Lathan and I (Akshay) finally finished surveying Libertad!! We learned a lot about the communities throughout our three days of interviewing, and are excited to apply our knowledge in our future community efforts.
We started the day having completed 29 surveys from the previous two days. Based on the map we drew of Libertad, we knew that we only had to cover two more streets in order to have passed by all the houses. From the barrio profile that was given to us by Maria Eugenia, the estimated population of Libertad was 250 families. We knew from our surveys, however, that this was impossible. After two days of surveys, there was no way we could have passed by more than 60 houses. We ended up finishing Libertad with 41 surveys. We estimate that there are around 100 families in Libertad - much fewer than the estimated 250. Soon we’re going to take a look at the map of Libertad that Maria Eugenia has and see how that compares with our “homemade” version!
We ran into some “interesting” situations today. Today was probably the worst day in terms of our encounters with the neighborhood dogs. At one point, two dogs literally ran down a slope barking and bearing their teeth. I honestly thought they were going to pounce and attack me.
After interviewing one man for a few minutes, he exclaimed, “What kind of questions are these? I have to go now, sorry.” So, I stopped interviewing him and waited around his house for Lathan to finish his survey at a neighboring house. After a few minutes, the man came back and said to me “What are you still doing here? You are a stranger here, I want you to leave. You can’t just come here and ask us these crazy questions. People will burn you here. I don’t want to see your face here, please leave.” And all this was after I explained to him that we work with the microfinance groups, Doña Emiliana, and Maria Eugenia. Some people here are more trusting of strangers than others.
After we got back from doing the surveys, we hung out with Rodrigo. He took us up to his favorite hill, which has an amazing view of Cochabamba.
Then, we went to get some awesome Bolivian Greek yogurt, which is 1000000x better than American Greek yogurt.
Claudia is lactose intolerant, but she ate a whole bowl of yogurt anyway. It’s that good. Anyway, after about an hour her stomach was really hurting, so we dropped her off at SIM house and Lathan and I went to Rodrigo’s house to eat pizza. His mom is so nice! She was telling us how she and her husband started their own hardware store basically from scratch. Afterwards, we went back to the same hill to check out the night time view. It was a really fun night with Rodrigo (and his mom!!).