Completed a week of interviews!

At the beginning of the week I continued my research and wrote a draft of a questionnaire. Then I met with the staff and made necessary changes. I have been making small changes every day to make sure everything was clear. The first two days were very disorganized because Gayatri was on leave and we didn’t have a proper schedule. We just showed up at a village and interviewed whoever was there. I think of it as a semi-piloting period to make sure all my questions made sense and are appropriate for the interviewee. A lot of the questions didn’t apply at all the the one 14 year old girl I interviewed. So now after thinking about it I decided to only include women 18 years and older in my sample. 
Monday we completed two more interviews with women who had gone through a skills training (mehendi, beauty parlor, sewing etc). We have done 14 interviews in 6 days and I have less than two more weeks until Riya leaves (my interpreter) to finish all my interviews. I have been entering all of my data in a spreadsheet so that when I am done with interviews I will be able to properly analyze my data.
Gayatri Ben and Vayshali, a health worker in Setco’s main anganwadi’s village, have been taking us to the women’s houses which is great. (Gayatri made a schedule of what villages we will go each day so now I feel a lot better about the organization of everything.)All the women are all so sweet and it’s nice for me to get to see the insides of the houses. The only thing is that it has been kind of awkward to ask the family and children to leave so that we can conduct the interview privately so the women are not influenced or scared to answer honestly. I think its the best thing to do but it’s a fine line because I don’t want anyone to be offended either. 
This is also the first village where I feel like everyone stares at me because I am foreign. The first two weeks I didn’t feel like I was treated differently or looked at at all! I was so so surprised. Now I just get lots of kids practicing their “hi” and “bye” phrases which is so adorable.
SETCO has also helped me get a sim card and they have given me a laptop to use which is so great. (At the beginning I was regretting not having brought my laptop because the PCs are not always available).
Blue lab(the Michigan students) left on Saturday so now the guest house is so quiet! Another intern arrived yesterday from Mumbai so now its four of us in the guest house. I think now I am officially the only white person in Kalol.
I am still obsessed with the amount of cows everywhere! But it turns out that they are not all cows!! I was in shock. Apparently half of them are water buffalo so most of the community’s milk comes from the buffaloes and not the cows. 
I have decided that my favorite thing about Indian culture is being barefoot indoors. I hate wearing shoes so having to take them off all the time is the best feeling. I also like sitting on the floor.
I still go to the anganwadi sessions with the girls sometimes when I have time. The first picture is of a girl who did her own mehendi. I am hoping that today she will be able to do it for me. The second picture is of the health workers and teachers in the anganwadi dancing. They are such great examples for the girls. It has been four months since one of them has gotten payed by the government but she still comes in to work every day for the girls. I have been able to interview them and it surprised me how much power they have in household decision making and financial matters.
I feel like time is flying by and before I know it I will have to leave.
😦 I am trying to take advantage of each day and try to learn as much as possible.

IMG_6354 Health workers dancing with adolescent girlsIMG_6519 IMG_6523 IMG_6638 IMG_6828

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About Ariana Paredes-Vincent

Ariana Paredes-Vincent is a Junior majoring in International Studies in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Ariana is interested in pursuing a career working in NGO settings and international development. Ariana is half-Peruvian and has volunteered with a variety of NGOs in Peru and cofounded Project Opportunity, an organization that supports youth transitioning out of institutionalized care.

2 thoughts on “Completed a week of interviews!

  1. This is was such an insightful post. It really shows how much you’re loving your experience and taking full advantage of your time there. Know that your time is limited is a sad realization, but an important one as well. I’m positive you won’t waste a second and are soaking it all in! Again, I love your photos and can’t wait to hear how the interviews go!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Ariana! I am so proud of all of the work you are doing with SETCO. Writing a survey is a difficult process, but it sounds like you are taking all the right steps! Did you ever get mehendi on your hands? That picture is lovely! I have really enjoyed reading your blog and I cannot wait to hear more!


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