It has been a long time since I last blogged, and a lot has happened during this period! At the beginning of September I spent two weeks in bed with a case of Dengue Fever, which I will safely say was one of the most debilitating experiences of my life. I was weak to the point where getting out of bed to use the bathroom was a strain, and I could barely get myself to the doctor´s office to seek care. As I was entering the recovery phase, I got a throat infection that took another week to pass, so in total I spent about three weeks in a state of illness. The experience gave me profound appreciation for my healthcare coverage and respect for the medical system, through which I was able to get the necessary remedies extremely quickly.
At the end of September through the beginning of October, I spent two and a half weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina due to the stipulations of my visa that I exit and reenter the country in order to access the remaining 90 days out of the total 180 days per year available on a tourist visa. During the time out of the country, I worked remotely on several tangential Promundo projects (including finishing up a research funding grant and adding to the annotated bibliography I am assembling for the LINEA research project). I also finished a Fulbright application, which, if I win the grant, would bring me back to Brazil in 2018 to research the sociology of sanitation in a favela of the city of Salvador, capital of the northeastern state of Bahia. I have secured an academic affiliation with Professor Maria Gabriela Hita of the Sociology Department of the Federal University of Bahia, who is involved in researching various related subjects and has agreed to advise me if my project is accepted by the Fulbright Grant committee. Needless to say I am extremely excited for this opportunity and hope to hear back about my candidacy in January 2017. This brings me to this past month of October, during which I prepared remotely for the end of fellowship conference in Berkeley.
Upon returning to Brazil in early October, I spent a bit of time removed from the activities of Promundo in order to focus on preparing for the UC Human Rights Fellowship Conference, which took place on November 4th. Thanks to the flexibility of Andrea, the Fellowship Coordinator at the UC Human Rights Center, I was able to put together a video presentation that was played during the conference for all attendees to witness. In this presentation I explained the LINEA research project and the concepts behind this work, including situations of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in the form of romantic intimate relationships, concepts related to social norms theory, and the way that these two big issues (sexual exploitation and social norms) interplay in Instituto Promundo´s research project. I will try to include the audiofile or the PowerPoint presentation on the blog.
As of this week I am back in the Promundo office, continuing to work on the literature review for the LINEA research and contribute background information to the upcoming Sexual Violence Research Initiative conference that Promundo will host next year. More updates to come in the weeks ahead!