gone back to running, with a 100% success rate so far! ‘Unlearning’ a little has indeed been the goal I have found both most challenging and most important! On the one hand, I have never tried ‘unlearning’ anything in my life! On the other hand, how are we supposed to properly understand the context in which people live, if our reasoning is so influence by our own preconceptions!? I’ve always thought that people themselves know what’s best for them, much better than any person outside their day to day environment, which is where empowerment comes in to play.

Yet, a pizza has made me re-assess this a little!…Yes! The pizza spoke to me!…. or more the guy who made the pizza; a big, friendly (more…)

27 June 2012 at 11:11 7 comments

Update from the Field: Life as a Fellow in San Francisco, a walk through an art fair + becoming part of a winning soccer team

Compiled by Isabel Balderrama | KF17 + KF18 | Bolivia

On this week’s update we have a great collection of posts describing some of our Kiva Fellows’ Class 18 arrival to their new and exciting field assignments. But first, we are treated to an article from an out-going fellow who takes us on a visually-pleasing journey through Mexico’s largest artisan fair. This week’s journey also takes us to Kosovo and to its capital Pristina, where we will learn more about this small new state in the Balkans. Then its off to Peru, where we are given the opportunity to learn more about Kiva’s goal of creating a global link between lenders and borrowers by examining one example: promoting community development through team sports. Yey for soccer! Finally, the narrative wouldn’t be complete without a Kiva’d up take on The Real World which you should read if you have always wondered what the famed week of fellows’ training in Kiva Headquarters, San Francisco is like. Enjoy!

Continue Reading 25 June 2012 at 09:00 6 comments

Scoring goals and helping construct a global community from Peru

Icaro Rebolledo |KF18 |  Peru

Whether it is the Greek/Egyptian elections, Rio +20 meeting or the 2012 Eurocup (c’mon England!)…all the people involved have something to learn from our local Father’s Day football tournament here in Chiclayo- Northern Peru. Yes, we won the tournament!… and how great it feels to be the champions (and score plenty of goals!). Yet, the real enjoyment happened when everyone came together to share the prize (a few too many bottles of beer); if you saw the dancing you would certainly understand! It is crucial for as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the benefits of individual success in order to create a sense of community and strive towards a common goal; political, environmental or any other (more…)

20 June 2012 at 07:41 4 comments

Lost in Translation

Compiled by Philip Issa | KF17 | Palestine

We’ve all had these moments: Trying to impress a native speaker with our ability to speak their language, we compose an elegant sentence in our minds, open our mouths, and… proceed to swallow our feet whole. Indeed, we Kiva Fellows have had no shortage of these moments – we’ve twisted and tortured whole phrases so that they come out no better suited than to embarrass and offend.

So here are a few stories of us Fellows shattering our carefully constructed, professional identities with a spectacular “whoops!”

Continue Reading 16 May 2012 at 09:00 5 comments

Sweet Deliciousness

Compiled by Michael Slattery | KF17 | Togo

Despite the often upbeat tone of fellows’ posting on the blog, I’ll be the first to admit that the position entails some universal hardships.  There is the occasional social isolation that leaves you Saturday night at home with a book and bottle of the local plonk, despite apparently leading a life of swinging exoticism and sun-drenched adventure.  There’s is a lot of driving around, waiting, driving some more, and then getting told some tall tales by people who look at you like you’re definitely one of those foreign imbeciles that regularly swallows half-truths and thoroughly enjoys the taste.

Kiva Fellow Carrie Nguyen, Peru, delivers on delicious: ceviche made of jungle fish, marinated in lime juice and sliced onions, served with yucca and chifles (banana chips). Cost, around ten soles, or USD $3.50

I’ve also come home and spent a good hour picking black soot out of my ears and my nose, then showered and found the water around my feet an unhealthy, industrial smelling, swirl of charcoal.  (I also associate the smell of burning plastic with Africa, most often first thing in the morning, as dutiful sweepers light fire to the last day’s fallen leaves and dropped plastic bags.)

