Monday, February 20, 2012

The Trial

The IRB approved my project and I am now officially in the 3rd week of the trial. The days are long and I come back at 4pm caked in dust and eat my lunch. At first it was all very sexy. I would put on my helmet, get on the back of a motorcycle and travel into the village TO STOP THOSE BABIES FROM DROWNING!!!

If there were a ride of Bangladesh if would be on a rollercoaster shaped like a motorcycle. Speeding fast through the rice paddies AND QUICKLY SWERVE TO MISS THE GOAT and skidding on some mud/cow dung AND STOP SHORT FOR THE COW and drive fast enough so the children don’t jump on with you AND WATCH THE RICKSHAW.

One day I moved a little too much and Momotaz and I fell off the motorcycle. It was scary and a bit traumatizing but we’re fine and finished the day on motorcycle.

And don’t get me wrong, Public Health will always be romantic, but the trial has lost some of its shiny. The base stations we deployed are encountering all sorts of technical difficulties, making false alarms and discouraging the mothers from the bracelet use.

We pull up to a household. Coughing from the dust, covered in mosquitoes embedded in our clothes and take numbers and questions and observations from the mothers. But a lot of the mothers are not pleased with the intervention. Something I have worked on for 6 months. And who can blame them? Can you imagine working hard in the field all day, cooking dinner, finally putting the baby down and that stupid alarm that that girl from America installed goes off waking everyone up?
But I’m keeping my head up. It’s all science and this is what science is—messing up and re-doing and hoping to come out a winner.

In better news I went to India for half an hour today (visa issues), during which I bought some sweets, heard a Krishna band, and saw three transvestites in sarees.

Much love,

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