Browsing All Posts filed under »Fieldwork«

More flooding in the Chaco

April 15, 2012

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Last year I had a lot of problems accessing my study communities because of heavy rains and flooding.  But they are calling this year’s flooding the worst in 14 years. Integrationville and Isolationville were cut off by flooding over three weeks ago, and a State of Emergency has been declared for the entire Chaco region […]

Working with vulnerable communities

February 24, 2012


While my community meetings have always ended on a very positive note, I want to be clear that it is not easy to establish a good working relationship in vulnerable communities.  You don’t just waltz into town one day and they welcome you with open arms.  My previous post may give that impression, but we […]

Introduction to the new study communities

February 7, 2012


During the last year I was in Paraguay, I was working exclusively in two study communities.  Both were Nivacle communities, but one was more integrated with the outside world (it was accessible by public transportation and home to a church mission, hence I nicknamed it ‘Integrationville’), and one was more isolated and difficult to access […]

My previous post was aptly titled

January 25, 2012

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I must be psychic.  Or perhaps just experienced in the ways of fieldwork. Yesterday the road to my study communities was all clear, but today it is rained out and the bus driver tells me he’s not leaving town tomorrow.  So, no fieldwork for me yet.  Instead, I’m going to do some DNA extracting in […]

They called me ‘Amanda poop’

November 12, 2011


While I was visiting my study communities, the kids would often sing-song my name when they saw me. At first it was "Amanda foto [photo], Amanda foto" because I always had my camera on me. Then it was "Amanda camion rojo [red truck], Amanda camion rojo" because they liked my big red truck. And then it was "Amanda samook, Amanda samook". Samook is the Nivacle word for 'poop'. It's okay, they weren't bullying me, they were just really excited about fecal samples.

On the move

June 26, 2011

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I’m heading back into the field again tomorrow.  I’m going to be on the move a lot during the entire month of July and will rarely be in contact.  I have some heavy duty surveying and sampling to do in both Integrationville and Isolationville, I’m dropping fecal samples off in Mariscal to be analyzed for […]

The importance of Dissertation Plan B

May 9, 2011

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I wrote my first grant proposal for my PhD research in the first month of the graduate program.   The project I proposed involved monkeys and humans.  The next proposal I wrote dropped the monkeys.  The one after that changed to a different group of humans.  I was introduced to a new theoretical perspective and had […]

Misadventure is my middle name

April 4, 2011


I had three compañeros with me for the trip out this time.  The quad was loaded onto the back of a 4×4 truck and we left Asunción around the mid-afternoon.  We had plans to stay at an estancia overnight and continue to my study communities the following day. But it rained.  So we spent an […]