Not to be outdone, Kiva Fellow Jen Truong, Cambodia, sticks up for the homeland with some fresh crab stir-fried with Kampot peppers straight from the garden, for three happy diners (or one author). Price USD $ 7.50

Fortunately, there’s food.  Blessed food.  Balm to the solitary and bruised soul; and even if the full stomach isn’t spiritual salvation, it is a way to warm the heart, as many a romanticized grandmother may have advised uncomprehending grand-daughters.  Kiva Fellow Chris Paci has pointed out that I can eat a lot of food in a given day, which is more or less true, so I thought to spread the love and identify who among my colleagues are the true foodies.

Straight from the Bosphorous to your chest–err, hips–Kiva Fellow Kim Strathearn, Turkey, gives us Sekerpare, semolina sponge cakes soaked in syrup and hazelnut, presented with chopped pistachios and a sprig of mint. The author says, send him to Turkey, Kiva, and let him rot his teeth.

Kiva Fellow Jamie Greenthal, the Philippines, says, take that land lubbers: fresh sea scallops shucked and served raw on the half-shell, pulled from the Philippine sea, on Calituban Island. Price, free. Because Jamie is a pirate. Arrrgh! And takes what he wants! (Actually, the scallops were a welcome gift from borrowers in recognition of his arrival, but hey, who said stories had to be true? Estimated price in a restaurant, USD $5 to 7).

Kiva Fellow David Gorgani, the Dominican Republic, shows us how island living really works. Please support his application for Survivor: Paul Bocuse’s Kitchen.

End result of the Young Man and the Sea: fresh fried fish with tostones (fried plantains). Price USD $8-10 depending on the size of the fish.

Intermezzo: time for a cold one to wash down the previous delicious meals. Kiva Fellow Jen Truong, Cambodia, refreshes us with sugar cane and orange juice. Price USD $0.50.

Kiva Fellow Devon Fisher, Kenya, brings us some coastal Swahili delight from Mombasa: fresh fried fish. Say it all together: samaki hii ni utamu sana! (Kiswahili for this fish is delicious!) Price, delicious.

Kiva Fellow Micaela Browning, Mozambique, keeps the fish theme alive with xima (a paste made with casava flour) and little delicious fishes. Price, delicious. (Micaela, by the bye, pays her student fees by hand modeling).

Kiva Fellow Jen Truong, Cambodia, does the delicious hat trick and three-peat all at once: fried fish, fried chicken served in unusual but delicious fashion, and stir-fried morning glory with a side mango salad. Price, USD $10 for all three.

Kiva Fellow Adria Orr, Samoa, destroys the seafood delicious fest with the ultimate in deliciousness: the roast suckling pig…for the office lunch “feast” to welcome new loan officers into the fold. Price, pirate discount. Island love is high.

Kiva Fellow Ryan Cummings, Liberia, gets us back to rice country with his typical lunch at the office: served with a piece of chicken and eggplant. Simple yet elegant delicious. And not a roast suckling pig.

Kiva Fellow Philip Issa, Palestine, paves the way to increased rice delicious sophistication: Eggplant Msaq’a (مسقعة باذنجان), which is eggplant and beef in a tomato sauce, garnished with pine nuts. Not featured is the accompanying yogurt.

Getting in his ten cents of deliciousness, the author shows today`s lunch: a hither never seen before dry fufu desi (sauce) made of fried fish and some kind of vegetable. Price 800 FCFA or USD $1.60.  Savour the deliciousness in life.

As ever, my thanks and recognition to the other fellows.

Michael Slattery (KF17) is serving as a Kiva Fellow with WAGES in Lomé, Togo. He’s pretty sure that one day he will have a coronary bypass and a large stock holding in an antacid producer.   Find a borrower in Togo and lend today!

4 May 2012 at 12:08 2 comments

Update From The Field: Client Visits In Bethlehem, A New Partnership In Cameroon + A Peek Into A Loan Officer’s World

Compiled by Allison Moomey | KF16 & KF17 | Bénin 

KF17 fellows have now made their way into the field, which means new workplaces, new countries, and new cultures for us all. Even more importantly it means fascinating new blog posts from every corner of the globe for you. Check out this week’s posts and join fellows as they observe microfinance in action Palestine, share about a great new partner in Cameroon, visit a village bank in Peru, and adjust to life in Togo. Then continue reading to learn about a cricket-raising business in Indonesia, microsavings in Mozambique, Senegalese politics, an apartment search in Mongolia, and a loan officer training in the Philippines.

