Yesterday, all the research teams split up and spent the last full day in Zimba gathering as much data as possible. The community health worker team went back to the health post to continue helping with Children’s Health Week, while learning more about the local CHW system. The indigenous knowledge research team tagged along to the event and were able to find someone to give them a tour of a nearby commercial farm. They gained a new perspective on different types of farming carried out in Zimba and even returned with some spicy chilies and for everyone to try, especially Khanjan with his affinity for hot foods. The product perception research team headed into the market with our cook, Susan, and leveraged her network to collect more data. Luckily she was kind enough to aid in the process by translating our questions to Tonga and their answers back to English.
Everyone finished up their research quests in time to meet for an educational meeting with the new greenhouse owners. Unfortunately, it seemed the key stakeholders were unable to attend at that time so we rescheduled the meeting for the following morning. On the second try we had all the necessary participants present and jumped into a discussion. During the hour and a half exchange we clearly defined a business model, encouraged an incentive system for those involved, and went over the important differences between open air farming and greenhouse farming. Afterwards, we got a group photo in front of the new greenhouse and bid our new friends adieu, promising to return sometime in the near future to see how everything pans out.
Once the meeting was over we hustled back to the mission house to collect our things and head off to Choma. Upon arrival, we sat down for lunch at a local restaurant to build up energy before conducting more research. The indigenous knowledge and product perception research teams met with Kelvin and ventured into a residential area, while others transcribed previous interviews and stocked up on groceries. Tomorrow the CHW team will be heading to the local hospital as they further their understanding of rural medicine in Zambia. Everyone will be back at it in the early morning in hopes of collecting a substantial amount of data before we move on to our next destination.