July 15, 2013

The Night Before

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:51 am by satsanga

The night before…

 It is the night before we leave for Nairobi, Kenya on our research mission. My bags are packed, research materials are ready, and our daughters have detailed itineraries for while we are gone. Grandma is here to make sure it all happens.

 Jerry, my husband, and I are at the edgy point. There are still things that can be done and we are not sure if the extra two bags of donated clothes and books will be free or $200 each—a big swing. We have conflicting information. Truth will be told at check-in tomorrow. We have made arrangements for the girls in the case something happens and we don’t make it back. As hard as it is, those types of things must be done. We also have the repairs to be made due to the car break-in Thursday: (a) I am picking up my new yellow fever card at 9:00 AM at the travel clinic and, (b) the glass repair people are coming between 9:00 and 12:00 to fix the window on the Envoy.  All will be set right just in time for our departure at 1:55 PM.

 The piles of research materials have been distributed across Jessalyn, Carla, Jerry, and me. The two research computers are with Jessalyn and Carla. I have materials to review on the plane. Nothing we need for the research will be checked. It will all be riding with the research team members in the cabin.

 It was not even a year ago that this began as an idea. It was last August, 2012. I was at Art of Assisting in Cleveland, Ohio. That summer I was finishing up work on a Concept Mapping project that explored the benefits of Cradle Beach, a camp for urban and special needs children in the Buffalo area. Paige Elenson was one of the Art of Assisting trainers. She spoke about the Africa Yoga Project and the exciting things that were happening. I reflected the whole weekend about how the Concept Mapping procedure would be perfect for exploring AYP. Concept Mapping is a qualitative methodology especially good at detailing the effects of novel projects. In this type of research, the researchers go in with no preconceived ideas and hear from the stakeholders and participants exactly what their experiences are. This is called a grounded, bottom-up approach. In this way, we will learn from the perspective of the teachers and students of AYP what it is like for them according to their words, their experiences and not our assumptions or according to our pre-constructed questionnaires. Essentially, the research will amplify their voices.

 After two days of travel, we will begin Wednesday with Phase One Brainstorming. Five teachers from AYP will train with us and become research assistants. Our team and the amazing people of Buffalo, NY and Boston, MA raised enough money to pay these teachers as research assistants. They have already taken and passed the CITI exam assuring human subject protections (as have the members of the team from the US). We are so very excited to work hand-in-hand with the Kenyan teachers as an integrated research team.

 So, tonight we sleep (or not) and are off tomorrow. My next ability to check-in will be late Tuesday. Depending on the Internet, I will be able to give an update. Keep us in your prayers and send energy!




1 Comment »

  1. Sending you traveling mercies!

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