Another awesome day. I met Rainy at 9:30 to head out to Deke village which is about a 45 minute BUMPY drive. The malnutrition program at Deke started three months ago. We were greeted with “salamat pagi” (good morning) from all the kids. We spent the first half of our day recording weights and passing out eggs, vitamins and milk for the week. All the mothers are holding their malnourished child or children and wait to be called. Rainy and I sit on a woven bamboo mat in one of the huts. It is pretty chaotic: there was a horse under the hut eating right behind us, pigs and dogs getting into fights, kids crying from being weighed and mosquitoes all around us.
After the typical malnutrition program and food distribution, we started the surveying. It was definitely harder than I thought. First of all, none of the women are literate, so they cannot write on the translated questionnaires. I imagined handing out surveys and pens to the mothers. But, now I know most women have only gone through elementary school (if they are lucky). Secondly, the survey went through three translations–Rainy asked the questions in Indonesian, one of the women from the village translated the questions to the Sumbanese dialect specific to the village, and Rainy translated back to me in English. I recorded all the information. There was definitely a lot of help from the sidelines–many women participating in the translation or explanation of the question. And a few laughs! One lady didn’t consider herself to be married because it wasn’t in a church. The surveying took quite a bit longer than I had anticipated. We will finish Deke village next week. After surveying, I measured the children’s head circumference and height. Using these measurements and weight, I can look at the WHO Standard Growth Curve (and BMI) to see which children are malnourished.
We left Deke in the afternoon after a successful day. I spent the late afternoon surfing with the other kids my age who are also staying at Nihiwatu. It was epic!
Tomorrow we are going to an old village who has not received any Sumba Foundation help. It will be interesting to compare this village and Deke.
Thanks for reading,