This past week I got to visit more departments in the IRRI. On Monday, we got to go to the Plant Growth Facility again to work with and observe some of the workers sorting the rice, one grain at a time. It was a tedious job but it has to be done in order to ship out the right type of functional rice seeds to other establishments that work with IRRI. Also we were listening to music and Filipinos love to sing, so it was not as bad as it could have been. Also that night my friends decided to make a meme out of a picture of me. As you can see, Meghan had her creative juices flowing and contributed 7 memes.
The next day, we were scheduled for a data analysis presentation with two PhD students but it was moved for the afternoon. Instead, we had to go to another presentation on the importance of bioinformatics and the need for a more modernistic centralized data base. Even though most of what he said went over my head, the small portion that I understood was pretty interesting. In the afternoon, we got to have a lesson on some of the softwares they use to analyze the data that they gather. That night, we went to celebrate Zoe’s birthday. She got to celebrate her 21st birthday and her boyfriend came to visit her which was pretty cool. We went to have dinner at Selina’s (the place that has a photo of me) and had cake at a karaoke place. I actually gathered up the courage to sing one song!!! I’m proud of myself.
The high school students that were working with me had their last day on Wednesday. So that morning, we had a tour in the genetic transformation laboratories, which is where Meghan works btw. She couldn’t stop laughing through the whole tour. Yes, she is SILLY!! Any way, we got to see the general rundown on how they test out the transgenic products and make sure that the only thing different about it would be the substance they added, for example zinc or iron. We also got to see the controlled growth facilities that they use. Since these products are transgenic, they do their best to contain all the pollen so it won’t leave that room and possibly contaminate the rice fields. That night I had my second boxing lesson that left me with an aching wrist. I should have known that boxing wasn’t for me.
I was flying solo on Thursday at the blast nursey cause my high school homies were gone. In this facility, they are responsible for growing the blast fungus and use it to infect the different varieties of rice to see which ones are susceptible or resistant. They also do this process with the bacteria called BLB. After the tour, I was able to take part in the preserving some of the leaves that have been tested. They preserve the leaves because they can use these infected leaves as a source of the specimen whenever they want to grow more of the bacteria or fungus. They then rank the preserved samples from resistant, moderately resistant, moderately susceptible and susceptible.
I had nothing to do at work on Friday so I took that time to relax and prepare for the trips we planned for that weekend. Anaol came to join us for our weekend plans. Saturday morning, we got up to take a jeepney ride to San Pablo which is where you can find the twin lakes, Lake Pandin and Lake Yambo. We had to hike a little bit in order to get to the lakes. We got to Lake Pandin where we got on a bamboo raft excursion into the lake. We got to swim and enjoy the beautiful view. It was early so we decided to go see the other lake but it started raining HARD!! By the time we got back to the main road we were all soaking wet and disgusting. That didn’t help the fact that the air conditioning at Jolibee was on high and had us all shivering and cold. We went straight back to IRRI to recover for our Sunday plan.
Sunday was scheduled for the Pangsanjan Falls in the city of Pangsanjan. It took us two jeepney rides, where at some point everyone fell asleep. We finally made it and hopped on canoes on a trail to the main fall, Magdapio fall. On our way, we got to see a mini fall and some sceneries. When we got there, we got to go on a bamboo raft to go right underneath the water fall into a cave. As I was getting closer to the water fall, I couldn’t breath and started freaking out. At that moment, I remembered that I was actually terrified of having that much water falling on my face. We were all told to sit down but I crawled over Meghan to the edge to get away from the fall. After we made it to the cave past the falls, I calmed myself down and was able to enjoy the view and take some pictures. But then it was time to go back through the falls again so I decided to face away from the fall and sit on the edge. I started taking deep breaths as we started to move and an old man saw me struggling and helped me out. He showed me a way to cover my nose to breath with my mouth. I think he is my guardian angel lol. On our way back to start point, we got to experience the shooting rapids which was really fun. Even though I was really scared and on edge, I’m still glad I was able to experience it.