Very slow day today. After a morning of working to move more whiteflies to eggplants, all there was left to do was clean some Petri dishes that had been labeled in Sharpie, which took maybe 10 minutes. We also stopped by the greenhouse for a few minutes to collect pollen from tomato plants. The extra time let me get caught up on emails and clean up my computer files, but then there was still about 4 hours left until we were off for the day. To pass the time, Hank and I went out to see the fields and greenhouses so I could learn where they are and what they’re used for.

At lunch today I was approached by a coworker who let me know that he and several others will be leaving to southern Taiwan on Sunday and asked me to come with them. I told him it sounded like fun, and later I was contacted by another member of the group going so that she and I could exchange contact information. When Hank found out I’ll be out more, he gave me his number in case of emergencies, which I appreciate very much. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the country, and it will be nice to get out a bit. The heat seems to be getting worse. Today it was sunnier than usual, and the short amount of time I spent out had sweat pouring off of me, so I was glad to get back into the air conditioned office.

I finally identified a very large bird that’s nesting in a tree by the entomology lab and is usually seen wandering around. Its English name is the Malaysian Night Heron. Up until now, my coworkers told me its name was “big, dumb, ugly bird”. I didn’t think it was that ugly, until I saw its nestlings. 3 of them that watch us anytime we get close to the nest. The best way I can describe them is fuzzy, unfinished muppets. It’s more than a little disconcerting to walk by the tree and see three sets of massive eyes peering out from a lump of mangy fluff following you.

This morning at breakfast, I saw the last of our visitor from Thailand, as she said she was leaving just before noon. Even though communication with her was more difficult than it is with most, I’m sad to see her go as it was nice to have someone to eat breakfast with. At least I won’t be the only one for long. I was told this morning that one of the Drs. had approved of more than 23 more interns, all to arrive sometime in the next week! That, plus the many I’ve been assured will arrive in late July are sure to have the place feeling busy and friendly by the time I leave. For now, there are only 2 of us housed in the dormitory behind the cafeteria. The rest are in an apartment complex about 10 minutes by bike away. IMG_5492

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