Traveling to Yozgat

Monday July 6th

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Gul Abla and Dr. Amer, my two mentors

This week I will be traveling to Yozgat and Konya, two CIMMYT work sites where there are trials to measure the resistance of different germplasm to crown rot and cereal cyst nematodes. I woke up at 5 this morning with only 5 hours of sleep to get on the train with Gul Abla. At Ankara we met Dr. Amer and drove to Yozgat. After gauging the work in the field, I was asked to label bags. These would later be used to collect seeds harvested from the three different nurseries.

Unlike Eskisehir the institute’s cafeteria remains open during Ramadan. Due to the hot climate and long hours, many of the workers don’t fast. Though there was food, meat is an integral part of every meal. I had rice with yogurt.

At 5, we went to the field where I collected wheat stems, Gul Abla rated how infected the plant was, and Dr. Amer recorded the rating. The plants given a 1 rating (the least susceptible to fusarium, the fungus that causes crown rot) will be replanted next year to verify their resistance.

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Scoring and recording the crown rot infection

After a long day of work we went to a restaurant, getting there right in time for Iftar (the dinner meal that ends the day of fasting). There I had fasulye (an amazing beans dish) with rice and a milky dessert with figs. It was very refreshing.

Despite the great meal, I wasn’t feeling too well. I began to get a headache halfway through our time in the field, and by the time dinner had ended, my face felt like it was burning. To make the situation better, my muscles felt unreasonably sore. Last night I had debated whether or not to pack my medicine kit. I finally decided against it for a lack of space and by telling myself I wouldn’t get sick. I guess that was the wrong decision. I hope it is just a bad headache and I am not actually sick.

We got to our hotel around 9:40. It was great and had all the amenities I could want. I crashed on my bed and fell asleep a little before 10.

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