Just Say No

I first thought of writing this post in late March. I was then in the thick of my research, and had just experienced a couple of examples of the phenomenon that I outline below. I imagine that what I write will feel familiar to others who have undertaken ethnographic research in less economically developed countries. … Continue reading Just Say No

Picture The Scene

Week Five was an incredibly long and dispiriting week, in which I hung around, failed to do interviews, and was generally hard on myself. I started to write a blog post about my largest bugbear, which was my continuing difficulty in communicating in Spanish to the level I’d like, and then – the post felt … Continue reading Picture The Scene

First impressions

It’s been a busy week! I am writing from my bunkbed in Fuego’s observatory, OVFGO1, in the village of Panimaché Uno (here). I am taking today (Friday 22nd February) off after conducting interviews between Monday and Thursday in the villages of Panimaché Uno, Panimaché Dos, Los Yucales, and Morelia. I am tired, but really stoked … Continue reading First impressions

A sense of scale

For my first blog post while in Guatemala this spring, I thought I would write about scales of time and distance. It’s something I think a lot about, especially because my research is split between two distant countries, and because 2.5 years into my PhD, I have rather more time to reflect on than to … Continue reading A sense of scale

Loma Linda

Guatemalan currency includes the one quetzal, that appears as either a crumpled green note or a round golden coin that flashes in the sun when new. A Q1 coin (approximately 10p) bears on one side the signature of the Accord of Firm and Lasting Peace, signed in Guatemala City on 29th December 1996 after three … Continue reading Loma Linda

A glimpse through the clouds

Perfect day for an eruption!

I recently gave my second-year talk at university, which involved preliminary results from our previous fieldwork campaign to Guatemala in November 2017. In my PowerPoint I embedded a short video on some extraordinary eruptive activity that we observed from Fuego's summit vents. Of course the video didn't work (does it ever?)*, so I decided I'd … Continue reading A glimpse through the clouds

Return to writing

According to my front page, I last published a post six months ago. Yikes! Keeping up a regular blog was one of my resolutions for last year that fizzled out. That isn't to say that writing has completely slipped my mind. Quite the opposite: there have been many moments in 2017 that I really wanted … Continue reading Return to writing

Notes from the field

The Santa Teresa barranca, before a pyroclastic flow.

The fourth eruption of 2017 of Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala, began in the morning of Thursday 4th May. The national monitoring institute, INSIVUMEH, released several special bulletins providing information as the eruption progressed. The early stages included the development of two lava flows, in the Santa Teresa and Las Lajas river valleys; by 21:30 local … Continue reading Notes from the field

A Snapshot of Guatemala

This is my third blog post in 2017. I know, I know! I began the year with such good intentions: I wanted to publish once a month, and to write consistently from Guatemala. Now it is spring in Bristol, and the blossoms are already falling from the cherry trees. I returned from Guatemala over a … Continue reading A Snapshot of Guatemala