Monday, 7 October 2013


When I left Finland for a longer period the last time, I was scared because I was going to a new country which I really didn’t know and had almost no clue what I was going to do there for three months.

This time it’s all different. I’m going to a country I have at least visited before, but what has me most terrified is that in some sense I know what I’m going there for. I’m supposed to know what I’m doing. Some people expect me to know what I’m doing, to take initiative, to lead my own life from the very beginning. (This was very much not the case the last time.) I’m afraid I don’t. And this time I don’t have company travelling with me in the same sense, sharing it all.

And so it’s off for another longer trip for me. Again, I suppose I will be needing and outlet for a lot of energy, thoughts and possible free time that I, as not the most vocal type, just can’t use to anything else than reading, writing or sports. I don’t know how much sports I’ll be doing and I know I’ll be forced to read a lot because of what I’m doing here, so here it goes. I present to you: another travel blog…

In short: I’m going to a place called the Taita Hills, a hilly (you bet) area near the border of Kenya and Tanzania, a bit closer to Mombasa than to Nairobi, that rises from the fabled Serengeti Plain (which also Toto sang about). What I’ll be there for is to do my field work for my Master’s Thesis (I’ll call her Ms. G from now on) in the form of a bunch of interviews. To do ethnographics or to generate data that is, whatever suits you best. Ms. G works on ecological sanitation (eco-san) and on people’s attitudes and customs regarding eco-san, waste management and, let’s say it, shit and piss. I’ll ramble more about it later on, because:
Too many people keep asking me for short, easy-to-grasp research questions. Heaven knows that I’ve needed one ever since this Ms. G (I have ex-G’s that I never went even remotely this far with) was just a twinkle in my eye. I’m having trouble explaining to people what I’m really doing and what I’m really after, and people seem to often, maybe not surprisingly, lose interest. But let’s still keep us all waiting on that on!

I’ll try to keep things here casual and to write about part of that small fraction of stuff in my head that can be formulated in a text format. There’s probably also going to be a whole lot of scientific stuff (as if…) and ideas about my work here, maybe most of all to formulate it all out for myself. Sorry, read if bored.
More on, well, about everything will probably follow as future posts. If anyone is especially interested in something you think I actually might have something to say about, please ask. If you really dislike something on this blog, please comment and argument in scientific fashion.

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