Survey miracle challenge: days 20 – 21

The miracle of traveling with very little money is happening. Maybe the miracle of credit card debt. This morning we are off to Japan. Usually I am quite anxious about our trips, this time I am still recovering from my trip up north, so no much time or energy to stress about our holidays. Besides the change of pace between worrying about no survey responses and Japanese train services is almost a welcome change. Almost because hubby is going to be as high maintenance as always. We are about to leave in one hour and he has not packed yet. That’s is driving me mad, but breathe . His business if he does not want to have clean underwear and I must learnt to let go. His actions, his consequences. Do not asked me later. Simple like that.

Japan here we come, with typhoon on its way, with boys wanting to stay home and play, with mum wanting to stay home and work on research, with hubby preferring to play politics on the internet, Japan here we come. God almighty protect us in our trip. Bless us and help us enjoy our trip and each other.

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Survey challenge: day 17-19

Back from NQ and feeling like a failure. Only got two survey responses, two small miracles but way short of the 30 I had expected. Feeling terrible, about to give up the dream of becoming a Dr. I know I have believe, but believe what? Believe that my fate is here, with no doctorate? God of miracles, send me at least 30 miracles more. Tomorrow I will have a chat with supervisors. Give me strength.

Hubby got into an argument with the celeste/naranja. Japan is around the corner.

Survey miracle challenge: day 11

Love these lazy weekends. Today I had my first meeting with the association, it got very heated thanks to my questioning of processes and procedures. The old man didn’t like it. I enjoyed it, wicked me. In the afternoon I got a massage and physio treatment. Later in the afternoon it was chaos with hubby going all psycho because he was so stressed with the Japan trip. He booked the flights on a whim when recovering from the cancer operation, and now he gets confused and frustrated with the Japanese way. And when he gets stressed he is unbearable. Today was no exception. So much that he could not book a single night. I made the bookings for the first 5 nights. One night in Narita, two nights in Tokyo and 2 nights near Mount Fuji. Still to do Kyoto and Hiroshima. First world problems our fights because of the quality of our hotels in Tokyo. Most people do not get this great opportunity and we are arguing about little things. Thank you Lord for the gift of travelling. Give me patience to keep going. Hubby is a pain, for now my pain. My anxiety went up when doing the booking exercise.

No more responses. Miracle that I got at least a couple in early weeks. I feel overwhelmed. Lost. Breathe.

Survey miracle challenge: day 16

Yesterday at the town roadshow I almost had a panic attack. Seeing all those farmers worried about their latest dramas, I felt that me asking about “insignificant” questions on my survey was a waste of time for them. So, I froze and didn’t ask. I even tried to avoid people. Writing vigorously on my notebook it seemed like I was busy. The reality is that I was journaling to avoid facing people and trying to calm my nerves. The imposter syndrome hit me hard, unexpectedly. I must admit that people were generally nice. Growers are abrupt, but polite. The colleagues were also very giving. So how come I was so scared? Maybe it was the realisation that my methods maybe wrong.

Later on the night, I got to talk to the president of the association. This was a miracle, as I felt he has been avoiding me all this time. We talk about the importance of the research and how my findings reflect what is happening in the industry. I told him about my report and he said he was sorry if had not even opened the email. I was relieved, because I felt that he was upset about something that I had written in the email. I also managed to speak to one of the larger growers who was interested in my topic for his export quality product. Another miracle: one of the association ladies offered to take me to the airport.

This trip indeed has been full of small miracles, it is up to me now to make the most of it. One more miracle: my boss sent me a msg saying that I could take the week off. Three extra days to work on my journal paper. God sometimes I crumble and I am overwhelmed with doubts, me women of little faith. But you come and show your power: the president of the association seating next to me out of the blue and then the lady offering to take me to the airport without me asking, miracle or not? You tell me!

Survey miracle challenge: day 16

Preparing for my last day in North Queensland. I am about to reach the mango farm where the workshop will be held. Feeling anxious because it is the last day, and I only have two completed surveys. I have left 12 surveys with people for posting to the uni. If I get 10 surveys total out of this trip, plus the chance to interview two more retailers, I’d be happy with 10 total interviews. That will be 10 more than I had before. Ideally I should have 100 interviews, but that’s to dreaming.

I was extremely anxious this afternoon, almost thinking of hiding in the toilet. I didn’t give out any surveys. Fear stopped me. Still I managed to speak to a few people and got more ideas on the use of dataloggers.

Survey miracle challenge: day 15

Half way there and the miracle of a good response rate is not happening. I must have faith, but given my recent experiences, I now have serious doubts. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the hundreds of small miracles happening to me during the trip, but have serious doubts about my methods. Survey analysis was obviously a poor choice. For start, the industry is not very welcoming of strangers like me. They do not even trust their neighbors, let alone a researcher from the city. Two, there is not a database of industry members. There is a database of growers, but I don’t have access to it. Worst my survey will not be shared by the association. Painful. Three, my survey is too difficult to complete. Period. Four, it is hard to get responses from certain groups. Five, the topic of my survey is not seemed as important by growers, left to the big guys. Life is hard, research harder.

