Dreams come do true...A journey to France
Bonjour! Namaste! I am Neeraj Joshi here at France for 53 days professional laboratory training. I was excited about this trip since the notification appeared in the college notice board. It was my dream to study abroad for higher education since I was in graduation. Thanks to the program DEFIAA which gave me wonderful opportunity to explore education, laboratories as well as culture of France. In the beginning days I was unable to adapt this non-spicy food as we have spicy food in India but I had to survive somehow so gradually I used to take good diet here. If you are visiting some other countries prepare yourself to adapt the changing climate as well as changing food style. I remember the quotes which my friend Jyoti used to say me again and again...BE IN THE COUNTRY YOU ARE. Hence I started living French lifestyle and loved French food.
When we talk about France, the famous city Paris and Eiffel tower strike in our mind. The same was with me, as I got final confirmation from my college I was dreaming for the same. But it’s the luck and destiny which make things possible to impossible and vice-versa, still I believe in the fact that a ray of hope must be always within you to live in your dreams. As Paris was too far from Rodez, so this time it is not in my destiny. It is just like you came to India and not visited famous Taj Mahal which is one among the Seven Wonders of the World. I hope someday I will conquer this beautiful part of world.
As we came out of the airport I was happy to see Jean Christophe sir waiting for us. He says Bonjour! Then Namaste! This was the first memorable impression for me in France to hear our mother tongue.You can have a look toward a view of my activities during training.
We had a wonderful Integration week with all Indians for same training at France.Integration week was quite helpful for preparing us to face language problem in France. In this week we learnt the kind of behavior that the French people like. Here most of the people talk in French. We learnt some magical words, some survival words as well as sentences here under the guidance of Jean Christophe Ygrie sir & Christophe Groell sir. We had discussions with teachers, students, local market shop keepers, super market dealers in French. This session of discussion was quite funny as we were unable to pronounce the same but for everything we tried our best. For the supermarket we were assigned several tasks like-
1) Name of two original food packaging
2) 1 Surprising thing in each department
3) To know the price of 1 litre milk
4) To know the price of 1 Kg Mango
5) To find an adapter
I was very surprised to see the performance of French dancers in Indian songs. They worked hard to make our welcome more cheerful. French students created healthy Indian environment in the cultural hall. After we all together dance in French and Bollywood songs. French students were excited to dance in Indian style and same was with us to learn French dance. This night was very funny. We all eight Indians were together this night. We had a little discussion with local media reporter this night.
Working in the Labs of La Roque, Rodez was my pleasure as I was dealing with other department apart from my studies like Biochemistry, Microbiology, Food Technology and Biotechnology. Here the instruments were updated with latest technology as well as the labs well equipped & hygienic. Interesting was the professors who taught in each lab was good in English language and where they don’t know English there students helped us. More interesting was the students working in the labs knew English and who didn’t knew they tried to express their feelings. I had good days in the labs as I did the experiments which I haven’t done yet. Some of the experiments we performed here were DNA isolation, PCR, Elisa test, etc. I am happy to gain many procedures for different techniques learnt here and I will try to implement them in future studies. Apart from the labs we visited to almost all the classes to tell them about our country India during their English lectures. Students from various age groups had several questions related to our education system, political system, history, food, tradition, culture and religious aspects. We answered them politely and they showed their interest to visit India once in a life. Talking about the Directors, Professors and helping staff of the campus was very good, they helped in best possible way. I am highly thankful to them for providing us safe and peaceful environment.
In collaboration with the Department of food sciences of La Roque we prepared a French-Indian food and assigned it a French name as “Magret et Haricots aux epices”. We prepared a spicy Indian sauce and add it to Duck meat and French Beans. It was delicious even French students loved that product. In this session we learned seal packaging of the containers and their labeling too. Soon our product will be available for tasting presentation to the local peoples.
During stay in Rodez it was my pleasure to visit several laboratories related to the field of Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology and Environmental Science. Here we saw good techniques to get accurate results and time saving instruments. The following labs I visited-
1) Visit to Aveyron Labo – Rodez
This is a lab dedicated to analysis in various field: environment, food chemistry, food and veterinary microbiology, etc.We saw the water treatment system to check the quality of water in this lab. Here the scientists were also working in the field of genomics. Here we saw many good instruments like Genetic Analyser, Mass Array Analyser, Illumina Sequencer, etc. They were working in the labs of Bacteriology, Water and Food Bacteriology, Serology and Molecular Biology.
2) Visit to RAGT (Plant biotech industry) Druelle
This lab is dedicated in the field of Biotechnology and Plant Pathology. Earlier they worked in the field of Genetically Modified Plant/Organisms but as the work on this aspect is banned in France so they switched off this project. Now they work on plants mainly maize and sunflower on their project to develop SNP Markers and use of these Markers in the best possible way to increase their yield and reduce pest infestation. They work on Control quality of DNA. Interesting thing here was Robotic DNA extraction and amplification with many hydrocyclers.Here the scientists focus on two aspects-
3) Visit to INRA –LIPM Toulouse
This is the biggest Lab in the Europe and second biggest Lab in the world in these related research projects-
1) Symbiotic Interaction
2) Plant-Pathogen Interaction
Besides these projects they were also working on Biological Nitrogen Fixation. The research unit is also using the Genomic Plateform present on the same site. It is a very powerful plateform who applies all the more advanced New Genome Sequencing techniques.
4) Visit of Laboratoire Océanographique Arago CNRS Perpignan
This lab is dedicated to the study of marine biology and oceanography. Here we visited a unit where scientists study about the bacteria present in the ocean. They told us about the cell sorting by Flow Cytometry(FCM) and one of their project was about fast and reliable detection of rare bacterial populations by cell sorting and PCR Amplification.
5) Milk products processing unit "Bergerie de Lozère"
I presented my training days to the students and teachers in India. They were happy to hear me after my return from France. A video of my presentation in India is here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqUqml7M10k&feature=youtu.be
Things in France which attracted me the most-
So this is the end of my blog. I wish you should see my another blog regarding my stay in homes in vacation and weekends. Thank you!
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