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Good Experience; Good Results

Busy reconciling numbers are Deputy Census Manager Crispin Boney and Area Coordinator Selburn Christian.

Three census workers who have completed their assignments say that - of the 700 persons they collectively interviewed - more than 95 percent were cooperative, well informed and eager to answer census questions.

Even the few cases of initial hostility they encountered gave way after they explained their role, and the census' goal. None had dogs chasing them or doors banged on their noses, said Andrea Calderon, Prudence Ebanks, and Saskia Edwards.

Everyone answered all questions - including the income query, once census workers stressed only the income range was needed, and individual confidentiality would not be compromised. The three workers agreed that the community will benefit from the census information they helped gather.

Personally, Ms Calderon, a second-time census worker, found it "rewarding" and "a real pleasure". Dealing with more than 250 persons in Bodden Town was highly gratifying, the 62-year-old noted.

Once, after finally interviewing a resident who'd she tried to catch at home several times, she then provided him a ride to town since he had a flat tyre. With three others, she tried a dozen times each, she recalled.

First-time enumerator Ms Ebanks, from West Bay, increased her circle of acquaintances after interviewing 300-plus residents, predominantly employed in the tourism sector. "Now at the supermarket, someone is always greeting me," she said. Ms Ebanks added that she particularly enjoyed hearing older Caymanians share stories from their childhood and youth.

Ms Edwards, who worked on Cayman Brac, noted that the "beneficial" training opened her eyes to the true purpose behind the census. She found that only two of the 200-plus persons had a problem providing their names, she said. Also, many thought it would take longer to complete the questionnaire.

With a sense of ownership and the satisfaction of a job well done, all three enumerators are now looking forward to the tabulation and the announcement of initial data.

For further information contact: Bina Mani