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January 13, 2011

A week and a half into second semester, and I am thoroughly happy about my decision to stay for the year. The first week was spent frantically planning and designing my research study–on which I am now collaborating with another student–before heading back to Tena last Sunday. Instead of diarrhea (it was a crappy topic anyway) we will be studying rates and determinants of malnutrition, and instead of being based in Tena, we will be working with the Concejo Cantonal de Niñez y Adolescencia (the branch of the local government charged with protecting the rights and health of children) in Archidona, a smaller town about 20 minutes away by bus.

So far we’ve mainly been focusing on making contacts in Archidona and the surrounding rural communities, as well as putting the finishing touches on the 60-question survey that will form the basis of our research. It’s been a busy and exciting week. I’ll be working on a longer post to reflect on this week’s visits to rural communities outside Archidona, though time will tell if that ever sees the light of day. More detailed updates (and maybe pictures) will come when I have time.

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