Today we left at 3 am to head for Taal volcano, which is famous for having a lake inside the crater of an active volcano. It was the most breathtaking view we've had in the Philippines, and the hike from the base to the top took no more than an hour (with breaks). It wasn't even … Continue reading Taal Volcano not so tall
Today, Hsiang took the day off after celebrating her birthday Sunday. That left me with my very own PCR project. With a little guidance from Ate Nani, I obtained all my own samples, made the custom buffer, ran the PCR, made my own gel, ran electrophoresis, and analyzed the results. What a full day!
It's amazing how far a few key phrases can take you. Just greeting people with "maganda gabi" or responding to kind favors with "salamat po" is instantly met with shocked expressions and the question "you speak Tagalog?" Of course, I only know a few words and phrases that I've learned from Tito Mon's brief orientation … Continue reading You speak Tagalog???
The last couple days, I have been running and revising Hsiang's protocol for her post-doctoral thesis. This includes 14 individual hour-long UV-Visible spectroscopy runs in 2 days- plus 8 more tomorrow and 3 next week. I also get to analyze the data partially by hand (the spectrophotometer takes a scan every second!). Luckily, the adjustments … Continue reading UV Miserable
Today was official IRRI orientation for all new interns, scholars, and trainees that have arrived in the past couple weeks. The six of us from IWU were joined by newcomers from Arizona, India, Bhutan, Vietnam, Ireland, and here in the Philippines. We spent 3 hours this morning in the fields planting an entire hectare of … Continue reading Froilan, you forgot me at Security!
Today is ANOTHER holiday in the Philippines. The IWU students at IRRI took advantage of our 3 day weekend and traveled to Puerto Galera. We stayed in a hotel right on the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We spent all day Saturday swimming and enjoying the small island. Sunday, we took a short hike to … Continue reading Puerto Galera
Ate Mae says that Ate Lea is the best Tagalog teacher, so today I learned to say "mahal kita" which means "I love you." Last year, she taught Peter the same phrase and sent him to say it to someone in the lab. It seems to be their form of hazing here in the C4 … Continue reading Mahal kita
This afternoon was my first time working in the lab here at IRRI. I assisted Mae (another intern under Hsiang) with obtaining samples to run PCR, loading an agarose gel for electrophoresis, and scanning a finished gel for analysis. In the coming days, I will start doing this sort of work on my own. Until … Continue reading Good enough for lab work
Today, we were formally introduced to our supervisors. Mine is post-doc Dr. Hsiang-Chun Lin (but everyone just calls her Hsiang). She gave me a tour of the lab and office space. Since the C4 project is what IRRI is most known for right now, I am working in one of the biggest and most important … Continue reading First Day
June 12 is Independence Day here in the Philippines. That makes it a day off of work and school. The Philippines was colonized by Spain, the US, and Japan, but on this day celebrates being an independent nation. We're celebrating our day off by going to the mall. We also got to watch IRRI's flag … Continue reading Independence Day