Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The start of field work has been delayed at least 24 hours because of awaiting IRB approval. Mandie and I still have plenty to do, but the interviewers have been told to come back tomorrow. With the help of local staff Mandie has gotten the field office into shape. It is where the data manager / pilot project site manager will be located along with the refrigerator for biospecimens.

The photos aren't of remarkable subjects, but the heat in this location is. February is supposed to be one of the hotter months here. This field office is not air-conditioned. The fan is important, but hot air is still hot air. To the right is a picture of one of the admin staff helping set up the field office.

The refrigerator doesn't have the pampered life the CPC freezers enjoy. Maybe the coming months will make the field office more habitable. This is the most powerful floor fan known to mankind. It has 3 speeds. Just Speed 1 is like a cyclone.

We have held training sessions for field staff all this past week. They are a great group. All have been a pleasure to work with. Such a patient group! They have listened to us drone on in a room with a temperature hoving around 100 degrees.

There is a lot of interest in the community about the project. Two community meetings have already been conducted and turn out at both was gratifying.

Found this fellow in our shower about 6 a.m. one morning. We're so boring the monkeys don't even visit. (That's what happens when one works all the time and a good time means extra sleep.) Received word yesterday that a male elephant was cruising our neighborhood and while there was no immediate danger, we were to exercise caution. Well, didn't see the elephant either. We do have bugs in plenty however.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hello from Mpumalanga Province, South Africa and the Conditional Cash Transfer Project. Today Amanda Selin (project manager) and I are training interviewers on the use of mini laptops and QDS survey software at the Agincourt Project Office. It is HOT. Fans are running, but hot air is hot air. The interviewers are enthusiastic and have jumped into the laptop training with both feet. In previous days Amanda has conducted different trainings including ethics, biospecimen collection, household recruitment, SOPs, and counseling. The field staff are a good group. I have spent most of my time here thus far working on programming the Shangaan versions of both questionnaires, one including audio. Beginning to hate the sight of my laptop! We pretty much work all day and into the evening every day. There's a lot to do, but Amanda is tireless in her efforts and the pilot moves forward.

A few pictures are included. That lizardy looking thing is just that. He lives in the main room window of our small house at the WRF (Wits Rural Facility). The road views are what's to the left and right of our driveway. One of the two bedrooms is air-conditioned, so we share the room and recently used it to also house some biospecimen materials including a centrifuge.