Pii-Team Update (Leah Catotti)

It’s really sad to think that this is our last week here at WISER, but it’s nice to reflect on what’s been an incredible summer. The 11 DukeEngage students have taught in schools, done nutrition and water research, explored Muhuru Bay, and danced, laughed, and had fun with the Wiser girls.

I’ve been working on a program evaluation of the Wiser clean water intervention with two other Duke students, Jenna and Danielle, and three Wiser alumni research partners/translators, Zainabu, Diana, and Nancy. On Friday, we completed our 134th interview with community members who use “Wiser water.” One of my favorite parts has been driving around on a piki between Zainabu and Elvince, my friend and piki driver. Every day was like a scavenger hunt, trying to find our interviewees, when we did not have their addresses or full names. It made me more flexible and adaptable, as most things did not go to plan, and helped me better understand what real field research is like. Each individual interview was interesting to hear, but it’s even more interesting when we recognize the barriers to use that are repeated most often, or realize that 93% of respondents say that Wiser water has affected/changed their life (all for the better). Jenna, Danielle, and I all have different skill sets and approaches to doing things, but it’s been fun putting them together.

I’ve also enjoyed working on the Wiser girls music video, a poem to Lupita, running/walking in the first Wiser- Run Like A Girl 5K, and all of the other projects that are coming together in our last bit of time here. I’ve had so much fun with the Wiser girls (especially Integrity House!) and been inspired by them, learned about how to do field research and what makes community interventions effective, and reflected on my strengths/weaknesses and the career path I want to pursue. I’m so thankful to have been so welcomed into Muhuru Bay and Wiser this summer and I’m going to miss them so much when I’m gone.

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