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  • Writer's pictureDan English

Capstone Project Day 5

We made great progress in our study today. Juan Jo is an absolute genius at talking to people and earning their trust. We found three sites in the same neighborhood for the collection. One site is near a teacher who contracted malaria in the past year. It was also raining, a welcome change of weather from yesterday’s heat.

Juan Jo should be a salesman. His experience with different people from around the country playing soccer allows him to relate to all kinds of people. We found our first site asking an older woman to allow us to use her back yard; she swooned over Juan Jo (he’d kind of a looker). Juan Jo talked to the teacher who oversees the soccer field near his house, telling him the importance of our study to controlling malaria. The teacher who had malaria just a few months ago is willing to let us use his field and is very happy to help however he can. Our third site is a vacant lot. Juan Jo found the name of the owner and in a fit of sheer genius, he asked a woman sitting at a bus stop where the owner was. That woman directed us across the street to a restaurant he owns as well. Juan Jo changed his accent to be like a coastal resident to gain the man’s trust. He’s amazing and he’s my hero for this study.

We also procured a pig for the study. We asked a woman running a restaurant we ate at where we could find a pig. She drove with us to her uncle who owns a pig farm right on the inlet… now when I say it’s right on the water, I mean it’s actually on TOP of the water. The pig pens are on stilts over the muddy bottom. It’s obvious they chose this precarious position because the high tide will wash all the pig manure away. Juan Jo helped us negotiate a fair price and we’ll be back to pick up the pig on Monday. We’ve named our new study participant ‘Babe’.

Austin and Maddie had great success getting participants to help them too. They also found sites for all of their collections. To celebrate, we had dinner together at a normal place. Afterward, we hit one of the discothèques across the street. I danced with Sofía and turned a few heads with my superior dance moves.

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