Sunday, 15 July 2012

Quick Update

Hello lovely readers! I'm sorry for yet another large delay in posting but this month has so far been a little crazy. It's my final month here in Chennai and tomorrow (Monday) marks the two week countdown to my flight back to Rome. I'm sad to be leaving, nervous about whether I have compiled enough data for a PhD thesis, and excited to be heading back to my family and tasty food in Roma.

We moved out of our flat (because the lease ended) at the end of June and I promptly headed out with Nipsi and Alfonso for a quick visit to Bangalore where we met up with some of Nipsi's old friends and had some tasty dinners over four days. Racing back to Chennai on July 5th, I left the next day for a visit to Sri Lanka from July 6th to 10th, where Samia and I stayed with old family friends, took tons of pictures and had a fantastic time. Coming back to Chennai, I had a lot of stress and anxiety due to the uncertain housing situation but luckily I was able to find a room boarding with an elderly woman and her housekeeper. I'll stay here (or at least keep my things here) for the rest of my time in India, although I might move to Nipsi's or another friend's house the night before my flight since they're significantly closer to the airport.

As far as my work is going, things seem to be slowly coming together. The interviews with HIV+ women are nearly complete and the translations have been steadily pouring in. I was able to have one day of participant observation with one of the counsellors last week and will have more in the next few days, and I hope to interview the doctor in charge of the NGO on Monday. After that, my work will largely be completed here in Chennai and I am leaving for a week or so in Kodhaikanal, a hill station here in Tamil Nadu. While there, aside from enjoying the fresh air and lack of city chaos, I will hopefully have a chance to interview several Ayurvedic practitioners about their views on HIV, what they would prescribe for HIV related side effects, and how they see their role as healers in modern India. It should be pretty interesting so I am crossing my fingers that everything works out! Finally, I'll return to Chennai for a week or slightly less to finish up my research with final meetings and pack up my things.

I can't believe how quickly my time here in India has gone! And, of course, I have many, many blog posts to put up and I promise I'll do so as soon as my access to the internet is a bit more certain. So keep checking in and hopefully I'll have something new for you soon. :) 


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