After a lot of planning and hard work, the first UF in Haiti Study Abroad Program group traveled to Gressier, Haiti, for a four-week experience in May 2018. The focus of the trip was to use qualitative and quantitative research methods to learn about residents’ experience with water insecurity, water quality and women’s health.
Led by Wood and Ph.D. student Kelly Chapman, the eight undergraduate students underwent a week of orientation, conducted surveys and then completed qualitative ethnography interviews with the assistance of Haitian enumerators and translators. In the final week , students also worked with Bisesi to learn how to sample water for measurement of basic water quality, heavy metals and organic contaminants. The goal was for the students to learn a problem from different angles and to train them to take information and synthesize it in the field.
“You want to understand the stories behind it: the perceptions, the attitudes and the practices,” said Wood, the director of the college’s Bachelor of Public Health program.