My final days here in Argentina’s capitol were spent helping my friend Mariano in his lab at Center for Toxicology. His Tekmar 3000 Concentrator was giving him fits and I was happy to lend him a hand. He was also generous enough to kick me a little scratch (of which I was unsuccessful in my attempts to refuse). Working in the lab and being around the equipment that has been much of my life the past twelve years brought unexpected emotions of homesickness, and believe it or not missing work as well. It was nice to be doing work related things again. It was nice to feel useful, and to have a sense of purpose. I was able to isolate the problem in the concentrator to a massive leak in the purge flow regulator. Once I solved this, I again had good purge flow gas throughout the system. I then connected the Tekmar to the HP 5890 GC and set the purge flow at precisely 40mL per minute. Ideal conditions to which we ran a few standards on the FID and for the first time we saw good peaks and had decent chromatography. Problem solved and Mariano and myself were pleased. Good times in the lab indeed.
In other news for once I now have a serious time commitment. I purchased an airline ticket to New Zealand. I must fly out of Guayaquil, Ecuador on August 9th to Los Angeles. I then have a ten hour layover in America (which will be very strange for me) at LAX before departing to Nadi, Fiji. I decided that since I would already be in Fiji for a three hour layover I would parlay this into a week in Fiji before flying onwards to Auckland, New Zealand. Tough choice. Their are a few more chapters to write in my South American odyssey and I have enjoyed my time here very much. But I am ready to move onto the next destination and the next chapter in Oceania and Asia where the real inspiration for me leaving in the first place awaits for me. For now, after I received an unexpected email, I have detoured a bit and hopped onto a bus to meet another friend of mine whom I met way back in Leticia, Colombia. I love how things evolve whilst on the road.