Things at FORRU have really been looking up. At the beginning of my internship, I was worried that we didn’t really have our place on the team. Everyone else had their projects, but my fellow American interns and I were mostly doing data entry. After bringing up my concerns, though, we were able to meet with the founder of FORRU, and as I suspected, there was a lot of work to be done! One of my fellow interns, Anna, is now taking on a project with a professor at CMU, Dakota and I are now working on a seed germination experiment, and all three of us will now be working to update FORRU’s website.
The past week has had a lot of late nights working on getting our seed germination project started. We only have two and a half weeks left, so we need to work fast. It’s been pretty difficult due to the language barrier and lack of materials. FORRU doesn’t have a dedicated lab, so we had to get creative and turned the office kitchen into our own makeshift seed lab. We had to purchase our own tables, venture out to a flower market and use what little Thai we know to buy seeds, go back and forth to too many 7/11s to get miscellaneous supplies, get interdepartmental lab supply loans, and, in a desperate hour, wander into a random lab on campus to borrow a graduated cylinder. This past Monday night we were in our lab until 11pm…blending leaves. It was actually pretty fun, and I’m so glad that we have this opportunity to experiment with FORRU (and hopefully manage to make a scientific breakthrough in three weeks).