Week 6 Last Deployment to Cavite

7.14 The travel to Cavite was very short compared to our two previous deployment locations. We traveled from FNRI to Barangay Hall Anabu ll-E in Cavity City. We met one subteam apart of Team 1. I was able to meet with Kay, the researcher I was paired with during practicum, at the very beginning of our internship. The researchers were already gone doing house locating and initial interviews, so the three of us talked to the ATC (assistant team coordinator), Ma’am Paula. After a short meet and greet, we took the barangay transportation truck to the mayor’s office. We met with the mayor of the city of Imus. He gifted Team 1 with a stipend for food and water. This is a great example of Filipino culture, being so welcoming and helpful to everyone. When we returned to the Barangay Hall, the subteam had returned from the field, and it was time for lunch. We got to meet the subteam briefly before and during lunch. During our stay in the barangay, I didn’t have good reception, so we spent a lot of time hanging out with the members of the subteam; they were all very funny and so much fun to be around. They actually told us before lunch that they had practiced their English the day before in anticipation of our arrival, I found this to be very sweet because they actually wanted to be able to have a conversation with us! We spent a lot of time just laughing because we didn’t understand each other, but it was always so fun. After lunch, we went with the researchers into the field to finish the rest of the house locating and initial interviews for the day. This was the first time that we had to take a van to every house because we were located in an urban area. During my observations this day, I found out one of the households prepares food for three days at a time- this is the first time I had encountered this and also many of the researchers first time too, so the dietary researcher assigned this is household just had to figure out how to accommodate the respondent to make it work for the both of them. The three of us got our own room to stay in with air conditioning and a bathroom. The water in the area only turned on from 5am to around 7am so we needed to make sure to stock up on enough water to last us the day. This was the first subteam that we actually witnessed splitting up tasks: going to the market, doing the dishes, and cooking dinner. 

Initial interview and consent
courtesy call
Biomedical set up at the barangay hall

7.15 Today we woke up early to start the anthropometric and biomedical collections. We spent our morning with the biomedical researcher learning how to take blood and learning more about what happens to the blood in the field to prepare it before shipping it to the office. I learned how each blood vial is prepared with anticoagulants if necessary, how to use the vortex after sample collection, what each of the vials were used for, what order to collect the vials of blood in, how long to let each of the samples sit before the vortex, and finally how to separate the serum/plasma from the red blood cells to send it to the lab at FNRI. Kennedy and Lukas took a nap after the biomedical component was done for the day and skipped lunch. I ate lunch with the team before heading into the field with two of the researchers. We went to one household with only one person, but it was still lengthy. This was the first time that I took body measurements inside the respondent’s house. I helped set up the scale and stadiometer. After the 24 hour food recall was complete, I took the respondent’s blood pressure three times, asked the respondent the questions on the mental health survey, and filled out the booklet for the respondent’s height, weight, and body measurements. After all the anthropometric measurements were taken, she completed all of the remaining interviews. During this time, I cleaned up all of the devices used for the anthropometric data collection. Normally, for the mental health survey, a small booklet with questions is given to the respondent to answer on their own time; however, we asked the respondent if she was comfortable with me interviewing her to complete it and she agreed. We still had 3 more households to go to, but the researchers let me go back early because of how time consuming the next households were going to be. I went out later in the night to do the final food weighing, which involved weighing dinner plate waste and all the condiments that were originally weighed at the beginning of the day (to see total consumption throughout the day). 

Taking anthropometric measurements in respondents house
How the serum/plasma samples are separated and labeled accordingly.
Practicing putting tourniquets on

7.16 Today we woke up early again for anthropometric and biomed data collection. It had been raining our entire stay, but this particular morning it was raining extremely hard, so only two households showed up. We were able to take a break before breakfast. At breakfast, it was explained to us that if the respondent ate something during the food weighing day (and they were able to easily purchase it), they should buy it and weigh it. I observed the final packaging of the biomedical sample collection (blood and urine), which was to be sent to the office the following day. Our day was not very intense with work. For dinner, the team bought pizza and donuts as a final meal for us. It was so good and such a nice gesture. The following day was the medical aid’s birthday, but unfortunately we would be with a new subteam by then, so we missed their celebration for him. We also did a few tiktok dances with the team and took lots of pictures before leaving. Today was my oldest brothers wedding, I was really sad that I couldn’t be there to celebrate with him and all of my family, but everyone cheered me up and I got to see pictures and videos throughout the day.

