I just wrote this letter to my mentor Professor, Dr. Duncan. After writing it I thought, "This would make a good update on the research for the blog." So, here it is.
Hey Dr. Duncan,
I'm not sure if you'll be able to reach me today or not (I'll be flying to Curacao for the weekend!) and I don't know if my phone will work there or not. Let me tell you how it has gone this week.
Miraculously we didn't have to cancel any groups this week. We had 3 people at the cohabiting men's group, 3 at the cohabiting women's group, and THIRTEEN professionals last night. (It was a mad house!! In a good way...) Hasette and I have been doing constant recruiting...it has become my full time job! But I think it will work. We've got 3 tough groups to fill for next week--people expecting their first child, and men in their first year of marriage. They're all groups we had to cancel previously. So, pray that the people who we are contacting will come. I went to the midwife doctor's office this week and he called a couple of people for me and then gave me their numbers. And then a couple people who have been in focus groups have been kind enough to refer people.
A couple of questions:
1) what about people who don't want to take the money? Some of them just don't want to take it. That's fine, right? Or are we breaking some sort of ethical research law? Will the IRB come get me in the night?
2) what happens when people attend the wrong focus group? For example, in the single women's group we had a girl come who was engaged. Can I take her comments and move them into the transcription for the appropriate group? It's happened a couple of times.
That's all that comes to mind presently. Hasette is doing better. He's figured out that if we finish the questions on time, he usually has a bit of extra time to talk MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER!!! with his captive audience. With the men's group we ended at 8:40; but don't worry, the remaining 20 minutes we had a live infomercial on Marriage Encounter. :) Hey, I don't mind. As long as it's after the questions are over. That was one funny thing in the focus group last night. A large chunk of them work with Hasette in the family organization he is the PResident of. So, when we asked what resources are available, they all said (in unison), "Pro Famia Feliz!!" And then they kept talking about how great it was. Finally, Brother Buckley asked, "Is this a propaganda?" Hasette smiled and said, "Yes." But then they talked about some other resources. The government has a branch dedicated to family stuff...it just seems like no one knows about it. Hasette didn't even know about it. How crazy is that?! Don't you think the President of a family organization on the island would know about the government's family department? Anyway, there was a marriage and family therapist (I didn't know those existed in Aruba!!) at the group last night, and she works for Aruba's family/couple department. I have an appointment to meet with her before I leave just to chat about her work.
So, things are going well. I'm feeling very grateful for my experience here. Honestly, I don't really want to leave. Hasette introduced me at the focus group last night and suggested to everyone there that they should pray I find an Arubian husband so I can stay and work for families on the island. Haha!! It'll be exciting to put this all together when I get back, though. I do look forward to that. Well, we'll be in touch. Hope you're doing well. Say hi to Barbara for me.