The Challenges you face 

I have learned a lot this week about the challenges one faces in the workplace.

1) When conducting a study, first go through every question on the questionnaire and make sure you and your interpreter are on the same page.
2) Make sure the interpreter tells you everything that is said and doesn’t come to conclusions on their own. They are there to interpret, not conduct the study.
3) Be flexible. Schedules and plans don’t always go as planned. Just be able to work in any situation.
4) Be organized and always write everything down.  Be accountable.
5) Make sure you aren’t getting a convenient sample. Try to randomize it as best as possible before starting interviews.
Cultural facts I have learned:
1) Always take your shoes off before entering a home.
2) Never sit with your legs straight out when sitting with others.
3) Don’t touch paper, food, or people with your feet or to other peoples feet.
4) Eat with only your right hand.
5) It is very rare to marry into another caste or religion.
6) When menstruating, women are seen as dirty and cannot touch furniture or others. They can’t go to the temple until the third day.
7) Very rarely to people embrace.
8) They originally told me “aojo” meant goodbye so I have been saying it but it turns out that it means “you welcomed me in your home so you are welcome in mine in the future”. So apparently it doesn’t make sense to say aojo so I think I am going to stick with “bye”
This week I almost finished my interviews (46 interviews in 5 villages). I have learned how to enter data in SPSS and I have been working hard to figure out how to analyze it. My UROP professor from last year has been helping me with this. I think I know enough to do the analysis that I need (even though I am worried about my sample size being too small).
My interviews have been going well despite all of the challenges in conducting them. Because we have to go house to house to interview specific women we need to be accompanied by a health worker and Gayatri ben, who is in charge of the Women’s Empowerment programs at SETCO. I feel very guilty about taking their time so we finished the interviews early (stuffing lots of interviews into each day).
Tuesday we had our day off. Sweta and I went to the market in the morning and then relaxed the rest of the day. Today I will be having my last interview which is very exciting. I will miss going out into the villages and learning from the women and adolescents. If I finish enough work maybe I can go with Sweta or Nikita to the anganwadis. I still want Nila to do mehendi for me in Katol.
I have two weeks left in my internship which is very sad. I am learning so much every day. I hope my results end up being interesting!IMG_7057 IMG_7095 IMG_7107 IMG_7121 IMG_7134 IMG_7172IMG_7160  IMG_7217
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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.

3 thoughts on “The Challenges you face 

  1. Hi, Ariana! You are learning many valuable lessons about conducting research and Indian culture! I am so proud of all the hard work you have done (46 interviews!!!), especially with the the complexities you have run into! Congratulations on completing your interviews! I cannot wait to hear more! Thank you for all of the amazing pictures you have included in your blog posts!


  2. Can’t wait to hear about the results of your research — and it’s fantastic to hear that you’re learning so much about qualitative methods and working with interpreters. Those skills will serve you well! Have any of the interactions during the interviews particularly surprised you? Anything unexpected? Awkward? Funny?


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