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June 21, 2008 / calebdresser

Dirty dishes, a woman, and a rice plant

Its Saturday, and I’m in the lab. No, this is no apparition from Office Space… everyone always comes in on Saturday. Its a six day workweek here, and while I am by no means bound to follow it, in this case it made sense for my experiments. I’ve found my first root galls on a cute little direct-seeded rice plant in plot #10, and I also had time to dowload some pictures. I took this one on Wednesday, when twelve plots in the long-term trials were transplanted.

I’m still coming to terms with the stratified labor situation here. Its not just pay scales, either.  I was working on my Hindi with the field crew leader, a very competant man of perhaps thirty-five who manages several trials and several workers. Practicing my sentence structure, I adressed him as ap, the respectful form of “you.” Ne, ne, he said – while he called me ap, I should adress him as tum, the form of “you” used when speaking to a person of inferior status, an informal close friend, or a child (the last two don’t apply in this context). I pretended I could not understand, though what I really wanted to do was sit down and cry.  He has helped me a great deal with my work and with my Hindi, and generously invited me to visit his small home in a nearby village, though I know his food budget is slim. There is is – though friends we may be, rank cannot be forgotten. At khana in the early afternoon, he eats apart from the science staff, though he is as skilled and essential to the project as we are. After I eat, I have to rush to wash my dishes before he or one of his laborers does them for me, and even so I always have to let them do the last couple items because they seem so uncomfortable with me washing my own. Somehow the symbolism of at least trying helps me feel better about it.

On a brighter note, I’ve taken my first in-field root samples – see below. The one on the left is from the transplanting bed, the one on the right is a direct-seeded plant, in which I subsequently found a few root-knot nematode galls, which means I definitely do have a reason for doing my project! A step in the right direction.

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4 Comments

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  1. Becky / Jun 22 2008 11:58 pm

    Just sending some love from afar!

    Nice root samples!

    butttt a SIX day work week? Are you kidding me? Torture!

  2. Joel / Jun 23 2008 3:00 am

    If you have the magnification, we would like to see some pictures of root samples with and without the root-knot nematode galls.

  3. Amy / Jun 25 2008 4:31 am

    Congrats on your first bit of data 🙂

    So the societally-sanctioned lab sanctuary stinks and is foreign… but does it seem to make him unhappy?

  4. lokesh saini / Sep 16 2009 6:50 am

    i want to more picture on dsr.

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