If you didn’t catch my last blog, then I’ll mention again that my name is Raina Nicette. My last week at I.O.T was pretty hectic in the sense that I got the chance to visit five labs and a large fishing vessel. As always, I started at the water lab, where this time I got to measure turbidity, conductivity, the amount of chlorine and more titration. I’m sure you’ve seen me mention a lot about titration in the previous blog, however it’s not always the same process.
Titration is the slow addition of one solution of a known concentration (called a titrant) to a known volume of another solution of unknown concentration, until the reaction reached neutralization, which is often indicated by a color change.
See my fascination now? What’s better than making something change color? It’s like when Jesus turned water into wine. Except if I drank what I made it would be fatal.
The second lab I went to was the histamine lab. It’s in the name, we tested histamine there. Now you may be wondering what histamine is. Well, it is a form of food poisoning. Every fish has a certain amount of histamine in it. But when that amount exceeds is required dose, it can affect the consumer’s health.
The third lab I went to was the heavy metal lab. It was pretty sophisticated as there were new equipment in it. There, I got the chance to work with liquid cadmium (which is a chemical element). I also worked with nitric acid, which occasionally fell on my gloves and I was very thankful that I had followed all safety procedures.
I also went to the micro lab, where I learned how to test fish for salmonella and how to test areas of work for e-coli. This was done by preparing petri-dish samples with agar and then incubating the sample and later seeing if there was any growth or color change.
The intake lab was the last one I visited, where I got the chance to see how they tested fish for salt, and I was also allowed to prepare samples. Now we actually went to where the samples were cut out of the fish. And this was a large fishing vessel. I got the chance to see the samples being cut from yellow fin, big eye and skipjack tuna. I also learned how to distinguish one from the other. See, yellow fin is easily identifiable because of the yellow fin. Skipjacks are identifiable from its small size and the vertical lines on its body (if holding it tails-up). Big eye tuna can be identified from its big eyes and spotted horizontal lines on its body.
The experience was quite unforgettable and I will surely be using everything I have learned for future studies. I am looking forward to perhaps working at i.o.t one day. I would like to thank my supervisor Selwyn Bacharrie for making this experience worthwhile and would also like to thank the friends that I have made there for easing the process of being the new girl.
The Blue Economy Internship is surely something that all youth should attempt. I guarantee no regrets and lots of amazing memories.
Lots of love, Raina Nicette