Happy Anniversary

I thought perhaps the Research Ethics Committee would decide to give me an approval for my Anniversary, but still no luck. Instead, I got to transcribe one hour and 37 minutes of an interview with a hammer banging loudly in the background and a squeaky door swinging open and closed. At least Elena did an awesome job of note-taking, so it’s not nearly as painful as it could have been. Elena and I continue to be entertained by some of our initial misinterpretations (i.e. “there is a stance” instead of “the resistance” and “paper beans” instead of “paper bins”), but it makes me all the more grateful to have two sets of ears listening to tricky parts of the recordings.

I’m now trying to make some informal appointments with some health workers to get a sense of their experiences in implementing accreditation so that Elena and I can better prepare for the focus groups that she will now, almost certainly (with any luck) be conducting on her own after I leave. Since we don’t have the formal approval, we can’t go through the official hospital channels despite the fact that these discussions wouldn’t actually be part of the research, so we’re relying on friends of friends. Here’s hoping!

Despite my feelings of regret at extending my stay, tonight erased any bit of regret I might have…although not for any professional reasons. Elena and I spent a wonderful evening with Abraham and Ruth Chikasa and their family. Their teenage kids actually prepared an amazing feast for us (I really need to figure out the trick to this before I have kids) and we had the most pleasant conversation…the perfect combination of fun and relaxation. We learned more about Zambian history and culture in one evening than we have in two weeks here. If I had to spend my anniversary away from Buck, this was about as good as it gets.

Petra, Ruth, Caleb, Abraham, and Casanda

Petra, Ruth, Caleb, Abraham, and Casanda

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