Introduction to the new study communities

February 7, 2012


Community meeting

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 […]

Posted in: Fieldwork

My best laid plans

January 25, 2012



I’m in Paraguay again! I flew in on the same plane as Apocalyptica, who are apparently a cello-metal rock band.  They were in the economy cabin like the average person.  I respect that.  (Or maybe they just couldn’t get first class tickets?)  The dude with the drums almost asked me how to fill out the […]

More talk about poop, and some results

December 28, 2011

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fecal analysis equipment

While I was in Mariscal Estigarribia I spent some time in the regional hospital for Boqueron learning how they do lab work. They have limited resources, so they don't get to use very advanced techniques and often have to come up with creative solutions. In particular, I was interested in learning how they do their fecal analyses for parasites.

They called me ‘Amanda poop’

November 12, 2011


Part of my fecal sample collection

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.

I’m going back to the field!

November 1, 2011

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I found out a couple of weeks ago that I’m receiving a very big grant I applied for!!!  This means that I will be returning to Paraguay in January to continue fieldwork!!!  I am very excited (can you tell?!) and busy working out the details. That is one reason this blog has been silent over […]

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One of these things is not like the others

September 17, 2011

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One of these things is not like the others

The healthcare workers in the communities where I was working had a somewhat informal record-keeping system.  They would buy rule-lined notebooks (the kind that kids use in school) and keep track of their patient consultations and activities in them.  Some of the covers on these notebooks are more unusual than others, but I have an […]

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