Around five in the evening, Emre from Ankara Office accompanied me on a high-speed train to Eskisehir. On our trip, he showed me a map of Turkey and pointed out CIMMYT’s different worksites and the types of diseases that are prevalent in each area. We were greeted by my mentor Gula Abla and Joe, a PhD student from Australia. We then picked up Dr. Amer and Mark. Mark is Joe’s advisor and Dr. Amer is the director of the Institute and he is also my mentor for the next two months.
We all headed for dinner near a beautiful park. The park had a Disney-like castle and a large ship that reminded me of Noah’s Ark.
After dinner, we drove to the CIMMYT compound. The huge area is secured and contains housing, a cafeteria, CIMMYT offices, and fields where the wheat and barley are grown. Dr. Gul gave me the keys to my room in a large Guest House. My room is right next to Joe’s and it is very nice. There are two beds, a closet, an attached bathroom, and a tiny TV. There is also a kitchen down the hall which will be very helpful when Ramadan starts.
I also had my first cultural lesson that some people consider chicken to be vegetarian!