Wednesday, June 18, 2008

pictures part 2

our dining commons area...that white board was filled with fond memories.
the living room area of our dorm. lots of cheesy mystery and romance books on those shelves for people who have nothing to do with their lives. the staircase leads to the girls living quarters. on the right is Irma. we have a special relationship: she calls me "jackie chan". jackie chan=jonathan, kinda sounds the same right? i think the majority of my mosquito bites, including the infamous ones occured here.

here's a nice panorama of the north part of the island. the two bays can be seen on the right side of the photo.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Alright where to start? here we go , this here is our beloved Gump Research Station... Buildings from the left to the right: we have the dorm area, the cabanna, the blue tanks (of death), the wet lab, and the research labs. the shot is actually a 360 view and so the right part of the picture actually part of the left. Now, im going to take you directly through the center of the photograph:
As you can see, the wet lab is actually divided into two buildings: the touch tank area and that other building with the green roof, touch tanks are places where experiments with organisms are carried out. lots of fish tanks along here. you can also see the blue tanks (of death) out on the right to give you a sense of direction. Continuing on...
If you walked through the wet lab, you would have gotten here: the dock area, this is where we load up our boats, park them, and lay stuff out to dry.

Now we are going out of this area and going towards the right of the first photograph, the brown building...The building itself is made up of two floors.

this here is our computer lab located on the second floor of the research lab building. If you wanted to know where i am sitting, i usually sit in the far chair of the left side. (i believe my backpack is there) . this is the dwelling place of janky internet.this is one of the lower level labs. this one in particular was known as the dirt lab; but UCLA did all of our in lab experiments here. as we were leaving, a smithsonian team took over. apparently they wanted to make a complete genome project of every single organism found in Moorea (quite a feat)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Wrapping up the last days

wow...where to even start? starting from last weekend things have been very exciting. on saturday night, we went out to a tahitian concert on the island. what was really exciting was that the band featured was the same one to which we had our dance numbers to! the concert wasnt just a concert in itself but it also featured dancers, and for the first time, we got to see how the dances really were supposed to act (we really butchered it). sunday was a day to finally wrap up our projects. we went out to various parts of the bay to collect our cages. luckily this time we had a boat, so we didnt have to swim all over the place.

however, we were far from finished. we had to work on synthesizing and interpreting our data for our presentations today.'s all over.

tonight there's supposed to be a toga dance party/undie run....yay.... (note the sarcasm).

this will probably be one of the last entries for this blog site. thanks for joining in on the ride...i will be updating this site with pictures.

see ya.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

crunch time...

well hello super tired right now, but im writting anyways because the slurring of my type and mental state will be able to help everyone understand what i've been going through. so have fun!

if there was ever a crunch day, this was it:

i guess it started monday when we had to set up two experiments simultaneously, the
first experiment which was supposed to start that day, and the other for the next day. by dinner time we were able to complete our first, and complimented that the layout resembled that to a sushi bar (we had different species of algae growing together). the second required that we create cages for an "in-situ", that is, an in-field experiment. by the time we finished creating all 10 cages it was already 2:30 AM in the morning.

by 6:30 AM we were up and running, placing algae into the cages, and by 9, set out to do our experiments. funny thing, halfway completing the 1st part of the experiment, we began to question our methods and everything fell apart into rubble. by the time lunch arrived, we had nothing accomplished except being wet, tired and confused.

by the Grace of God, we were able to pull our act together over some coffee and by 1 set out to do our experiment, which required us to bring 10 pound weighted transects up and down all over the bay. i nearly died the first time i did this but somehow was given the strength to not only do the same distance but swim further up the bay.
we were able to finish what was required of us by the time the sun set.

im sooooo happy its over. although im happy also that i got darker throughout the day. i hope i dont get melanoma. :D

Saturday, May 24, 2008

last night...

was pretty interesting. to say the least.

we had our second tahitian feast this quarter, but we weren't the main guests of honor this time. Instead, we had a couple of UC Regents as well as the Review Board of Berkeley (the Gump Station is owned by Berkeley). Along with the great food (poisson crue, breadfruit, stone oven cooked pork, etc), we also enjoyed great entertainment, including karaoke as well as tahitian dancers.

except that the tahitian dancers weren't tahitian. they were bruins.

among the guys (6 of us), only 3 actually participated in the cultural dances. including me. i have absolutely NO idea how i got dragged into that.

all to say, in the near future, you're probably going to get facebook photo updates involving me almost completely nude, with a loin cloth and leaves and over my neck, arms and legs.
i'd like to apologize in advance...

on a brighter side, the natives were particularly enthusiastic. as one of them put it, almost all the time, it has always been the tahitians dancing for the outsiders. now that the outsiders were dancing for the tahitians, it gives her a warm fuzzy happy feeling.

and i still dont know how i even got into that....

