Monday, June 7, 2010

the guessing game


I bought something from Aldi today that comes in a box like grits and looks like it may actually be grits, but as I cannot read the box I will find out later if it truly is grits. Things like this simple surprise awaiting me has been one of the joyous experiences of living, shopping and eating in another country. 

This past week has brought a lot of accomplishments in the lab and has paved the way for many more.  I finally began the activity batch tests that I will be doing as part of Denys' evaluation of the inversed fluidized bed reactors that are being tested as a removal method for metals in wastewater using Sulfate reducing bacteria. 
 Using samples that Denys collected from her columns of both the liquid phase and the biofilm (shown in the above right image grown on polyethylene beads) and I will be testing their sulfide production and sulfate reduction while changing varies conditions. I have learned and practiced (about a million times now) a lot of new evaluation techniques to determine sulfide and sulfate concentration and am happy to be learning so many new lab techniques. I started a new experiment today and am excited to see how the week treats me. Hopefully all will go well and we will get some interesting and meaningful results. Either way they are cooking as we speak (or as I type?).

The past weekend was fairly exciting. On Saturday De and I ventured to Amsterdam to walk around and see the Anne Frank Huis. 
 I thought Amsterdam was beautiful, and as a guy in the gift shop told me delft is somewhat it's miniature, which I decided to be very true. The canals are much wider and the building are taller (and lean a little more). From above and maps the city appears to be laid out like a spiderweb consisting of canals and roads and who wouldn't want to get stuck in it? It was a beautiful day and people were riding in their boats and enjoying the weekend and life. The Anne Frank Huis was also a very moving experience and its difficult to imagine the life that she saw and the positive view of people she maintained and relayed through her diary. 

After arriving back in Delft from Amsterdam, we ventured to the market to participate in the MooiWeerSpelen festival. Delft always has something new going on and it has been great to observe and play in the new culture.  The festival contained many theatrical acts that were scattered throughout squares in the city. The festival lasted well into the night on Saturday with the last act finishing around 12:30(or 00:30), but we were home in bed before the night drew to a close for the many performers.

 We did venture out again on Sunday to the festival despite the rain and saw some really neat acts. 

Even in the rain delft is a very gentle and beautiful city. It has been quite easy to feel comfortable here and although we have only been here a month now, it seems like much longer.

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