We decided to pack all our stuff the night before, so after waking up, there is not much more to do than bringing our backpacks downstairs and waiting for everyone to arrive. I am taking my last typhoid vaccination pill from the little fridge in the ‘lobby’, so from now on, I am at least 70% proof according to the doctor. Luckily there actually was a fridge until so far, there probably won’t be any after we leave the capital.
We started the first day of our field trip with a meeting in a café nearby the guesthouse we were staying. Elias’ flight would not arrive before evening but the rest of us would have a workshop with three AITM students who would join our team to visit the first case site from the next day until Saturday.
Our field trip is getting really close now. One of us is already in Nepal, while the rest of us are leaving during the weekend. On Monday 5th March we will start our 2 weeks field trip and meeting with our first stakeholders. Therefore, for the last few days, we have been busy getting our backpacks ready. I thought I could share some useful tips with you on what to bring when travelling to a rural area where you might not have access to all kind of services.
1) Agree on the problem first
The project you are working on, is an answer to something. If all the problems have been solved and needs catered, what is there left to do? Nothing, but fortunately that is rarely the case. Rather, there are often way too many things to be addressed. You can’t save the whole world with one project – you know that! But where to start is the trickiest question. People from different backgrounds share different values. A major issue in your view might not be a priority for someone else. To define the problem and a topic you will be working on, it is important to do your background research well, meet and discuss and then meet and discuss again.
2) Choose your partners, let them help and teach you but be in charge of the direction
After the first weeks of discussions, arguments and research, we finally have something to show to the world: a project website! This will be our base camp, a progress diary, our way to communicate with the outer world, our information hub and maybe, in a distant future, our platform to showcase our results.