My research project is employing 7 locals – 5 guys in the field and 2 data entry people. The five guys in the field are amazing, especially the supervisor, Augustine. He’s way over qualified to be working in the field, much less for such a small project, but he did it in some ways as a favor. He’s amazingly good at his job – when things are going wrong, he has trouble sleeping and loses his appetite. I am not sure why, but he cares about the project as much as I do. It makes it so much easier to not be with them in the field all the time, when you have someone so competent and trustworthy.
The rest of the team – Paul (Afume because he really is a chief), Charles, Innocent (Kalulu the clever hare, because he likes to eat them), and Hector (Half-Half, don’t know why but it goes way back) – are also really qualified, as well, and we have a lot of fun.
Here is a short film about the organization I am working with, in which Augu is featured: http://youtu.be/xBxcaNHL54E . It also features several of my Zomba-based friends: Wyson, Hastings, and Denview.
Also, instead of charging me an affiliation fee, IKI is letting me teach a short, intensive course on STATA statistical software next month.
In sum, if you ever find yourself doing research in Malawi, I recommend IKI.