July and back in the USA

The last two weeks of research went well – we collected 15 interviews with ACCA castañeros, and spent the last several days focusing simply on collecting non-ACCA interviews, which were obviously harder. We spent many early mornings at government buildings where castañeros had to come to, and with the help of Carlos, who worked at ACCA yet knew most of the castañeros, we were able to collect a total of 10 non-ACCA interviews, which we felt sufficient to give balace to our ACCA interviews. We now get to spend several weeks compiling the data, organizing it into an effective manner, drawing conclusions, and also translate our findings into Spanish so ACCA can more effectively use the data and conclusions we have.

Although I had spent a total of 2 months in Peru without any sickness, the last two days in Peru, I began to develop a never-ending headache, fever, and achiness, which indicated to me it was more than simply a salad which didn’t agree with me. After spending two days sleeping, and a day and a half feverishly wandering the Lima and Atlanta airports waiting for my flights, I landed in Roanoke, VA, and went straight to the ER at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. After hours of waiting and drawing blood, the final consensus is that I contracted dengue fever. I still have to wait several more weeks for my blood samples to return from the Center for Disease Control, at which point I will know exactly which serotype of dengue I was infected with.

Overall, my research went surprisingly smoothly, with many thanks to ACCA’s resourcefullness in allowing us to meet with the castañeros to get our interviews, and I had a great time exploring and spending a month in a section of Peru most travelers skip over.