After four years of PhDing, I submitted my thesis last November and on Monday (the 26th of February, 2018) I passed my viva voce (oral defence) successfully! It has been a long journey, and at times, it felt like never ending, but at last, it is all and well done. Looking back, I wondered why I wanted to do a doctorate in the first place. What inspired, motivated and ultimately made me do it?
Back in September, I read an interesting article from the Smithsonian on EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). The article featured Tonio, a sixth-generation olive oil producer in Altamura, Puglia, Italy. The traditional olive production and harvest require lots of hands (all the family and neighbours) and uncompromising dedication to quality. In the article, it featured that today, many work-away volunteers come to join the family harvest in November. It piqued my interest, and I decided to email Tonio and ask if I can be a part of the olive team.
In the Bible it rained 40 days. They called it a disaster.
In England we call it ‘Summer’.
Two days have passed since I am back from the fieldwork. Compared to the intensity and busy-ness of my last week in Rwanda (I was meeting government officials and NGO people up until last minute), I feel out of place finding myself sitting and watching over the Saint-Laurent River with ducks and ducklings peacefully floating on the shore.
Earlier in June, I attended the 10th Agriculture Show organised by the Rwanda Agriculture Board. It’s an agriculture expo where all the agriculture-related players and stakeholders in the country come and present their work and projects.
It’s just another day in the village…
But I am always surprised and delighted to find moments and glimpses of beauty from the ordinary.
I have exactly a month left in Rwanda. I find the last month of fieldwork always challenging: there’s still plenty of work to take care of, but the mind is distracted to “what if” and “what’s next” questions.
This piece is posted on the IDS PhD students’ blog – The Side Room and The Povertist. Check out the links below! @TheSideRoom @ThePovertist
For the past two weeks and a half, I worked in a village nearby the town. The study site is about half-an-hour away by walk from the town’s market. Most of the villagers are farmers, but there are also a significant proportion of people who work in the city as professionals, trade workers, and labourers.
There are many names that I get called by pedestrians in Rwanda.