Well, I have 16 days until I am on my way home. It’s crazy how fast time flies, but at the same time, it seems like I had so much time here. Where did that all go?
This week, I worked with the Biotic Stressor Resistance Evaluation (BSREC) department, where I learned about common pests and infections for rice plants. The five I worked with were the BPH (brown plant hopper), GLH (green leaf hopper), Blast, BB/BLB (bacterial (leaf) blight), and Tungro. I was able to go into the fields and infect the plants with BB and Blast, where they will later be scored for resistance or susceptibility. I also observed how both GLH and BPH were monitored and used to test the crop’s resistance. During my time in the fields and the greenhouse, I developed a huge respect for the workers who go out every day and endure the heat for extended hours at a time. It’s very labor intensive and draining!
While I was with this group, they were super welcoming and offered me fresh native fruits, which they grew themselves. They love to crack jokes and get concerned when I am too serious. The biggest thing I’ve learned from my experience in the Philippines so far is that Filipinos definitely know how to make someone smile!