Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

Noloholo, Days 48-49: Knitting

Work has proceeded pell-mell these past couple days, and projects are piling up. By the end of my day, I am too tired to write! It’s now Saturday morning, and many questions have been resolved, so I take a quick breather to compose this email.

Our survey is moving along swiftly now. We’ve determined that there is no way it will be administered before I depart from Tanzania, but we’ve also trimmed it and begun doing test runs with the staff here. It has been immensely fruitful work, both Buddy and I seeing issues and nuances we hadn’t previously. Tonoui seems mildly confused by the whole thing, but his survey is the one that convinces us we’ve bitten off more than we can chew (after an hour we are through only 7/24 pages, all of us exhausted).

We decide to split the survey in two and continue forward with the back half of it. It is much more manageable and focused now. I’m quite pleased and am looking forward to continuing to refine it, and then develop the survey protocol. Either way, this is the part of social surveys that I love – actually putting the survey to work, sitting with real people and watching them tussle with answers and understanding. I’m learning so much from Buddy and the respondents about what the world looks like from here, and it helps that I’m finally able to understand many pieces of the Swahili that’s being spoken.

Andrew and I have been knitting in earnest now so we can give gifts to the Hadza before they leave (another reason I haven’t had time to update this journal!) Kelly and Christy will make yarn dolls for the 10 children that our 3 Hadza have, and Andrew and I can hopefully finish three scarves between the two of us for the Hadza themselves. We only have one set of needles, but it turns out that porcupine quills make excellent knitting needles so long as you don’t stab yourself. It’s been a while since I last knit anything - let's just say my scarf has"character." We have until next Thursday to finish, so the next week will be a marathon of knitting.

In the midst of all this, I’ve been reconnecting with friends from Duke and Northwestern over email. It has helped to ground me and remind me who I am. I feel at home here now; the thought of leaving Noloholo saddens me, and I start to wish that time would not slip by so quickly as it does now.
Tags: conservation, travel - tanzania
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