Continue Reading 27 February 2012 at 02:56 5 comments

A Fellowship in Photos (Part 2)

By Kate Bennett, KF15 Ecuador / KF16 Perú

After my first placement in Ecuador, I thought I knew living and working in South America- three months in Ica, Perú proved me wrong. New (and delicious) food, a drastically different (and drier) climate, and wonderful new friends, coworkers, and chicha-vending Kiva borrowers showed me another side of South America’s many amazing countries and cultures. As I phase out of my second fellowship back into the real world, I want to share these photos, and photos from my first placement in Ecuador, with you lenders and give thanks to KFP and Perú for an amazing fellowship experience! Click the photos to see them enlarged!

Kate Bennett (KF16) is thrilled to be working in Ica, Peru with Kiva Field Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren. For more on Kate’s experiences with Caja Rural Señor de Luren or life in Peru, follow her work here.

4 January 2012 at 04:00 1 comment

Update from the Field: Loan Officer Training, a Photographic Journey + Kiva Gift Cards

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

December has long been the month of annual awards, looking back and frantic searches for presents. The Kiva fellows blog is no exception to this rule: Share the fellows’ memories by taking a photographic journey through Sierra Leone and watching a video about a typical day of a fellow conducting loan officer trainings. Learn about some incredible women in Costa Rica, who received a Woman Entrepreneur Award from Kiva’s field partner, Fundación Mujer. And to avoid the frantic searches this year, consider surprising your loved ones with the gift that keeps on giving, the Kiva Gift Card.

Continue Reading 12 December 2011 at 02:00 1 comment

The Do-Gooder’s 2011 Guide to Responsible Giving: Kiva Cards

In the United States, it was ushered in on Friday the 25th of November in the wee hours of the morning. Here in Ica, Perú, it is manifested in the towering polyethylene Christmas tree and tinsel-adorned telephone booths in the Plaza del Sol shopping mall. Around the world, in many forms, it’s upon us: the season of giving.

And every year in the Bennett family, we duke it out to see just who can give the most responsibly: we exchange goats through Heifer International, carbon credits through Carbon Fund, and donations to NPR and Wikipedia. That is, until several years ago when we discovered the apogee of responsible giving: the Kiva Card

Continue Reading 8 December 2011 at 04:00 5 comments

Update from the Field: Adapting for Borrowers by Borrowers, Microinsurance +SKFL

Compiled by Jim Burke, KF16, Nicaragua

A Warm Welcome! Manana offers the best from her garden. By DJ Forza, Georgia

This week’s Fellows Blog focuses on adaptability: Adapting microinsurance to poor households in Indonesia, an MFI in Turkey adapts to the needs of women entrepreneurs, a multifaceted borrower in Nepal adapts to market pressures, and a Kiva Fellow adapts to changing expectations. In a continuation of The Stuff Kiva Fellows Like series we hear how different fellows have adapted to their lives abroad by ‘crashing parties’ and ‘going to the Bazaar’. We hear about how practitioners are adapting finance and microinsurance products to their borrowers. Equally nimble we hear from a few borrowers and how they have expertly adapted to market pressures and changing circumstance. Microfinance is a dynamic industry by nature and like DJ or Binu or Maya Enterprise for Micro Finance, ensuring success means staying flexible and welcoming new opportunities born out of challenges. (more…)

28 November 2011 at 01:01 5 comments

To Kiva Fellow or not to Kiva Fellow. Eso e’ la pregunta.

By Robert Gradoville, KF16, Peru

Should I become a Kiva Fellow? I imagine a lot of the Stories From The Field blog followers have considered applying to the Fellowship, or have wondered what the comparison is between the Kiva Fellows Program to similar volunteer or development programs abroad. This may include the Peace Corps, overseas research grants, overseas workshops on topics in development, Fulbright Fellowships, Rotary Scholarships, and possibly service-learning trips if you are currently students. The list goes on and on. And it can seem like a big and slightly mystifying list for anyone who just wants to make a decision and DO SOMETHING!

