Telemedicine in Brazil: Arrival in Community

9 07 2010

Hello everyone, Rollin here. I had little to report in this past month, as I was simply preparing for the fieldwork that I am about to begin. The past month has flown by as I have edited my instruments and passed my proposal through IRB review. I left Campinas almost a week ago, staying in Porto Velho, the capital city of Rondonia, for the weekend. Monday morning, I met up with the students from NAPRA (nucleus of support for Amazonian riverside populations), an organization Edumed is working with to integrate the telehealth program in Cuniã. There were over 50 students that arrived via a 3-day bus ride from São Paulo, though they were destined for 4 different communities, including Cuniã.

The Riverboat to Sao Carlos

We embarked on a riverboat and made our way up the Madeira River, arriving five hours later in a small “city” called São Carlos de Jamarí. The team heading to Cuniã, myself included, stayed there overnight before leaving at 8 AM, taking the 15-kilometer trail through the dense forest that leads to a part of Lake Cuniã. By noon, we arrived in the Cuniã community, tired but excited.

The Health Post in Cunia

Since then, I have begun to settle in and begin working, though I will not begin interviews with my questionnaire until tomorrow at the earliest. I am very excited to get my research underway, and I do hope that the population will be responsive and happy to participate. Thus far, I have only encountered friendly faces, as the community is closed and quite small. Adjusting to the heat and humidity has been difficult, as it is regularly in the 90s with 90% humidity. I’m sure Durham’s summer will seem mild after I return from this trip. I will be sure to blog more as my fieldwork gets underway.

All the best to my classmates in the field, and to all of you reading this.

-Rollin Say

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