Saturday, December 12, 2009

My first big survey

Tomorrow I am starting my first big survey. I say my first "big" survey, because I did a Master's research project years ago where I carried out a small survey in health facilities in Eritrea. But this survey is big. We are going to 95 communities throughout the district of Nsanje. I have created 8 separate questionnaires for collecting data. We have hired and trained 10 survey enumerators and 5 supervisors, rounded up the cars, printed, numbered, translated, tested, revised, ordered, packed....I have been living and breathing this survey for the last two weeks, and spent a ton of time on it in the months prior as well.

It's like planning a wedding - I have spent all this time, obsessed, nit-picked, changed my mind...and tomorrow I'm just walking down that aisle, no looking back. If anything goes wrong at this point (and I'm totally paranoid it well), we'll just have to deal with it.

Tomorrow I will go out in the field with one of the teams to make sure they know what they are doing, then good god, I hope I can spend the rest of the week here in the office just doing data entry. That would be so great and mindless. Anyway, I thought I'd try to post about it a bit, because my dad is always asking about my work and what exactly I am doing. And of course, I never really have much to say on that point. So this week, I will try to do better, dad.

Right now, however, I am sitting in the office at 7 at night, being attacked by mosquitoes, while I wait for the car to come back. We had to send it in search of my colleague, who left without leaving the office keys. I hope they find the guy - I really want to get back and take a cold shower (the only kind available at the Madalitso Lodge, I'm afraid).


Tina said...

Haven't they invented screens there yet???!!!

Gwyneth said...

Tina, you know, I think I should ask the office manager about that! They have screens on the windows, but nobody has screen doors here.