Survey Discoveries

The goal for this visit was to perform the first round of impact surveying.  Sam and I went along with Ms. Sneha, who recently received her degree in Disaster Management and was willing to help translate and assist us in the field. She is friendly and always willing to help in any way she can. She speaks and understands English… Read more →

Collecting water samples

Field Work: Water Quality Testing

Yesterday I visited Achinakom for the second time accompanied by Arun. He is a student at MGU doing PhD research on how the ecology of the region affects socioeconomic factors in village communities. His primary focus is on the tribal agricultural production of medicinal plants and how their commerce leads to conservation practices. His insight on gathering field data was… Read more →

daniya and summa- monsoon rain

Visiting Achinakom

It’s time to get to work here in Kerala and the first step is visiting our pilot site in the Achinakom village. Traveling from the university—where I am currently residing—to the project site entails taking a cab down a long, long main road. It seems to me that most of the development has occurred next to the paved street in… Read more →

The Aiswarya Women’s Screwpine Society

With more than 1,500 members, the Aiswarya Women’s Screwpine Development Society distinguishes itself as a self-help group for village women who want to earn disposable income. The group derives its name from a local plant, the palm-like pandanus most commonly referred to as “screwpine”. Using the plant’s versatile leaves, women members weave merchandise of all kinds—hats, mats, jewelry boxes, flower… Read more →

Plants (2)

First impressions

I landed late at night at the Kochi Airport to the friendly smiles of local customs officials. It took about three hours to travel down the bumpy main road leading to Kottayam, where Mahatma Gandhi University is located. Upon arrival, I was promptly situated in a charming little room at the University’s Guest House, complete with a private bathroom. Here… Read more →