“Have a hunger of the mind that craves for the knowledge around us.”

7 06 2012

-title from Maria Mitchell, American astronomer

Joy Ogunmuyiwa

June 2, 2012

11:02 pm

Moshi, Tanzania

Lodging for our first few days in Moshi, Tanzania.

There is a thrilling hunger that comes whenever you are about to embark on a new fieldwork assignment. It may come when you first talk with community partners or that moment when you hold your finalized itinerary for the first time. But make no mistake, it’s there, only to be fed and braced by the unexpected things coming your way.

Though, for me, it always seems to come a little later. There is the unpleasant reality that only a certain type of person gets thrills from the pre-departure phase of the project. Amid the chaos of organizing IRBs, booking flights, gathering survey materials and everything in between, those that walk in the realm of “don’t sweat the small stuff” or live by the tune “don’t worry about a thing,” really don’t have a place to call their own.

For me, it happens that first day on the field. Whether it’s when I’m waiting patiently to meet my community partner for the first time or desperately trying to figure out the local transportation to get where I need to go, I can’t really tell. But you feel a certain calm in knowing that your preparation has been weeks in the making, all leading up to this day. Hmm, a calm before the storm though? We are told that when we go into our fieldwork we should know that some things will go wrong, some things will go right, and many things will change along the way and that this is supposedly okay. But I guess this is where the hunger comes back again, ready to overcome those challenges thrown our way, warranting us a new perspective to examine what we want to achieve for the community and what the community ends up achieving for us.

My name is Joy and our project assesses levels of health knowledge, behavioral practices, and social attitudes regarding cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors, sexually transmitted diseases, and substance abuse issues in Mwika Uuwo.

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One response

7 06 2012
dukeglobalhealth

Joy- I love this post! Very real, true emotion. Thanks for sharing. We can’t wait to follow along your journey. All the best, Geelea and the DGHI Comm Team

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