Notes from the field: Nutrition Survey 4

Here’s some correspondence from Dan Fenyvesi, M.S., R.D. who has been implementing the nutrition survey in the communities near Esteli, as part of establishing some baseline data to measure the impact of the greenhouses.  His notes document the joys and frustrations of putting together a survey with limited resources and challenging logistics, as well as personal views on nutrition.

“Quick update, we are in San Juan de Rio Coco. We did 7 houses yesterday in Quebracho and 1 early morning before we left. We had Kenia so split into two teams and were able to go at a relaxed pace, getting to know the folks a bit before starting the survey, which I enjoyed.
Kenia took the one student who I thought need a bit more training along with Vicente and Kenia was happy with how everything went. I went with my best student, and the 3rd student, who is great but he is mostly doing anthropometrics, which though I often do it with him is really straight forward, just measurements. I am cautious about being the gringo driving the chain gang thing (organizing everyone, having them to the writing while I ask questions, corralling everyone for meals, buses etc…) – this is a dynamic that sometimes seems to be happening a bit, a little annoying for me but overall it is pretty amazing to have the students get such good experience and they are excited about NAMLO and doing a thesis based on this etc…
Quebracho definetly had some differences with the other two communities, a few very humble households for sure and lower education/health knowledge/even less dietary variety.  Very nice folks though, it was an interesting visit.
I already told you this but Kenia and the students want to use a much more sophisticated data analysis program than I was ever planning on using. This is good for you as it produces some interesting analysis. My plan was more of spreadsheet breakdown, just crunching numbers and producing some averages. The analysis they want to do will take a bit more time, I am going to work with them on it till I leave April 1st, probably both up in the mountains and possibly back at UNAN – depending on when we get back.  We should have plenty of time tomorrow and Friday morning to get 8 houses in at a relaxed, thorough pace.
Anyhow that is about it. It will be interesting to see the analysis, lots of defeciencies and excess (fat and sugar!!!!) are going to come up but the primary obvious thing is just lowering fat and sugar and getting folks interested in some vegetable consumption.
OK, I can catch up with sometime Friday afternoon or evening whenever we get back here. “