Today I will keep on explaining how was the experience of interviewing the d.light S250 users on Ataúro Island as a Kopernik fellow. As you may remember from my previous post, we spent one week going to the different sub villages of Biqueli that had received the solar lights in order to get some feedbacks from the users. The last time I shared with you my visit to the sub villages of Uaruana and Uatu’u. Those where the communities located further away from Pala (where I am based), but not the ones with the most complicated access…! So lets keep on going with the story:
Wednesday 22th of August we planned to go to Iliana and Doru, the communities of Biqueli who live in the mountains. Early in the morning I met with what we called “the d.light team” and we jumped on motorbikes. We drove for over 1 hour through a pretty rough path full of tricky stones and sharp slopes. But we couldn’t drive until Iliana directly due to the road conditions, so we left the motorbikes under some palm trees and we did the rest of the trip walking. It took us 1 more hour to get to the destination, but it was totally worth it: they received us with some delicious coconuts (as you can recall, in every community they welcomed us with some coconuts!) and the landscape was very nice. The sub village chief hit the gong to signal the community members that we had arrived, and the d.light users came to his house to be interviewed.
When we finished all the interviews there, we had lunch at the sub village chief house. They had prepared a delicious banquet and he explained us his rules: all the food served must be finished. So we had to make an effort and eat everything! It was a bad idea…right after having lunch we had to walk to another community, Doru, and we were totally full.
Having lunch while the sub village chief’s d.light was being charged
But we made it and of course, in order to recover from the hard walk, we drank coconuts again. In Doru only 10 families bought the light. Since we had the name of those families, we went directly to interview them and once we were finished we started our long way back home.
The “d.light team” walking back home from Doru
Friday morning we were very exhausted, but luckily it was the day that we had to interview the users in Pala, were we live. During the morning we sat under the shadow of a tree and we had some of the beneficiaries came to be interviewed.
Interviews in Pala, in front of Move Forward office
We had lunch together and, after a break, we went to Dotan. This community is right next to Pala and 7 families got solar lights, so we just had to walk ten minutes to get their opinions about the impact of having the light.
Odete Suares during her interview in Dotan with two of her children
Conducting this impact assessment was the best part of my job. I had the chance to see at first hand the impacts of the technology in people’s lives. Check out these impacts in my next blogs.
All photos by Olga Permanyer Martinez