Saturday, October 07, 2006

Vamos Compañeros!

Yes, there was so much work that I didn't even think about posting something. I wonder how nice it could be to be an "anthropologist" without a project! :) It could be so easy, just hanging around without going deeply into any subject... Nice, but boring after a while, I think. Anyway, after one month of doing whatever you can call it - thinking, trying, reading, asking, talking, dreaming, "sleeplessing", crying, smiling, searching, writing, thinking again, reading more and more and still too little, stressing, reading too much and so on - I think I've achieved some victories and I know: what, who, where, when and even why!!! Some conclusions about these w's and other things:

1. I am totally satifisfied with my supervisor! We've met only once but she mobilizes me and is so encouraging and give me energy to go go go go go.

2. I am going to write my thesis in Norwegian. I know it would be great to make it in English, but... ok, I am not going to complain on it any more!:P Anyway, I was discussing the subject with the supervisor and I've decide that I am not ready to torture myself and will try to concentrate on the content more than on form. I will probably translate it later to Spanish so you'll be able to check the stuff out!:)

3. I've chosen the place - Nicaragua, León municipality, Telica district among volcanoes Cerro Negro, Telica and San Critóbal (webcam). The placement of volcanoes in Nicaragua see the map.

I am not sure in which village I am going to stay, but I'll figure it out when I'm already there. But I would love to stay in San Jacinto (english) - due to its hot springs (spanish) and theirs ambivalent influence on people's health and use of the place as a tourist attraction (sic!) - kids are guides and EXPERTS on the subject! It is also estimated (SINAPRED's raport in pdf, spanish) that San Jacinto is the most vulnerable place (sitio crítico) in district when talking about natural risks.

I've been in contact with geologists and medical stuff from Central America and I have to say that I am really lucky with those people! I've got so much interesting and needed informations, documents and advices that I will always be gratefull for this. I think those first contacts with the field mean really much for the course of our projects - they've responded to me so enthusiastically that I felt blessed by this. Thank you all Nica people allready now, when I have 3 months yet to join your lives!

I've been invited also to participate in a conference for prevention and mitigation of natural disasters! Thanks for that CIGEO !!! It will be in January, so it's great start for my fieldwork. In spite of the fact that I am not going to focus in my "investigation" :) on risk management and survival strategies, it is important for me to see the way SCIENTISTS works, talks about stuffs and about people they are going to TEACH REALITY.

4. The main focus will be on:
  • production of scientific knowledge (geological and medical)
  • local knowledge
  • conflict between different epistemologies
  • understanding of scientific data and different use of them
  • understanding of illness (illness vs. disease) and attitude to modern, standard medicine
  • nature as an object or subject?
  • landscape, dwelling, history, narratives, place identity
  • the problem of risk concept will surely come out, but I won't make this to be the sentral one in my project. And, if I will take the subject up, it won't be surely social construction of risk, but social construction as RISK PERCEPTION.
Question is: kan we use beliefs and perception of nature as an approach to understand conflict between local people and the experts?

5. We, my boyfriend and me, are going to Costa Rica at the beginning of January and take a bus to Nica (have to apply for american visa to take a plane some cheap plane to Nicaragua - and actually it will be fun to do this - it is not so far away). I'll try to be in the capital - Managua - for a few days to meet those people with whom I am corresponding now, visit some libraries, archives and so on. But actually I am going to be in Léon the first month - taking spanish courses, meeting people, getting to know country, people (haven't been in South America before!) and myself in the field. Léon (spanish, english) is still "the intellectual center of the nation" with three universities, international colleges and so on. That is why I do not feel the pressure to be in tha capital too long. I think and I hope the libraries in Léon will be enough. And the place is beautiful, just google some pictures, oh God, all those colonial churches... I love all form for sincretism! I just want to be there NOW. It's funny - I've never been interested in Latin America... :)

We are going to stay at the Red Cross shelter in Léon so I am pretty proud of myself that I've managed to arrange this already! Once we are there, we hope to practice the snowball method!:) I've also get info that they are some shelter in San Jacinto so it is totally perfect. Our aim is to stay at some family's house in the village... as everybody's :)

Bartosz will be with me until March and I am going to continue my fieldwork until July. So I will end up with six months fieldwork and I hope to use every minute of this time! I just can't wait!

I'll not bore you with theories I am going to use. At least not now.

Other things:

1. I am totally on cloud nine for being polish right now (I do not have any problems with it!). Translation of Malinowski's diaries? Gosh, you guys have to learn polish to get to know what is written there! Word by word, verse by verse, evolution of the mind and body... The language he is using is untranslatable! Especially those reminding more of scratch notes than "diary in the strict sense of the term". I was estonished by experiencing the similarity between his and my writing stile (in mother tongue).

2. I felt in love with
literature database!!! Totally! I think actually I am going to be obsessed by them soon :)

3. Working on Films From The South Festival - you who are in Oslo now - don't miss this!!! Great fun!

4. Go me! Go me! :P

Labels: , , ,