On site hemoglobin testing

7.17 Today we woke up and ate breakfast with the team before traveling to a new barangay. Our new subteam came to pick us up because they were transferring to a new location. We were all squeezed in a van together, and our luggage was in another truck that followed behind us. We got lost and took a few wrong turns along the way to the new barangay, but we eventually made it to Silang. We immediately put our stuff inside and took a few trikes to lunch at Jollibee. I was finally able to try the spaghetti, it honestly was really delicious. I just took out the chunks of meat. After lunch we went to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials for the week. We were able to take two trikes all the way back to the barangay hall- we fit seven people on the trike (not including the driver). At this barangay, we all slept on the floor of a daycare together. The comfort room (CR) had a door that didn’t close and there were no big buckets to store enough water for us to all shower. We were able to use the two CRs in the building next door to shower, however there were so many cockroaches. In this area, the water only ran from 11pm to 1am! I spent some time talking with the local kids, there was a huge language barrier, so I pulled out google translate. I somehow had a huge group surrounding me- it was so cute and we took a few pictures together. Every time I came out of where we were sleeping- all the kids screamed ABIIII, it was both overwhelming and heartwarming. After spending time with the local kids, I accompanied Leah and the medical aid to the market. This subteam also split up tasks, so it was their turn to go to the market. The three of us took a trike to the market and got everything we needed for dinner- tofu, mixed veggies, and fish. On our way to the market, we dropped off a container at a water refilling station. Since I was alone without Lukas and Kennedy I felt even more out of place because I was the only white person there, but it was okay, and I never felt uncomfortable at any point. Sanitation here is different than in the states, so it’s very interesting going to street markets and seeing how vendors are selling things. We had to go into the wet market, where they sell fish and meat- the smell is always so unbearable to me, but I made it through by only breathing through my mouth. On our way back to find a trike, we came across a dirty ice cream vendor- I had been waiting to try this since I found out about it a few weeks ago. It was only 5 pesos (less than one penny) for a very small cone of avocado and strawberry ice cream. Once we got on the trike we went to pick up the water, it only cost 25 pesos (less than 50 cents)! When we returned back to the barangay hall I took a bucket shower and settled in before dinner. The team leader, Ma’am Hannah, luckily came with me and sprayed all the roaches she saw with raid. After my bucket shower I opened the bathroom door and a huge roach came running towards me so I screamed; when I went back to where we all sleep, a few people were laughing because they could hear me scream it was really funny but so scary to me. We all ate dinner together, super good and then we prepared for our day off tomorrow. 

What a typical transfer looks like… not much room
View from respondents house
Market mixed veggies
Dirty icecream
Squeezing on the trike together
Sleeping arrangement
The market we went to get what we needed for dinner
The wet market
More produce at the market. We got some tofu on the bottom right

7.18 The team was able to take the day to go to Tagaytay because they were not able to start data collection yet and the courtesy call wasn’t planned until the following morning. We left at 6am to go to Tagaytay, we ate breakfast together. I have turned into a pescatarian here so I ate a meal with fish and there was complimentary bulalo, a bone marrow broth. After breakfast, we walked up a hill to see the view of the Taal volcano. We rode horses, took pictures, and made a few tiktoks. We ate lunch at a place with outside dining so we could enjoy the view! After lunch we headed back to the Baranagy Hall. I was exhausted, so I took a long nap, woke up for dinner, and went back to sleep for the night. For dinner, the team prepared pasta, which was so good, and switched up the normal menu, which is usually rice with veggies and some sort of protein. 


7.19 Today we transferred to our final subteam. They were in Alfonso, Matagbak. We got lost along the way, but eventually got there! We first stopped at the barangay hall where the researchers were finishing up their data collection for the day. The researchers didn’t sleep in the barangay hall, they actually stayed in the house- this was the second time I experienced data collection being at a separate location from where we stayed. We then brought all of our stuff to the house they were staying at, and got to sleep in a bed for our last! This was our last full day in the field, but there wasn’t much work for us to do prior to lunch. At lunch we were able to meet most of the subteam, they were so welcoming! At dinner, we fully met everyone and talked about our future plans after college. I love talking with the members in each subteam, and I love seeing the dynamic between each of the subteams. We asked a few questions about how the groups are put together, I was actually very surprised to find out that the subteams are typically just randomly put together. While it is kept in mind where everyone is from, the subteams aren’t put together because they are friends to begin with. Reflecting back on each of the subteams, all of them have gotten along so well and of course it is the beginning of their deployment. They really seem to mesh well with each other and I truly enjoyed my time with all of the researchers I met.  

The house we stayed in for one night
Barangay Hall for anthropometric and biomedical data collection
Sleeping arrangement ft. Lukas taking a nap

7.20 We spent the morning going to one more household and observing some anthropometric and biomedical data collection at the barangay hall. I took my final three blood pressures in the field. We ate lunch together; the team prepared pancit for us because Lukas said it was his favorite the night before. A bunch of locals gifted the team with produce that they grew and food that they had made, so lunch was extra special. We had fresh soursop smoothies and pickled papaya, along with pancit. We were able to take home fresh avocado and pineapple too! After lunch, we waited for Ma’am Paula to come pick us up with the van to transport us back to Manila. When we made it back to Siena Park, we decide to do laundry- this time we found a place much closer to where we live! We prepared for our weekend in La Union and went to sleep.

Last manual BP in the field
Observing one last interview
New laundry spot
Final goodbyes 🙁
Pancit for lunch!
Dragon fruit plants near a respondents house

Comments are closed.