Monday, November 22, 2010

Names and Numbers

My eyes are going wonky. I’ve been transferring names, ages, DUI numbers and relationship data from a community census that has come in – written by hand – needing to be ‘passed to clean’ on an excel spreadsheet.

Holy buckets. What did I get myself into when I offered to do that first one a few months ago?
It’s not so bad when there are 45-50 families in a community … that’s only between 250-300 names. But my most current census has 106 families. I started this morning and I’m not done yet – I’m only on family number 81 – and already up to 402 names. This is a very prolific community! Relatively young, too! And many have HUGE families.

A complete census is a really useful tool to have though. It really helps when we go door to door with delegations. Taking the time to write all this information in a quick visit leaves us no time for real questions … like ‘are your children in school?’ – ‘what type work do you do?’ – ‘do you own or rent your land?’ – those are some of the good things to know about a community.
So we’ve been asking each community for a complete census. This also ensures that no one gets left out if there is a community gift being brought by a visiting delegation!

It is a lot of work for whoever assembles the information also! THEY have to go door to door! But when they give me the list – and I ‘make it clean’ – I print out two copies for the community. So any organization needing a census immediately has one. And the Directiva has an accurate list of residents! So it really does benefit the community as well!

And once the original is done, it is easily updated year to year. We only need to alter a few if there are additional children – or if an older child gets ‘accompanied’ and branches out to their own household.

But in the meantime … this is my 6th census. And it is the biggest so far. And my fingers are feeling quite tired. And my eyes need a break. (Whine, whine, whine, ha-ha) I’m lucky the handwriting on this one is pretty good! (Thank you, Elida!!). And names are so interesting here.

Here is one family I got a kick out of. Mom and dad are aged 43 and 50 respectively: Manuel de Jesús and María Ester. They have 11 children. (Goodness!). Here are the names: Elias, Maria, Isais, Esau, Moises, Israel, Isaac, Isai, Danilo, Adonay and Fredi. I guess they ran out of Biblical names …

Most unusual names: Dimas, Jenisis, Azucena, Felicita, Siomara, Isamar, Rigo, Selodonia, Marili, Megrui, Landolino, José, Magrucio, Aldahi, Elvis, Nayeli, Dagoberto, Adilio, Maiyori, Rasa, Dimora.

THIS is why my eyes are having a hard time of it now!

I love my job.

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