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Lab day

Posted by on November 26, 2011

On Monday morning Salome and I went back to Mbare polyclinic and spoke with the TB nurses there about our study. They were really nice and said they would give us a call when they found anyone fitting our criteria. Then we went back to the office and worked on paperwork stuff for the rest of the morning.

Shortly after lunch, I took a combi to Harare Central Hospital where the core lab is. Beauty and I wanted to finish setting up the assay that we didn’t complete on Friday. It’s sort of strange going back in the lab after not working in one for so long. Even when I managed the BSL3 lab at Berkeley I only did one experiment that whole year and that was a favor for a friend. But this is completely different work since these are patient samples for diagnostics and not lab strains for basic science experiments. The assay comes in a kit so it’s easy enough to set up: you just dissolve some tablets in 5 mL of media (already measured out), then aliquot your sample and the media into the wells of a plate. Then you seal it up and incubate for 5 days. We had a lot of samples so we set up three plates and even with both of us working, it still took nearly two hours to finish.

Beauty and Lucy were both very impressed that I took the combi. They thought that Salome had dropped me off. Since they both have cars, they just drive everywhere and they don’t know the combi routes as well as I do!

Then I told them that I went to the football (soccer) game on Sunday and they were really impressed! They think I am having “great adventures” in Zimbabwe. I guess I was the only white girl at the game, but I wouldn’t have called it an adventure.

Beauty gave me a ride back to the office which was great because I got back just after 4:15 so the doors were still unlocked and I was able to get in and pack up my laptop before heading home. Everyone leaves very promptly at 4:30 and if you are not careful (or if you’re staying late) you can easily get locked out. Also, the secretary locks the bathrooms when she leaves so you have to plan ahead and keep your eye on the clock!

In the evening I was talking to Jacob on Skype when Jake called (what are the chances of having two guys named Jacob call you at once?). On Sunday after the game I had invited Jake over for dinner but he said he was tired so I said he was welcome on Monday since I’d still have some vegetarian chili leftover. I didn’t think he’d take me up on it, but he had a long, hard day at work and was only getting off at 8 pm and remembered my offer. It was nice to have a dinner guest (my first one in my current place!) even if we just had leftovers (although chili is better the next day anyway). We chatted for an hour and half while we ate then he left and I spent the rest of the evening reading.

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