Today has been incredibly busy and really great! We did field work for about 6 hours. We had a rough start with the car getting stuck in the sand and not being able to find 3 children at their houses, but we ended with 4.5 interviews, so I’m super happy about that. As I’ve mentioned, many of the children cry when they are getting their measurements taken, as if it hurts them or perhaps it’s because they are scared of me, I’m not sure. This morning a little girl would not stop crying and running away. I couldn’t believe what they gave her to calm her down so she would sit still long enough to get her measurements taken-a packet of mixed pickles! I, for one, hate pickles, but this was mixed pickles and she was eating it out of a packet similar to a ketchup packet. It was pretty funny, Bubu was telling me about it (it’s like a reddish color, which is even more weird), but he said kids love it. I can understand ice cream, but mixed pickles, that’s another story. And the thing is, a number of these kids eat ice cream and chocolates often, as they have access to them. She was so cute, when she finally calmed down, squirting that pickle paste and sharing it with her sister.
After being out in the field, we came back to the AIPH building and I did a bunch of data entry and work. Later this afternoon, Bigayalaxmi, the only girl that works here, took me to the mall and the market! It was a lot of fun. The mall was packed with men as they were watching a game on the one small screen T.V. I bought some fabric there. We walked out into the market. I was thinking that since this is one of their big markets, that it would be crazy packed and pretty dirty. It wasn’t at all; it was actually very calm and pretty clean. I bought some jewelry and had a chance to talk with Bijayalaxmi. Upon returning to AIPH, we walked over to the tailor.
I’m preparing for my trip to Rourkela on Monday night. We will be taking a 7 hour train ride during the night. I will be there till the 13th. I’m not sure what my accommodations will be, so I will compile a list of things to blog about if I do not have internet. I’m really liking Bhubaneswar and will be very sad to leave it.
The time passes by so quickly. Every morning I get up around 5:45. I talk and mingle with people in the building and eat breakfast. Today we left to do field work around 9:00 a.m. Most days we try to leave at 8:30. We were able to interview another 4. Yesterday, a strike occurred, luckily, I did not make it out into the field. However, the awesome field workers, Dr. Dileep Kumar Dalabehera and Shakti Pratihary (nickname Bubu) were able to get some interviews done. Have I mentioned how awesome these guys are?! It was another great, hot day in the field. Came back to the compound for a late lunch and did some data work. There are about 500 questions asked, so it takes hours to enter data. I think I am going to shop for some Indian clothing tonight so I am pretty excited about that!
I have been in India for over a week now and my sleeping is finally getting back to normal. Yesterday, I went out into the field again, we were able to interview 4. The third house we visited, we were placed inside a dark empty room with no window where we sat on the floor. Children and others gathered at the door leaving little room to breathe. It was hot and there were flies everywhere. In my shoes, on the floor, by my eyes. I wanted to tell the kids to move away from the door but didn’t have the heart to, instead I found their big red ball, that the little boy had been licking, and started to play catch with three little girls and the boy. It was a lot of fun and turned out to be one of the more enjoyable homes I’ve visited. I asked the little boy if he wanted to come with me and they all wanted me to stay :) It was very sweet. Today, I walked to the market down the street. It is super scary crossing the streets here. I held the guy’s hand, who was guiding me, like a little kid. After the market, I did laundry which took a long time. Articles of clothing are still drying. I then went to work on my project, started getting ready to analyze the data when I get home. A man from the Gates Foundation was here tonight and I had a chance to meet with him. Dr. Panigrahi presented over the history of AIPH. It’s been a good and productive weekend. I am ready to get back into the field tomorrow!