Analyzing Sediment Samples from Maupiti and Mo‘orea: Methods

Last week I started my summer research at VIMS, performing grain size analysis on sediment samples from the islands of Maupiti and Mo‘orea in Central East Polynesia (take a look at my abstract for more details on the specifics of the project). When I wrote that abstract at the beginning of the summer, I was planning on analyzing samples from just Maupiti. However, after taking a look at the samples that Dr. Kahn collected in 2014, we decided that in addition to analyzing the two sites on Maupiti, we would be able to look at several samples from the nearby island of Mo‘orea as well. [Read more…]

Cultural Reflection

Written 5/15/15

All the kids here wear logos like “Barbie” and “Angry Birds” that are totally American. None of it is even translated and it all is identical to what I see at home. At first I found it comforting, but the more I think about it, the more I find it distubring that my culture is so invasice that it reaches even a small city in Peru. I never considered “Angry Birds” to be of such importance.

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Time to start the real work

Written 5/13

It seems evident that I am going to need to change a few key aspects of my research. I had planned on taking the first week to do interviews individually during the evenings, but that does not seem possible. There’s only two people who could really translate for that, and they happen to be busy. All. The Time. It doesn’t seem logical to take that time from them. I also don’t think we could actually get the class participants to cooperate with that schedule. They all have a lot going on and don’t seem to stick to (or even make) long term plans very well.

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Quotable moments

Written 5-13-15

Short quotes from the first day or so:

On the way down from the airport Sarah said, “I didn’t want my kids caught between two cultures feeling like they didn’t belong to either. But the only way to do that was to put them in school with Peruvians. And the schools here stink. So I made my own.”

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