I am obviously in the rollercoaster of the thesis – yesterday I felt like a complete idiot! Who do I think I am, coming from fancy Sweden and assuming that in two months I will have a better understanding than the locals about the extremely complex situation of the water management in Cochabamba?
Days like those I am incredibly happy to be with my partner in crime Tess – what would I do without her?! When I’m sobbing, she comforts me and rationally explains why we are not idiots, that our research purpose has a different approach which although it will not change the world, will result in a presentable thesis. Then she tells me I can have an ice cream, and everything feels manageable again.
We decided to broaden our perspective a little and include more stakeholders, and today we have conducted another two interviews. It is a little bit tricky since we cannot just go out in the street and ask anyone, but need representatives from selected stakeholders. But so far we have done five interviews, and we have possibly five more this week. All in all we might possibly end up with 15 interviews, which would be a huge amount of data. But then we are free to choose what will be interesting to us, which is way better than struggling with too little information.
On the personal level, we are still in awe of this country. We see so many beautiful things every day, and the people are incredibly nice and helpful wherever we go. This past Sunday was Día del Peatón, pedestrian day, which meant no motorised vehicles from 9am to 5pm. As I was doing a participatory observation from 8.30am to 10.30, I had to walk 45 min to get back home. What an experience! It felt like two weeks after the apocalypse, or post-oil-peak. So calm and quiet, and the air is less contaminated. I was walking in the biggest roads and saw entire families biking everywhere and people selling juice and ice cream in the middle of the streets. I was filled with joy and prosperity when I got back home. This happens three days per year here in CBBA, and it is surely an eye-opening experience…