This past week, I was able to meet with the woman in charge of Rogpa to gain permission to observe in teacher's homes. Rogpa puts a lot of effort in protecting the privacy of the families involved, including the teachers. Pema is the acting gatekeeper for these individuals and it is through her that I have been able to progress in my project with the help of this organization.
I feel as if the meeting went pretty well, considering she is a very busy woman and I hadn't interacted with her much before that point. She is very enthusiastic and encouraging of my project, and she happily gave me permission to begin observing in the homes of the teachers at Rogpa, as long as I provide her with a schedule of my visits. I asked the teachers if they would be willing to let me come observe. One said that if I got permission, of course I would be welcome. Another nodded in agreement with her...(?) and I'm hoping that another will get a report from the first two and realize that I'm not a spy, that this is PARTICIPANT observation, and I just want to get to know them a little better.
Another note about my meeting with Pema:
She is very excited to read my paper and see what conclusions I draw from my experiences and observations. Is knowing that she will be reading my paper going to have an effect on what I write? Will it hinder my willingness to put in anything negative about what I observe? Should I put negative things in my paper as well, or just focus on the positive? What about conclusions I draw from what I observe -- such as behavior of children based on the discipline I witness? These are the things that are weighing on my mind right now. I am no expert, and do not have the credentials or qualifications to draw major conclusions.
Anyways, I guess I am looking for advice in this particular aspect of project development.
Other than those confusing bits of my project, things are going very well. We took a "mid-semester" retreat to Amritsar and recently returned. I feel as if I need to kind of start over building rapport in the Rogpa facility again, since I've been gone for almost a week. I really hope that's not the case, I'll find out tomorrow when I return. Amritsar was great, interesting, hectic, hot, and sometimes stressful/frustrating, but all in all, I would say that it was a great experience. Look for a blogpost with more details and even some photos!!!