Tuesday, May 19, 2009

IHE- Expectations

Author: Robert Bair

Good-Bye Tampa! I have spent the last few days tying up loose ends and making sure that I am at least partially ready for this trip. I am a little nervous due to the fact that I am not sure what is expected of me in the lab. I have spent the last few weeks in Dr. Yeh’s lab learning as many lab techniques as possible. I hope that is enough of a background to start with.

As far as language preparation goes, the crash course didn't stay in my brain for long. The only thing I remember is “Hoi” and “Doei.” I started using another language program, which has been teaching me particularly useless phrases like “de jongen onder de bal” (which translates to “the boy is under the ball”).

Although I do not know what is expected of me, I do have expectations regarding this trip. First of all, I hope to increase my understanding of anaerobic processes. A thorough understanding of these processes will be useful for creating appropriate sanitation technology for developing countries. Secondly, I am very excited about the possibility of meeting the people from UNESCO-IHE who have extensive experience working with water and sanitation issues. I am particularly interested in talking to IHE students and learning from them how they are solving water issues in their respective countries. Lastly, I hope to learn as much about the Dutch culture, language and history as possible. I haven’t done sufficient pre-trip studying on any of these. What better way to learn than to travel?

It is time to sleep, so Doei!

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