Monday August 10, 2015
After sleeping for 3 hours I woke up this morning, filled my parents in on the travel plans, and then went into lab where Joe was working. I got to see cultures of the different species of Fusarium.
We went back to the guesthouse for a quick breakfast around 5 am and an hour later Gul Abla came in, ready to take me to the train station. Saying good bye to Joe was definitely sad but I had a strange feeling it wasn’t really bye because I know I will easily be able to stay in touch with him, without worrying about a language barrier. He is getting very close to finishing the DNA extraction process for all 1,300 samples. The qPCR will be done in Australia and he hopes to have finished analyzing the data at the end of the month. I can’t wait to see the findings!
I got on the high speed train after a quick good bye to Gul Abla and a promise to stay in touch. An hour and a half later I found myself in Ankara and was greeted by Dr. Amer at the train station. We went straight to the office where I got to see many individuals I met my first day in Turkey. Suleiman Bey (the man who picked me up from the airport in June) took me for a drive around the city where he pointed out various famous sites. Though I didn’t get a chance to go in, the depth of the history of the city was fascinating.
Dr. Amer took me to a wonderful restaurant for lunch where I had a beans dish with rice and a sweet cheesy dessert. As I have said before, Dr. Amer loves to give advice through stories so I got a chance to understand his life philosophies while hearing more about his childhood. On another note, currently Dr. Amer is planning two huge conferences. Both will be in September: one on statistics and one on nematodes. The nematode conference is a huge milestone because they will be presenting a book with the latest research in the field. It is expected to be a compilation of journal articles totaling 300 pages. Dr. Amer promised to share it with me when it is finished and I am incredibly excited to look through it soon.
After work we went to Dr. Amer’s house and it was great to see Ahmed, Luna, Lareen and Shaymaa Abla again. In just two months Lareen has grown up so much! I spent the night eating delicious food and playing UNO with the family. Seeing the pride and joy in Dr. Amer’s eyes when he talked to his kids reminded me of how much I do miss my parents. If you had asked me a week ago, I would tell you I wasn’t ready to leave the people in Turkey and go home. Now, however, I realize I have to come home eventually and I will be extremely excited to see my family and friends.