The past Monday, I was able to finally meet my supervisor, Dr. Swamy, and talk to him about what I’ve been doing at IRRI so far. Shortly after, he assigned me to another PhD student Ratna. She just came back from Indonesia from visiting her husband and her two little boys and might I add she is a great person to work with, LOVE HER! Later that day, we went to out for dinner because it was Joey’s last day in Los Baños. We had some lemonade that he talked so highly about and then a TEX-Mex restaurant called Spice Jar. He was right, that lemonade was FIREEE!
The next day was my first day working with Ratna and she made me start with DNA extraction. This was a different method than the one I was shown earlier and took a longer time to complete. But we had the whole day, so I took it one step at a time and had DNA for 8 different rice plants at the end of the day. After work, the Ayana, Zoe, Meghan, Priscilla and I went to Zark’s burger for dinner. This was no ordinary trip to a fast food restaurant, this was the day Meghan took part in the challenge of eating The Jawbreaker (a triple cheeseburger with two slices of spam, bacon strips, smothered with cheese sauce, served with 400g of seasoned fries and 16oz drink) in 5 minutes. Winner would get the meal for free and have their photo up on the wall. Unfortunately, due to lack of tactic, she lost that challenge. When asked what happened, she said “I could do it, just not under 5 minutes. I didn’t want to choke on the food”. She will still have our support for the next time she attempts the challenge.
Wednesday was a chill day. In lab, I tested whether the DNA I extracted was viable and it was. So I took the rest of my time at work to do PCR, which is the next step. My wrist was still hurting from the last time I went boxing, so I skipped that and just ended up watching Brooklyn 99 with Ayana and Meghan.
Thursday was slightly disappointing at work. I went in to do Gel electrophoresis with my PCR product to see that I had zero results 💀. But that’s part of the process I was told. It just takes more tries and the right Primer to Taq combination and actual amplification by the primer to get it working. I took that L and redid the PCR with new primers for the rest of the day. After work, we celebrated our friend Jaymar’s birthday. He was tired because he just came back from Thailand so we decided to stay in and watch a movie. We ended up watching A Star Is Born that night.
Friday was a new day, so I went to work to check on my PCR products. After the gel finished running, me and Ratna went to check if I got anything, and I got exactly zero results. But that was okay, next time, I’ll just have to use another combo. ወድቀን: አንወድቅም!!! Later that day, we all left for Manila.
The next day everyone went to Intramuros, which is an area within in the city of Manila that was previously controlled by the Spaniards. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling too good so I decided to stay in and take a day off. After recharging, we all met at a sushi place and had unlimited sushi. We all took advantage of the fact that it was unlimited and had our money’s worth. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that much food in my life. It had us all sleeping as soon as we got back home. It was a good day.
We were on the road again on Sunday on our way back to LB and just took it easy yet again. It was a mellow week for me and I enjoyed it.