This post will compare and contrast “what it’s like” to be a Kiva Fellow to the myriad other programs out there.

Continue Reading 20 November 2011 at 20:06 4 comments

How do You Lend?

By Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru
The most challenging part of trainings for we Kiva Fellows is not instructing loan officers to obtain signed consent forms from borrowers, or explaining how money moves from lender, to Kiva, to Caja Rural, to the client. The most difficult explanation is often how and why. That there are hundreds of thousands of lenders out there, all excited to make a $25 loan to someone else in the world- at no gain of their own- is often lost on new loan officers. But making this clarification is what enables these extremely important players in the Kiva process to understand why it all works, and why providing details that show clearly the life of the borrower is imperative to facilitating the connection between borrower and lender.

Continue Reading 16 November 2011 at 04:00 2 comments

Update from the Field: Earthquakes, 5Ks + The Pain of Sickness and Loss

This week’s Fellows Blog is armed with stories from the field: stories of the uncertain world borrowers live in, and how they (and we) cope with it. We’ve learned that everyone gets tired running a 5K in Paraguay, but for a good enough cause, we can will our legs to power through it. That everyone gets scared during an afternoon earthquake in Peru, but even so, borrowers, coworkers, and Field Partners will lend a hand to anyone that needs it. That everyone gets hungry, but there are no shortage of Kiva borrowers in Peru who are ready and willing to whip up some lunch. That everyone gets sick, but there are openhanded Kiva Field Partners in Ecuador trying to extend financial support to those who might not get better anytime soon. And sadly, we’ve had to learn that for all of our strengths and fortitude, no one is impervious to the sting of death. It affects everyone that plays a part of Kiva’s story, but those left behind can honored these individuals by persevering all the more.

Continue Reading 7 November 2011 at 00:47 3 comments

Ica’s Next Top Chef

The challenges of rural and agricultural microfinance are many: the least of which, in the case of Kiva Field Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren, is living in the middle of the Sechura Desert. But Caja Rural’s clients show the same impregnable determination I witnessed during my first fellowship in Ecuador. Against all odds (and weather patterns), they’re growing their businesses, investing in their lives, and laying the foundation for a thriving future.

This week I had the pleasure of getting to know Kiva borrowers Mirian Dora and María Victoria. Mirian and María have a lot in common- they’re in the same line of work, they support generations of family members, and they represent successful Kiva borrowers in Ica, Peru…

Continue Reading 5 November 2011 at 02:00 2 comments

Earthquake! (and Disaster Mitigation through Microfinance)


Last Friday morning my Fellows Blog post mentioned the devastation of the 2007 Peruvian Earthquake in Ica, Peru and the surrounding areas. At 2 PM local time later that day, another earthquake shook the city.

Kiva Fellow David Connelly, my predecessor here at Kiva Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren, has written before about the 2007 8.0 magnitude earthquake. The statistics are chilling: 519 people dead, 1366 injured, and some 76,000 homes collapsed. “After two and a half years,” he wrote in 2010, “Ica is still very much recovering.” Last week’s comparatively modest 6.9 magnitude earthquake made it clear as day that the wounds are fresh…

Continue Reading 1 November 2011 at 08:42 5 comments

Update from the Field: Expanding the Reach of Microfinance, Downsizing Development + Why We Kiva

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

This week, you have no fewer than 14 new articles to choose from on the Kiva fellows blog: Let the fellows take you along on borrower visits across the world. Learn how Kiva field partners expand the reach of microfinance in Rwanda, fill the microfinance donut hole in Sierra Leone and improve social performance in Uganda. Find out what poverty is like in urban Tajikistan and rural Burkina Faso. Get inspired by one of the creative ways to bring renewable energy to the developing world in the form of a soccer ball. And finally, watch a video of “Why We Kiva” to get a glimpse of why Kiva fellows jump at the opportunity to be thrown half way around the world to work with Kiva’s many local field partners.

