Friday, 28 June 2013

First full day of interviews

Well today we finally got properly stuck into the interviews and had one with a coordinator of an Extension Planning Area (about 26,000 households) and one with the Extension Officer responsible for one section of the EPA (about 79 villages). It was a full day which started with some printing, getting bread and snacks, water and a newspaper from the bakery and a petrol station, then off to find the first interviewee.

It was nice getting outside of the city to the more rural areas. Even though we didn't venture into the truly remote areas today, even just going some miles out of town you start to notice how very different life is (and this is life for the majority of the Malawian population). This is the Malawi I remember from last time here (I didn't spend long in Lilongwe before). So many sights on the way - carpenters making cabinets, sofas and coffins by the side of the road; men stripping old tires for their rubber; people on bicycles carrying sacks full of various things a metre high; goats on the side of the road; women carrying buckets on their head; children playing around the schools at break time.

Coming back to town
Both interviews were very successful - there was a good rapport and openness to the answers. Something I definitely think would have been compromised if I had recorded them with a dictaphone. Thankfully using my laptop rather than writing down I can take notes much more quickly, which also saves hours afterwards in writing up. Came home at the end with lots of great material and also a much refined set of questions for the next time I interview the same type of people. Tomorrow it's back on the road and into the first village, this time to interview the village head and one of four farmers.

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