I wrapped up my final few days in Tanzania and returned safely to Wooster, Ohio. Conducting research and living in Tanzania was an amazing experience. It wasn’t always easy, but I learned a great deal. I was able to compile some of the things I learned working in the lab in Tanzania in this BitesizeBio article: http://go.osu.edu/snB
I wanted to use this final post to thank those who helped make this research possible:
Asante sana, tomato farmers!
Asante sana, Dr. Delphina Mamiro!
Asante sana, Jackson Nahson!
Asante sana, Dr. Hosea Mtui!
Asante sana, Babu Selemani!
Asante sana, Laura Alexander, Godbless Ulomi, and iAGRI!
Asante sana, Dr. Sally Miller!
Asante sana, Miller labbies!
And with that, thank you for following my blog. Asante sana!!
This week was my last full week in Tanzania. I kept busy by wrapping up experiments and prepping samples to bring/send back to the United States. I also gave a seminar about my research and had a good discussion with several faculty about my research after the seminar. I’m glad I was able to wrap everything up smoothly because there were many power cuts this week that lasted the entire day.
Pics from this week!
Sometimes you need to make your own ice block for DNA precipitations. Complete with ethanol cupholder!
Blue headed lizard!
A monitor lizard just chilling in the hostel roof
This week, I began wrapping up experiments in the lab and made my final village visits. It was bittersweet to say goodbye to the farmers, because working with them and visiting their fields was my favorite part of my Tanzania trip. I’ll keep many good memories of the farmers that I worked with, and I’ll always appreciate how welcoming they were and how helpful they were during our field research.
Pics from this week below!
I could have posted serious farewell pictures, but I think these capture a bit more of the fun we had in the villages.
That’s a lot of O-H-I-O going on
One last roadside nyama choma stop
In other news, another gecko rescued from my shower. Bonus points for catching it during a power cut!
A beautiful moth
This wacky goat was trying to eat the car’s antenna
I started giving this kitten milk (I couldn’t resist!)…
But its mom is always lurking and growling at me.
With only two more full work weeks in Tanzania, I’ve been working hard to make sure I’m getting things done in the lab. This week, I prepped some soils for my final soil tests, did a little bacteria work, and completed some DNA extractions. Next week, I should start wrapping up by having my final village visits.
A few pictures for this week!
A toad taking advantage of some pots I left soaking in the screenhouse.
Seriously, I caught another gecko this week. This one got stuck in my shower. Crazy gecko!
Another gecko (not a very good pic though), this one is a yellow headed gecko. It’s pretty cool looking!
DNA extraction fun, if the vortex adaptor doesn’t fit the vortex, just stick a paper towel in the adaptor part and hold it on the vortex with a centrifuge tube for 15 minutes (it’s a long 15 minutes!!)
Finally got some good wilting from Ralstonia in my tomatoes accompanied by some lovely bacterial streaming
Looks like my bacteria is gram negative! (the KOH test)
This week, we finished our final village visit for the tomato disease survey. We visited a mountain village which made for a strenuous day of trekking through tomato fields. In this village, there were some interesting intercroppings: tomato/maize, tomato/radish, tomato/pea/maize, and tomato/potato. The rest of the week was spent in the lab and screenhouse, mostly doing takedown of a big assay.
Eager and ready to begin the day!
One of the paths we walked along between fields: it was about 1 foot wide and on one side, there was an irrigation stream and on the other side, it dropped off into a field. Don’t lose your balance!
The soils here have a lot of mica in them.
Check out that terracing!
It looks like an amphitheater
If you’re intercropping tomato/potato and one gets late blight..
The other will get it too.
There are peaches and apples in this village, too. Here’s some peach leaf curl (Taphrina deformans)
In other exciting news this week, I found a baby gecko inside my mosquito netting. Luckily, I was able to safely remove if and place it outside.
How did that gecko get in there?
Gotcha! Check out its awesome eye!
This week I had a pretty typical week (in terms of typical for Tanzania): inoculated some plants, worked in the lab, took down an assay, and entered data. Routine things can be good, especially when there’s only one more month remaining in my trip. Next week should be a bit busier!
Only two plant pics from this week!
Amaranth trials on campus, beautiful plants!
The tree outside my house is blooming and it’s quite lovely!
I’ve been asked several times what I do on the weekends here. My typical routine is to do laundry, go to the market, and do some work. However, there are a few more exciting things to do here also.
Here are some pics of some things you can do on the weekend here:
You can do laundry. Handwashing clothes really makes you appreciate washing machines!
You can work in the lab!
You can watch the vervet monkeys!
You can go hiking in the Uluguru Mountains!
And see the different crops that grow there
You can go fabric shopping!
You can go to the Maasai market. This picture was taken because this guy pointed at me and said “Picha” because he wanted a picture of me!
You can eat delicious food at the Maasai market.
You can go on a daylong safari at Mkumi National Park
Where you can climb baobab trees!
And see herds of elephants!
And see big monitor lizards (which are also on campus)!
After this week of work, I only have five more weeks in Tanzania. We finished up our soils work in the villages this week, and we only have final visits and evaluations left to complete in the villages. I did some screenhouse and lab work, taking down one assay and inoculating another. The next five weeks will be busy, but I’ve made my list of things to get done and I’m ready to start checking them off.
As always, pics from this week.
Harvest season is done in the villages, so people are now building/fixing houses. Here are some bricks being made.
Doing some soils work with farmers
After a hot day in the field, I think an entire watermelon is an acceptable lunch.
There are some new monkeys hanging around the guest house and yesterday, I saw a baby monkey. The younger ones are pretty curious when you go out to watch them, so here are some monkey pictures. And if you hadn’t guessed yet, yes, I do love monkeys!
This week, I spent a bit of time preparing for next week, which should be pretty busy as we complete village visits for the last portion of my project. I cleaned up lab stuff, entered data, took down an assay, and prepped for next week’s work.
Pics from this week below!
Tacks are why you should always wear shoes! Also, the bottom of my shoe looks like conidiophores or sporangiophores (perfect shoes for a plant pathologist!).
Priming the meters for next week’s work!
And then calibrating them all, also!
Bags are packed and ready for next week!
Plumeria (my favorite flower scent!)
Something in Zingiberaceae
Jackfruit (or breadfruit?)
These fruits are huge!
An arrangement I made from weedy flowers growing along the road
This week was a busy one in the lab. Last weekend, I started prepping for some DNA extractions (I had help on Saturday, Asante Babu and Patroba!) and did three days of extractions. Luckily, there were no power cuts and everything went smoothly. I took down three screenhouse assays, setup what should be my last screenhouse assay (!), and inoculated some tomatoes with bacteria.
This weekend should be a bit more relaxing: some data entry, a little writing, some monkey watching (they’re right outside my bedroom now!), and some shopping.
Pics from this week below!
The mountains were particularly beautiful this week.
DNA extraction marathon!
Root knot nematodes and eggs
View from the lab this week: horses and goats
Some lovely daisy like flower, maybe a Gerbera sp.?
A little laptop surgery, it just needed the dust cleaned out the the fan.