Queen’s cakes and focus groups

When I began the data collection phase of my research, I knew that scheduling the interviews, and especially the focus groups, was going to be exciting.  I knew the clergy interviews would be relatively easy to schedule; I know most of the clergy, and for the ones I don’t know, we have the bond of vocational fellowship. I was definitely more nervous about scheduling the focus groups.

In my naïveté, I assumed that the clergy would organize the focus groups for me.  Two of the priests did gather their people for me, but I had to contact the rest.  I was quite apprehensive about this: if a stranger were to call you and ask you to participate in a focus group, would you do it?  I was fretting about this to our Chaplain, who completed her doctorate two years ago, and she set me straight: “Jessica, you call those people, and you tell them that their vicar has given you their contact for them to participate in the focus group.” Alrighty then.

I was a bit appalled at this straight-forward approach, but she was right.  While two people have given me a little push-back in the focus group itself, each person I’ve called has replied with “when are we meeting?”

One vicar asked me to come after one of the Sunday services to talk to Patrick, the Head of Laity (akin to the Senior Warden).  Fortunately, I was supervising a student at another church nearby, so that wasn’t a problem.  Patrick has been incredibly helpful, and when we were discussing the date, he asked if he should make arrangements for tea.  This is Uganda, so tea is compulsory: I agreed, and asked if we could also have an accompaniment of some kind.  Patrick agreed, and said we’d have something like a Queen’s cake (a cupcake sans frosting), but then he pointed out that we don’t have a Queen, so I may not know what that is.  I love working with him!

I have 11 of the 12 interviews completed, as well as two of the three focus groups.  Please pray that the remaining interview and focus group can be scheduled and completed soon so that I can fully immerse myself in transcription purgatory.

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