Sunday, July 22, 2012

Update At the End

Weeks have gone by.

Miles have gone by with their villages and town centers, and the faces of communities and their leaders remain with me.

I’m in the unfortunate position that I am somewhat dissatisfied with the quality of data my research team has brought back to me. I think I'll get something out of it, though I will have to pick and choose. This is pretty much entirely because of time. Even the sharpest need a couple of dry runs to get the bugs worked out, and these fellows are no different. I don’t hold them responsible. 

I hold myself responsible, for not figuring out faster that I needed to get more permits/ducks in a row.

I hold my Master’s program responsible for not using their many connections to better provide support and guidance for me – especially when I’ve had only one year to complete this. However, this is the inaugural class. And I knew coming into this that there would be bumps in the road, and that our bumps would benefit the classes to follow.

I hold my students and their collaborators responsible for not knowing their own permitting regulations… sort of. I mean, can I really blame them for just telling me the status quo, and not realizing that having a foreign researcher who wasn’t originally under their umbrella would be different than foreign students who are under their umbrella? 

But regardless. We’ve learned bunches! Figured out how to do proportional piling reasonably well (though a little late), refined the focus group strategies, and learned a lot about connecting the dots between district, subcounty, parish, and village. 

There was also random knowledge gained. Greetings and thank you's in three languages, ate way more bananas than anyone ever should (in my opinion), and learned about bacterial banana wilt – probably one of the most serious threats to the food supply here.

And now I leave in two days.

And submit the first draft of my case study tomorrow.

Which begs the question: why am I writing a blog post?
Answer: to get my creative juices flowing.

Here goes nothing!

1 comment:

Kelly Donithan said...

Friend, worry not. Soon, you'll have your degree with possibly not the data you envisioned, but an experience that you'll cherish for a lifetime. While the time I've known has been short, it has been long enough to know what you are capable of. I have complete faith in you, and I can't wait to hear about your adventures. I know it has been frustrating and draining, but keep your head above water (especially when white water rafting!), and enjoy yourself. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, although I, myself, must get writing!! See you soon!