I'm back in the States now, having had an extremely productive research trip. My research assistant, Jalal, served as a type of "pace car" and kept me moving throughout the three and a half weeks. Together we completed 127 oral history interviews, which is truly amazing.
Every research trip (for me, at least) tends to focus on a particular topic. Last year I interviewed mainly longer term expats. Those interviewees were able to give me a longer-term vision of the SMA expat community, but also revealed aspects of the population that I would not have expected: younger working expats, some married and raising kids, others who were making a go at living in Mexico.
For the next few days, I'm going to be blogging about expat work in SMA. Most of the people I interviewed had businesses, and therefore are willing to be identified (or their businesses identified) on this blog.
I"m still decompressing from my return trip: I was overjoyed to to see my family, but I was not happy to have to take the wheel of my minivan again (alas, this is the suburbs). I will be processing much of the materials Jalal and I collected, and reporting some of those findings here. I was amazed and impressed with what I discovered this summer. I think you will be as well.