One thing that’s been bugging me, though, is how to handle nutrition during a long day of enumeration. We have been able to do 6-10 households per day, starting at 8am and finishing around 3pm. During enumeration training, the project would pay for lunch for everyone and brains continued to function in the afternoon. However, out in these rural villages, there isn’t exactly a quick lunch stop on the corner. As a moderately-prepared American student, I keep Cliff Bars and filtered water in my backpack. But, my colleagues don’t usually eat until they return home at 3 or 4pm! This seems extremely painful to me, and they look exhausted at the end of the day when I load and check the data (and I'm sure it has NOTHING to do with how exciting it is to stare at numbers in a database).
But maybe I'm too quick to judge. After all, I actually have no idea how often they eat when they’ve had other jobs. And its true that lunch, or chakula cha mchana (meal of the afternoon) is usually much later in Tanzania than the usual American noontime lunch. Maybe my desire to keep enumerators well-fed falls into the category of feeling morally obligated to pay a high salary? It could be about brain fuel to prevent data errors or it could be about imposing my American-style work day norms. Unclear.
Anyway, I can stop trying to be such a foreign donor and be a bit more realistic about meals, but still, I wish they’d bring a snack to keep themselves sustained.