Day 11

12 Jun

I woke up on maybe not the brightest side of the bed, but definitely a step up from when I posted last night! I think it was the Nutella 😉

I forgot to say before that Sunday a group of us went shopping in Miraflores and I had the best drink of my life! Mango Sunrise mmmmm 🙂  I saw a lot of cool things when we were out, but I think I`m going to save my shopping for when we go to Cuzco because things are supposed to be cheaper there!

 

This morning my module went back to Manchay (the shanty town outside of Lima) to knock on doors and ask some mommas questions about their babies, specifically what happens when the baby gets diarrhea. The whole point of doing this was not actually to gain information about the mothers` healthcare habits with their children, but to show our group the difference in responses you can get as a researcher based on how you ask the question. The survey we had to give was the same set of questions, but worded in different ways so that after each group got 24 surveys we could compile all the data and see how asking a question a certain way can influence the answer you get. It was very interesting! For instance, if you asked the mother, “When your child has diarrhea, what medicine do you give them?” versus, “When your child has diarrhea, do you give them medicine?” you could get 2 very different answers. The mother might think you are looking for a certain answer and therefore not answer truthfully so that she sounds right, or she might interpret the question wrong and not give you a relevant answer. Research has a lot more dimensions to it than you might think!

Manchay was interesting going through it the first time, but being up close and personal with it a second time was pretty eye-opening! The houses are truly shantys. When a family first moves their and are dirt poor they will probably get wooden slats that snap together kind of like puzzle pieces. Homes like this are specifically made for areas like Manchay where people can build a kind of make-shift house until they have enough money for concrete and other materials. We didn`t really get to see inside any of the houses (everyone is very leery here, when mothers answered the door they would kind of stand halfway behind it and not let you see part of them or anything behind them), but I imagine most, if not all, have dirt floors. None have running water or sewage. Manchay is actually a quite developed community because most houses have water tanks outside the homes where trucks can come and refill them (I don`t know how often but I`m thinking monthly?). Most homes also have electricity, whether it be legally or illegally attached to the electric pole, and there are outhouses rather than open defecation (ie people opening peeing and pooping outside wherever they want. Seriously. This is a global problem). A good chunk of the mothers we interviewed today were in their teens or 20`s. It was weird standing there asking them questions about their babies and seeing where they had to live, all I could think about how they were so much younger than me and had already lived through so much. There was trash everywhere, dogs everywhere, most houses we walked to didn´t even have a walkway it was just rock and a steep incline to their front door. I have no idea how they manage to carry things to and from their houses on the steep, sliding rock. I had a hard enough time just trying to carry myself up and down it!

The dogs. EVERYWHERE here. Every time I see one I play a game where I try and guess what breeds it is. Some of them are cute, some of them are losing hair and eating garbage and in general being very unappealing. I still want to pet and talk to all of them and give them love! Don`t be too surprised if I come home with a few 😉

The rest of my day was fairly boring, just some lecture and research analysis stuff. We did learn more about our trip to Huaraz this weekend though! We`re leaving Thursday around 1pm and will arrive in Huaraz around 9ish (you read that right, 8. hours. on. a. bus.), hangout Friday and learn some stuff about the community and tour a market there, stay in the hotel again Friday night, Saturday do some tourism things like visiting a glacier lake, then meeting our host families and eating dinner with them, staying the night with our host families, Sunday we will have a cooking class and make lunch for the group, Sunday night stay with our host families again, Monday compare our experiences with the rest of the group and write short stories on what life is like for a woman living in Huaraz, stay in the hotel Monday night, head home Tuesday morning. It is going to be a lonnnnnng weekend! I am totally pumped for it though 🙂 I may or may not have internet while at the hotel there, so if I don`t post for a few days you`ll know why!

Our host families are supposed to be very nice and are letting us sleep in extra beds they have. The school is providing us with sleeping bags so we feel more comfortable sleeping in other peoples` beds (and honestly I`m not sure how often they can wash their sheets). The only concerns we really have are that there will be no warm water while we are with the host families, so probably no showering. Annnnnd most of us will be getting a call from good ol Mother Nature this weekend, so the whole raging hormones, no shower, no running water, and latrine-style bathrooms is going to be FUUUUUUN.

 

The Struggle: I`m not really sleeping very well, not eating well, and don`t have a very efficient way to fit in any exercise. Needless to say I`m beginning to get a tad frustrated! I know that I will get used to it, and I`m only here for a month, but right now it just sucks not having my basic necessities.

The Silver Lining: I can sleep when I`m dead, one month without fresh fruits and veggies will only EMOTIONALLY kill me, and I´ve been trying out circuits to do without weights or machines and have been trying to walk to and from class everyday (about an hour of walking total).

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