Observations of a Pelvic Exam

During one of my scribing shifts at a free clinic, a patient came in with concerns about her menstrual cycle. Further discussion with my provider soon showed that she needed a pelvic exam immediately. However, compared to my observations of patients during standard pelvic exams and pap smears, this situation was different.

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A Few Final Thoughts

When we first came here it was just the three of us: Clay, Emily, and me. We came from diverse backgrounds and we brought different skills to the table. We were a great team. However, we became stronger both as a team and individually as we were exposed to our work and research at Instituto Mora.

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Distribution of EU Aid in Mexico: A Preliminary Look

The Fellowship ended August 8th, with several maps half made and a report half-finished. We simply ran out of time as Fellows, although with the trainings that we conducted over the summer for both geocoding and geospatial analysis, ObservaCoop should be equipped to create basic maps for the report comparing the distribution of European Commission aid projects in Mexico with indicators such as poverty, violence, education, and more. Although I was not necessarily permitted to publish those maps, I did have access to the geocoded data and consequently constructed an elementary model of EU aid distribution at the state level using tools from my econometrics course that I took spring of this year.

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Reflections and Struggles

Now that I’m back from Spain and have cracked open a book on social movement theory, I have begun to process the data and the experiences that I had while abroad. I think that one of the most important things that I learned from the interviews was that the Pumarejo is not one thing. I had assumed before that it was a social movement, titled Lo Hacemos Nosotras, however, I discovered that that was merely a branch of a larger organization. Now, this could prove a challenge as I continue my research because organizational theory and social movement theory are very different. Moreover, the Pumarejo is both a house, called the Casa Grande del Pumarejo, but it is also an organization made up of a diverse network of collectives, like the Bibliopuma (the library), Mujeres Supervivientes, etc. It appears that the very reason that inspired me to do my research (the question: how are all of these diverse traits able to intersect with reasonable success?) can merely be answered with “Because that’s just the way it actually is.” There appears to be no active effort to mesh all of these interests. So what do I do? I believe that by tilting my research away from this angle and focusing more on the symbolic meaning of house to the diverse members of the organization provides a more rich study of the collective identity of the Pumarejo. I was fortunate enough to interview a eclectic cross-section of individuals for this study. It has been an honor working with these inspiring people who fight so hard every day to preserve what they believe in. DSC02615I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity by the Charles Center to return to the place that enchanted me so much and that I could see myself living and working someday. This has been an infinitely enriching experience and I hope to continue to grow because of it. Thank you!

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Over the Hill

July 24, 2014

At, last we’ve finished!

We’re about two weeks past our intended deadline, but we have finally finished geocoding and exported the raw data set from Toolkit. Ultimately we had documentation for 34 projects for a total of 855 project locations geocoded. Clay is currently going through the process of quality assurance to make sure that the geographic locations that we assigned to the project activities are updated and to make sure that the dataset does not suffer from any repetition. As soon as he finishes, we’ll be able to start making maps in ArcGIS and conduct statistical analyses for the final report. Certainly geocoding was the most arduous of this process – and it was complicated by the other tasks that we had to field for ObservaCoop.

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