Sunday, June 28, 2009

the field

we've escaped the classroom and entered the lovely outdoors to begin data collection. jenna and anne have flown off to tanzania for the uncommon dialogue conference, and swathi and matt have shifted their attention to writing their dissertations, so at this point it's just natalie, jenna s., myself, and rob working in-country on this next phase of the project. soon we'll each be stationed in different regions to serve as 'satellite' support to the field teams. after that (we hope!) we'll be waist-deep in data.

the social aspects of water system engineering really fascinate me... it seems crazy that we can sit at our computers and design survey/focus group materials, and then bring them into communities to literally engage everyday people in hours of structured conversation. our pilot showed us that people have a lot to say about their water situation in this long season of drought (punctuated by population growth, climate change, deforestation, and other hard realities that Kenya is facing), as if they've been waiting to tell us what is on their minds...

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