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Junior Writes of Summer Research Project in Botswana in Anthropology Newsletter

November 26, 2004

November 26, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - "If you had asked me what my plans were for the summer of 2004, I would never have thought that traveling to research HIV/AIDS among women caregivers in Botswana would have been on my list," writes DePauw University junior Christopher Reams in this month's newsletter of the Association of Feminist Anthropology. His piece, entitled, "Anthropology Does Not Sit Still" describes some of the research (and his reactions to it) that he conducted with Rebecca K. Upton, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, last summer in Maun, Botswana.

"For everything that I walked away with, I was taught a great lesson about the process and problems of anthropology itself," Reams writes. "I realize that it's okay to let emotions get in the way; sometimes it makes for the best data. I now understand how important sustainability and solidarity are to anthropology. I have realized that to understand the culture in Maun, one needs the sustainable love that only comes with time. One needs to understand that life keeps changing and anthropology doesn't stand still. You learn a new lesson each and every time a new place is revisited. It taught me that no amount of paper on a wall or books on a shelf can give you the knowledge to understand and accept anthropology as a life-long process. My only question now is: How do I get back?"

Reams' and Dr. Upton's project, entitled "Documenting Lost Lives," is a ethnographic and photographic research project with people living with and caring for those with HIV/AIDS. It was supported by an faculty/student summer grant from the faculty development committee.

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