Today was slower, and even though I’ve only been here a few days, I’m already falling into a routine. Wake up, go to breakfast, go to work, go to lunch, take a break, go back to work, and then go back to my room. I still do things to break it up, like take a walk or read, but things are slower here and it’s easy to slow down with them.
This morning our guest from Thailand was leaving. She met me at breakfast, and the two women who accompanied her added me on Facebook to share photos they had taken. She also asked my permission to take a photo of me. “For my daughter.” She explained, “She’s 18”. I agreed and then smiled and waved them goodbye as I cleaned up to go to the lab.
We went to a greenhouse nearby today to transplant and label hundreds of tomato plants that will eventually be transferred to the entomology department, where we’ll be working tomorrow. Two older women also worked with us, speaking much less English than anyone else I’ve met so far. The only English work they said was my name, to get my attention if I needed to hand them more pots or slow down in moving the seedlings. Still, it was work that was easy to get lost in, and I didn’t realize how much I was sweating until it dripped into my eyes. We eventually finished and went back to counting whitefly eggs and cleaning cages.
I went for a short walk later but went in before the mosquitos could come out. Eight bug bites still itch ferociously on my calfs. Now I’m up, trying to stay awake as long as possible to help myself get over jet lag. I had a small amount of currency exchanged at the cashier’s here at the center, and I keep wanting to re-examine the colorful bills and coins. Besides that, I’m settling in quickly enough.