This week in general has been somewhat slow at work because my project is in its infancy and therefore all of the necessary steps required to start my project have to be performed. As with anything, the set up steps usually take the longest time. My collagen samples were ready so I finally deposited them on the silicon template made by Hayriye.
Below is an illustration of what I am trying to do by making a collagen surface on which to grow cells. This image is taken from a Paper untitled Microstructured Surfaces Cause Severe but Non-Detrimental Deformation of the Cell Nucleus (click on the name for the pdf of the paper).
After I had finished this Özge asked me if I wanted to help her stain her cells and visualize them. After she stained them we examined them under the compound microscope that is in the visualization room at the biotechnology department. (Images of this will be in my week 2 video.)
On Friday I had the opportunity to eat a specialty on METU’s campus, which is grilled fish on a roll with mint, lettuce, tomato, red pepper, and lemon. I don’t normally seek out fish as a food I normally eat, but I can say that this was absolutely wonderful and I will go back to eating it again. (I have taken video of this place and what the sandwich looked like). At lunch I sat with Albana, and Hayriye and they started to teach me the basic grammer for the Turkish language. Much of this is available in the Turkish-English dictionary I bought but having someone explain it to you makes everything much easier. What is interesting however is that I was able to learn basic Turkish from Albana who is originally from Albania and although has been in this country for 13 years, was not originally from here. Others have offered advice on how to learn the language, but Albana made it very clear and I came away from lunch having a profound confidence that I would be able to communicate with people in Turkish by the end of my time here.
The world cup ceremonies started today! Some of the people in the lab and I were able to watch it on my computer at the end of work. We watched the South Africa – Mexico game and I must say it was an amazing game to kick start the entire world cup games!
After work today, I walked down to the turf soccer fields to see if I would be able to join a pick up fútbol match (having been inspired by the first world cup match). Unfortunately all of the fields were occupied but I stayed and watch the people play. What was interesting to note, was that all of the people playing on the three fields seemed to have a certain understanding of the flow of the game and how positioning on the field was supposed to work. When I played in pick up games in the States, there are several people who understand this concept, but many lack the field awareness that seemed to be an innate property in the style of Turkish play that I was witnessing.
After the game I met some of the people who lived in the building I live in and I ended up watching the France- Uruguay with them and eating dinner with them. I can’t tell you how excited I am about the US-England game tomorrow. It should be an amazing opportunity for the United States and a time for the excitement surrounding the sport of fútbol to blossom back home!