So lately Jake and I have been feeling pumped about how we’re doing with our field work. For example, when in the middle of an interview someone stumbles on their words or forget the name of, say, an ex-commander of the FARC, we help them along by suggesting the name and “alias” of the person, and we’re almost always right. Or we provide them the historical date of something they are trying to explain but without being able to remember the exact chronology. It is at these moments when we realize that we have learned a TON since September.
On Monday when we visited one of our case studies we were a bit nervous about being able to find people to interview. Much to our surprise, though, after an hour long ride through the sort of rugged rural roads that Jake loves, we found ourselves in the exact village where multiple candidates for congress were campaigning that day. When the caravan of politicians arrived, people stepped out of their cars and we recognized them from the banners in all the towns of eastern Antioquia. Another few stepped out and we realized we actually knew them and had met them at other random moments of field work. They greeted us like old friends, as politicians do. And then all the campesino leaders from the region arrived, making it easy for us to find good interviews.
Also, today we presented our work at the University of Antioquia here in Medellin. I say “our” not only because the work is shared and a product of both our thoughts, energy, and effort, but also because Jake was asked to do a separate presentation about his writing and ideas for journalistic articles. The feedback we got was great, and it was also really respectful and appreciative of our work. Yet another reminder that we know what we’re talking about these days.
PS – This group of researchers usually includes our dear old friend Johnny-Steve, but somehow they “forgot to invite him” today. Bliss.
PSS – Here’s more photos from our case study location: