Field work has been going very well. It is, however, a very slow process. I can’t believe how amazing the workers are. They have been so helpful and patient. They know where to find all of the children we are looking for which is a hefty part of conducting this research. On average, it takes a little over an hour to do one interview. After that, we get back into the car and go to the next family, which may be in a different village. Many children fight the process, i.e. cry and run away. I’ve learned to say oh, don’t cry, which everyone finds very funny. Next week, I will be traveling up north by train to a very rural village and we will be conducting interviews there for six days. It should be an interesting experience.
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!
Yesterday and today were great days out in the field. This morning we met with three families. It amazes me seeing extended family all living together and helping out one another. Today, I walked into a shamble of a fort where at least twenty family members reside. The place was dirty, but cheerful. Though these people live off next to nothing (less than $200 a month for 6 people), they were hospitable and kind. Another thing that struck me about these villages I’ve seen is that they are colorful, a huge difference from the places I visited in Guinea and Liberia. A lot of the homes are painted red, yellow, green, etc.
Last night I attended the Konark Festival 2012 with Dr. Panigrahi; it was amazing! It was the last night of the festival that started with an Odissi Dance which was two twenty minute dances, one by women and one by men. The second act was Deepa Tharangini directed by Guru Smt. Manjula Ramaswamy, an acclaimed Nattuvagam artist in India. These young girls were standing on balls with a candle on their head and two in their hand. They would then lift up their legs and pose, and then they would turn. It was absolutely spectacular. And the climax of the show was Ustad Zakir Hussain, a classical tabla artist, who now lives in the United States. He was unbelievable and it was amazing watching him. Last night he received the 2nd Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Lifetime Achievement Award. Unfortunately, my camera did not to it justice as it did not take good photos, but I did capture some video. I am unable to post them to this site as they are too large of files. The concert took place at he Konark Natya Mandap located in the midst of casuarinas and cashew trees on a sand dune. It is a replica of the Natyashala of Sun Temple of Konark (which some say is the 8th wonder and is located 1 km away).