Surveyors in our organization have coined the phrase "IPA reduction" to refer to the weight loss that commonly occurs among staff at all levels during and IPA survey.
I recently received a spam comment on one of my old blog posts: "I want to reduce my fats and gain my physique back. so i like the tips you have shared here." The post was about how to survey people about their perceived risk of getting sick, but anyway....
In honor of all spammers who want to reduce their fats, here are the secrets of the IPA reduction:
1. Always be sure to be deep in the bush during lunch time, so you can't eat.
2. Stay in places where the only thing you can buy to eat after 7pm is plain rice.
3. When you get tired of plain rice and crave vitamins, eat nothing but a head of cauliflower or 5 carrots raw for dinner.
4. Get malaria, food poisoning, or a parasite. Failing to wash your cauliflower and carrots will be conducive to this.
5. Spend lots of time walking around villages and pushing your moto out of mud and sand.
6. Stress out constantly. Work long hours so that you are too tired to eat.
So that's the secret to the IPA Reduction. Of course, if someone comments that you have "reduced" here in Ghana, it's usually not a complement, and tips above are not actually advisable. (Except #5. Pushing your moto out of the mud is always advisable.) The good news is, the IPA Reduction can be avoided by taking the time and effort to plan to have healthy and satisfying food around even when doing field work.
I have worked in economic policy and research in Washington, D.C. and Ghana. My husband and I recently moved to Guyana, where I am working for the Ministry of Finance. I like riding motorcycle, outdoor sports, foreign currencies, capybaras, and having opinions.