Continue Reading 31 October 2011 at 02:49 5 comments

Microfinance by Land or by Sea

By Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

I spent last week at the beach. But from my resiliently pasty skin, you wouldn’t have guessed it. For better or worse, I wasn’t in Camaná, Perú to suntan and lay by the ocean, but in fact to visit borrowers with Kiva Field Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren….

Continue Reading 27 October 2011 at 06:00 4 comments

Update from the Field: Farewells, Mistaken Identities + Micro-Microfinance

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

We’ve officially hit the point in the Kiva Fellows cycle where the current batch says goodbye just as the latest group is getting their bearings at Kiva HQ. Fortunately, there are a number of posts this week to help us through the transition and cheer us up. If you’re interested in a comprehensive image gallery of the hot designs for share taxis in Rwanda, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also got stories about micro-micro-businesses in Sierra Leone, visiting research fellows in West Timor, and the intersection of medicine and microfinance in Bolivia. Plus, take long trips to the field in Armenia and Peru, and catch up on the impact of microloans in South Africa.

Sierra Leone Poda-Poda

Continue Reading 2 May 2011 at 00:38 4 comments

25 Years Working Where the Need is Greatest

By Noreen Giga, KF 14, Peru

Founded in 1986, Prisma is celebrating 25 years of bringing “financial services and non-financial services to disadvantaged communities in order to strengthen them, and promote sustainable social and economic development.” And the credit branch of Prisma, Microfinanzas Prisma, formed in 1994 is celebrating 17 years of reaching Peru’s urban and rural poor.

Continue Reading 26 April 2011 at 15:02 1 comment

Update from the Field: Cute Pigs, New Toilets + Everything is Relative

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

It’s hard to believe but the current batch of Kiva Fellows has been in the field for over two months and most of us have only a few weeks left to go. We’re getting swept up in completing deliverables, making the most of our final month in country, and starting to plot our lives after Kiva. (Travel plans = fun. Applying for “real” jobs = less fun.) Fortunately, starting May 7, a brand new assortment of Fellows will be coming your way and a few KF14 veterans will be sticking around to show them the ropes. So stay tuned for more trips to the field, insights into local culture, contemplations about next steps, and stories of microfinance in action.

Continue Reading 11 April 2011 at 00:45 6 comments

A day in the life of a rural loan officer

By Geeta Uhl, KF 15, Peru
I accompanied Norma, one of FINCA Peru’s rural loan officers, on one of her typical days in the campo outside of Ayacucho. Rural Loan officers have the toughest job at FINCA Peru and their banks usually have the lowest default rates.

Continue Reading 7 April 2011 at 16:00 4 comments

Update from the Field: April Fools, Terrible Coffee + Getting Attached

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

We hope you enjoyed our April Fools post on Friday! While we were entertaining ourselves pulling it all together, we also found the time to attend to some serious matters: coffee in Colombia is no joke (in a bad way), some borrowers are easier to locate than others, and oftentimes Fellows must say goodbye to people and places before they’re ready to. We also learned about the “No Pago” movement in Nicaragua, the elections in Peru, what daily life is like for a Fellow in Bolivia, and how to sensibly and respectfully collect past-due payments in Ghana. Somehow there was even time to host a previous Fellow and a documentary film student in Colombia and to visit borrowers, eat chocolate, and stop for the view in Armenia.

Continue Reading 4 April 2011 at 00:46 8 comments

Special Update from the Field: Beaches, Safaris + Cambodian Glamour Shots

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Kiva Fellows are nothing if not creative. We’ve gone to elaborate lengths to convince you that it can be hard to visit borrowers and that when we’re not trekking for miles, we’re doing elaborate calculations or dealing with databases and reporting. In truth, it’s all a front for an extended holiday from our regular lives. You thought our recent Carnival coverage represented a change of pace? Think again!

Continue Reading 1 April 2011 at 00:13 7 comments

In Peru, the race for President heats up

Geeta Uhl, KF14, Peru

On April 10, Peruvians go to the polls to choose their next President. Elections are taken very seriously here, as voting is mandatory and there is a 3-day national dry period before and on Election Day. Five candidates are running for President, and recent polls suggest that the race is still wide open.

Continue Reading 31 March 2011 at 16:17 4 comments

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