Taking A More Local Approach

In the beginning of my research endeavor — with a slight shift of focus — my advisor and I made the decision to recenter our public health concerns and look more closely at the communities in which we, specifically, engage. This meant narrowing the lens of our concern and asking questions about the public health matters that affected Virginia and, more specifically, Williamsburg.

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Week 7: quiet lab

This week Dr. Puzey and two students went to Botany 2019 in Tucson, Arizona.  Caroline (our grad student), and Cici both presented some of their work on mimulus petal spot formation.  This left only Lizzie and I to hold down the fort in lab.  Because we both sometimes use other spaces in the ISC at times, we each had some very quiet days alone in the lab.  This week I continued to work on analyzing my data using R.  I focused on creating maps of the data.  I started with a basic map of the lower 48 states.  Then, I added points to mark each location that we had latitude and longitude data from our plant specimens.  Unfortunately, we only had this data for a minority of the specimens so my map ended up looking a little sparse.  Once the rest of the data collection is finished, we may go back through the specimens and georeference them to the county level.  I color coded the data so that syriaca points and exaltata points were different colors.  This doesn’t tell us very much so far, but with more data we may find patterns.

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Khop jai Laos

My last article and grant have been submitted. My suitcase is packed. I have said goodbye to my wonderful new friends. All that’s left is boarding the plane and returning to the US. As I look back on the past eleven weeks, I am overwhelmed with feelings of joy and gratitude. When I boarded a plane at the Dulles airport eleven weeks ago, I did not know what exactly I was getting myself into. I expected to be a bit uncomfortable, to learn a lot about development and working for an NGO, and to grow as an individual. All these expectations came to fruition—in much bigger ways than I could have imagined—and with them came about a million experiences and feelings I could never have imagined. One thing I was not prepared for is how large an impact this summer would have on how I view the world and my place in it.

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Gin khaow? Gin khaow.

In Lao, people don’t say “Time for lunch!” or “Dinner’s ready!” instead, they say “Gin khaow!” (Eat rice!) The word for the color white is also “khaow” meaning rice. The first part of the word for bread (khaowgee) is also rice. The international beer, that people drink more than water, and which practically sponsors the country, is rice beer. Pancakes are made from rice, whiskey is made from rice, you name it and rice is involved. Did you know there are over 40,000 varieties of rice? So far, my favorite is “khaow gai noi” (little chicken rice). Needless to say, I have consumed an exorbitant amount of rice in the past eleven weeks, and I have loved every grain.

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Week Four: I Reflect a Little

 

Week Four at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (7/28 – 8/3)

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