Friday, 11 January 2013

Chugging Along

On Wednesday morning, we met with Annie and Vishnu (a staff member here at CRHP) to discuss our compost pit project.  We will be helping CRHP jump start a compost pit on campus to be used as a model for other villages.  CRHP has recently begun working in a neighboring village called Indiranager and would like to eventually implement a compost system in their community.  We decided to make an existing area deeper, and in addition had to clean out the areas removing trash and weeds.  It was tough labor considering the "dirt" was mostly large rocks due to the three-year drought going on here.  We all took turns using the Indian version of shovels, which was a lot more difficult than we had expected.  We spent about two and a half hours digging the pit, and then we were all nice and dirty!  For once, the cold showers felt great.

After lunch we had a class discussion about malnutrition.  It was very interesting to hear everyone's opinions and take into account all of the new information we have learned since being here.  When approaching these sensitive issues such as malnutrition or sanitation, there are so many factors to consider, and often times one type of intervention or solution will not be effective from village to village.

We then met with Dr. Prem, a researcher here who is working on collecting data in Indiranager.  He talked to us about different types of observation techniques and what to look for when visiting villages - indicators of health, etc.  We will be going in groups of four to collect baseline observation data to be used later on.  Our groups will be assessing child health, sanitation, and water use/supply.

Continuing our busy day, we met with some CRHP interns and  fellows to discuss their roles and responsibilities.  It was really cool to talk with them in a casual setting about their work here at CRHP.
Many of us are still struggling to understand how the Jamkhed model can be applied in other parts of the world.  It is such an incredible thing happening here in Jamkhed and in so many of the villages working with CRHP.  The staff members here are great resources and such nice people to talk with, constantly offering great advice to us as college students interested in pubic health.

We are finally sleeping through the night and getting used to the craziness of Indian culture.  We are loving every minute of our time here!

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