Monday, May 19, 2008


im sorry i've been incommunicado, as the days are getting busier and busier.
i've been pretty much immersed with work for the past few weeks, to the point where i wonder if i should change "daily escapades" to "bimonthly escapades" although the latter lacks umph to it.

so since last week, we started up with our independent projects. prior to these, we've pretty much were drone for various projects proposed by our professors and TA's. although they required lots of time and effort, they eventually provided us the foundation needed to work on our own projects, which have no intervention from the professors.

i wont really bore you with the topic of my research, as i doubt most of you will be fascinated by algae, but to say the least, the work has been anything but being a breeze. To start off, our allotted outdoor tank's (more like a big blue round tub) water was supplied by a faulty system which gave us undistributed flow. One tank (not ours) filled up faster than the other (ours). In an effort to fix this, we tried hooking up other hoses and ended up with very wet and drenching consequences.
To make the situtation even more devastating/humorous (depending on your flavor), another group had set up their experiment in one of the tanks (the one that wasnt ours). Initially, everything had worked out fine, as both tanks were beginning to flow out evenly. We then proceeded to work on other things, but taking one more look at our setup, we saw the other groups experiments being sloshed around in their tank.
Sorry to go on a tangent but i guess i have to explain the set up first. The pipe that distributes the seawater hangs overhead, and a tube is attached to it. The tube itself is attached to a valve, which attaches to another tube, which attaches to a t-valve, which supplies both tanks with water. Got that? hahaha.....
So what happened, was the the hose going to our tank became disconnected from the t-valve, and produced extra current in the other tank, effectively destroying the other group's experiment. In an effort to make wrong things right, we devoted the remainder of the day to resetting and redoing their experiment. Not wanting to repeat the same mistake, we decided to fiddle around with the water system before placing the experiments back into the tank. Fiddling around with it, we somehow disconnected the tube that was attached to the pipe, allowing full flow/unvalved seawater splashing all over the place (remember, the tube connects the pipe to the valve), including the tank we previously wrecked. Good thing we didn't place in the experiments yet! We decided to fix the pipe/tube problem with duct tape. And for the remainder of the day, we fixed and placed the other team's project into the tank and things went well.

the next morning, we were setting up and getting ready for our experiments when we spied The Maltese Falcon [link:] coming in the bay. It's an amazing ship that is completely motorized by computer that an 12 year old can manage it. In admiring this magnificent ship in the bay, we looked over to the water tank area, and lo and behold, what should we see, but a cascading waterfall pouring into the other tank, and most certainly destroyed the other group's experiment. Upon inspection, we realized that the tube connecting the pipe and valve required some sort of clamping in order to stay. So again, we spent the entire day trying to fix the jankey (my new favorite word) water system.

the next day, things went pretty smoothly for us and we were back on schedule. too bad the weather decided to disagree! as our experiment was weather dependent, our results for it were pretty sub-optimal and nothing like we've predicted. hopefully, the weather will clear up and things will look better as we begin our second trial.

one thing i've been reminded through this is the sovereignty of God, and how we may plan our ways but He is the one that determines our steps. it's been keeping my attitude and perspective in check. oh and a funny thing! good news: i went to church! bad news: it was a catholic one....
good news: it was in french! bad news: it was in french. hahaha....

God Bless, and sorry for such a long delay and failing to keep you updated as much as i wanted to.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Or if you are squeamish…

This is mainly for my parents and family, but for my friends, this can be pure entertainment!

So I went to the doctor today as a strong strong STRONG suggestion by my professor about my mosquito bites. Apparently, due to my inability to resist scratching them at 3am in the morning, the small bites (pardon the perversion) blossomed into puss flowers.

From my mass e-mail, you could have guessed these bites came from back when.

The reason for the title for those out of the look comes from the fact that my mom was dreading me going to Mo’orea in fears that I would get hurt and being the (how do I put it?) absent minded kid that I am, would make problems for myself. Sadly I think I just proved her right. (mothers…..)

I was apprehensive about going to the doctor, since I argued the wounds were slowly healing, after the lime treatment and antibiotic ointment, But apparently my professor disagreed. After a trip to the doctor and pharmacy, I managed to rack up a $200 medical bill (yay!)

*Note if you are my mom or dad, don’t worry, I have receipts and documentation so Kaiser will be reimbursing the fee, which I will have to pay to my professor who provided the money for now.

You know how in TV shows how the dad or husband freaks out after their wife or daughter buys an expensive article of clothing and justifies it since it was on sale? Well mom and dad, if I had to purchase these antibiotics in the states, I would have racked up a $800 dollar bill instead!

Yay! Go me!