Following on from my previous blog on my first impressions of Malawi (May 2013):
We spent the last week at the ASAP office in preparation for our intensive two weeks of
data collection. It has been great to collect my thoughts on the data I require and to revise
my interview design before it all begins. I also met my interpreter, who I am sure will be a
great help in my research.
Our weekend at Liwonde National Park was amazing- a world away from Blantyre. It was
very isolated and we were the only ones staying at the lodge on the Friday night. I would
recommend the park to anyone, as not only can you do a normal safari, but you can also
see the area from a canoe on a trip down the Shire River.
The food at the lodge was excellent- I had what I imagine to be my first and last steak of
Blog Entry 3 2/6/2013
The last two weeks have involved intensive data collection. I conducted 75 interviews in
total, and on many days I was exhausted afterwards. The interviews were all held
outdoors, normally under a tree, and mostly located at local primary schools. It was great
to be able to meet all of the respondents, and my interpreter was fantastic.
These two weeks have also taught me something unrelated to development research: I
cannot eat sugarcane! It is quite a challenge, but Lena was excellent at it!
The last three weeks have been very productive, even though I haven’t been able to do as
much data collection due to lack of transport. I interviewed three final respondents, and
today had a debrief meeting with ASAP. I have also had a lot of time to begin thinking
about how to put my research findings together, which I am grateful for.
Besides research and study we also had the opportunity to (finally!) go to Lake Malawi this
week. We spent a very relaxing and enjoyable three nights there… It was so beautiful, I
didn’t want to leave! The souvenirs there are very much superior to those in Blantyre, so I
was also able to buy lots of pieces to take home.
It was sad to say goodbye to everyone at ASAP and those who had participated in the
project, especially my interpreter with whom I had been getting along with very well. But, I hope to be back in the near future.