Survey miracle challenge: day 11-14

Life is a miracle and it is a miracle that I am in NQ visiting farms and getting people to answer my survey. Yesterday I distributed my survey to about 10 growers. I already got one response, strike rate of 10%. Better than the 0.01% rate I have got so far. It was one of the best farm workshops I have been to. Lucky that I am here and I haven’t been asked to leave. Granted, I have not received support from the association, but I least I got a welcome.

Ex-supervisor is around the industry, working with all. I could have gotten my PhD with her support and life would have been easier for both of us, but she just dropped me like rubbish. She said she could not work in here that’s why she couldn’t be my supervisor, and now she is working in the domestic industry, she lied.

Today I am off to another roadshow. Fingers crossed I get enough interest. Feeling anxious and scared.

Survey miracle challenge: day 11

Love these lazy weekends. Today I had my first meeting with the association, it got very heated thanks to my questioning of processes and procedures. The old man didn’t like it. I enjoyed it, wicked me. In the afternoon I got a massage and physio treatment. Later in the afternoon it was chaos with hubby going all psycho because he was so stressed with the Japan trip. He booked the flights on a whim when recovering from the cancer operation, and now he gets confused and frustrated with the Japanese way. And when he gets stressed he is unbearable. Today was no exception. So much that he could not book a single night. I made the bookings for the first 5 nights. One night in Narita, two nights in Tokyo and 2 nights near Mount Fuji. Still to do Kyoto and Hiroshima. First world problems our fights because of the quality of our hotels in Tokyo. Most people do not get this great opportunity and we are arguing about little things. Thank you Lord for the gift of travelling. Give me patience to keep going. Hubby is a pain, for now my pain. My anxiety went up when doing the booking exercise.

No more responses. Miracle that I got at least a couple in early weeks. I feel overwhelmed. Lost. Breathe.

Survey miracle challenge: day 10

No miracles, no responses. Feeling overwhelmed, defeated. All that work and nothing to show for. Nil responses today and that’s after sending the survey to 30 or so wholesalers. No one response for a week. Painful silence. How am I going to advance? Progress?

Today I am starting to write a conference paper, just to get me out of this defeated feeling. Due date for first draft is 8 October, the day when I am back from holidays. Then one week to send to supervisors for feedback, then fix, edit and format. Three weeks for that. I’ll be doing that while working to get surveys done. Research is bloody hard, doing research part time is crazy stuff. I should have never done it. I am kidding myself thinking that I could do it. Nothing, nothing is right with my research.

Today I was meant to have breakfast with one of my contacts to convince him to answer my survey, but he forgot. He stood me up. So no survey response. Also no response from contact in Vietnam or WA. Nothing. Again disappointed, broken.

Still must be happy with the very small miracles. I got my air flights and accommodation booked by the uni, more than $1,000. Less money for my research. Also, I got the courage to msg MS about my coming to the roadshow, and she responded positively. Also sent msgs to two colleagues who will help me with transport next week.

This weekend will be family and community. Tomorrow I have the first meeting with the new association, at lunch I am taking the boys shopping and in the afternoon I will be having a massage. Full day. Sunday Boy 1 got soccer and boy 2 got a birthday part.?

Survey miracle challenge: days 5-9

Last weekend it was boys 2 communion. A great weekend, with relatively little stress,. I only got upset with hubby twice during the whole weekend and for me that’s a real improvement. Sunday was perfect. The celebration went on for almost 12hours. Father gave a beautiful sermon, child-friendly even, with no reference to burning in hell. Comadre got us an awesome cake as always and the other comadre prepared the tamales. For breakfast we had tamales and pupussas, with hot chocolate and quesadilla, volteado de piña and red velvet muffins. Then piñata for the kids, with more lollies and the communion cake. For late lunch we had bbk sausages,chicken and steak plus plenty of beer. Some friends stayed for dinner with tamales and coffee. So much food, so much fun. Just like I remember my own communion party. Both boys had a great time, we had a house with 15 kids. Games, fun and laughter. God blessed us with a beautiful day, all our friends were there. In the evening we were told that a friend died of cancer. Life is so fragile, one minute laughing, the next crying.

As for PhD work, the responses have been very slow coming. Correction: no coming at all. The miracle is my resilience and my faith in God that all is going to be ok. Whatever happens it will be the best. Still I am anxious, no much sleep, waking up in the middle of the night. Shallow breathing, butterflies in the stomach. Suspicious that my ex is sabotaging my research. In reality, I think the problem is my methodology, on-line survey is obviously not appropriate for my population. For now I am just going to keep at it until I get at least 50, but well aware that even 50 is not significant sample for my research. Awful feeling, thinking that all this work is such a waste of time, little to show for, using precious hours in useless tasks. Life is unfair and research is bloody hard. Good research impossible for me. Maybe I am taking on way too much for my little brain. What to do? God be my shepherd and guide me through the dark valley of no responses, no data and no publications. Today I went to the 3M presentations, gosh those students are really doing brilliant work, my research is nothing compared to that. Impostor syndrome hitting hard this evening!