Since our excursion on Monday, Keily and I have been busy little beavers (Canadian content) getting ourselves ready to begin interviewing next week.
An overview of our work this week:
- mapping and scheduling our plan for the coming weeks
- planning logistics
- making lists of key informants to interview
- reviewing a study completed last year in the community to make sure that we build on it effectively
- developing and polishing up translations of interview questions
- drawing up plans for our first focus group
We’re planning to spend from a few days to a week in each of 8 communities which we’ve chosen strategically based on their locations, population densities, etc. In each community, we’ll meet first with the local ADESCO (community development organization) to explain the study, then carry out one-on-one interviews with community members, then run a community meeting. These meetings, hopefully, will be fairly fun and dynamic. And there will be food, so hopefully that will lure folks in if nothing else!
Keily and I visited one of the communities – Las Veraneras – the other day. I spent some time there last year helping with some housing projects and conducting interviews with a vegetable gardener. It was great to be back there to see those folks again. The gardener especially. His garden is now twice the size that it was last year, he’s selling produce in town, he’s teaching his neighbours and he’s doing it all organically. He’s really innovative and enthusiastic about explaining everything he’s doing too. A great story of success.
Today was a day of introductions. I toured around the town with Epilogos’ office manager to be introduced to some of the key people in the town center: the directors of the schools, the doctor in the health clinic, the mayor’s office, the police, and the priest. I explained to each of them what we were doing and they were all enthusiastic to help however they can. I also met the office manager’s gorgeous 3 month old niece. I explained the project to her too and she seemed to be in agreement.
I’ll leave you with an interesting story…
I spent last night chatting with a 28 year old firefighter who’s here visiting from California for a little while. He was born just down the street from here but was adopted by an American couple as a baby, during the civil war. He only just discovered that he was Salvadoran and somehow found his family here. He arrived a few days ago to meet his mother, father, brothers and sisters for the first time. He doesn’t speak a word of Spanish and so he’s had translators with him to help him to communicate with his family. Incredible.
And finally, my little cousin is getting married back in Canada tomorrow, so to Jill and Dan:
Que el día de mañana de inmensa alegría, sea el comienzo de una serie de momentos maravillosos y sin fin. Feliz matrimonio!