Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday 3/5/12

Thank you for your patience! I hope these pictures and stories are worth the delayed post.

Our team at Universidad del Valle
At a bright and early 6am, we began our day before the roosters. After a traditional breakfast of eggs, plantains, bread, and coffee, we set sail for Universidad del Valle (UVG). There we held a mini-conference with three student presenters from our school and theirs. After an inclusive introduction of Nashville and Vanderbilt by Dr. P, team Proto-life from UVG presented their research on a prosthetic hand and elbow. We later had the chance to hold their prototype and were all very impressed! Our very own Danny then led off with a charismatic presentation on his senior design project also focused on prosthetics, but from the angle of quantifying the selection process for a prosthetic leg. A fourth-year student from UVG presented his work on customizing the learning environment to improve attendance and accessibility to online lectures, among many other ideas. Erica then gave an overview of her senior design project which peaked the interest of mechanical, electrical, and biomedical engineers in the audience with a new way to diagnose tuberculosis. The final UVG presentation, given by team Profectus, proposed a wheelchair capable of ascending and descending stairs and automated navigation controlled by the users’ voice. Mallette finished the presentation session by highlighting her team’s progress on a low-resource, smartphone-based endoscope. We were then given a tour of the beautiful UVG campus and advanced engineering facilities. We then relaxed over lunch with the UVG students and were able to learn more about their experiences as students in Guatemala City.

Following our mini-conference, we had the pleasure of being driven by our favorite Pablo and Jorge to the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center. We were given a tour of the facility and a brief history of its role in Guatemala City. If you have a minute, I would highly recommend you to glance through their website to learn more about this unique surgery center.

Lowell and Laura attempt to repair a light
generator in the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center

Before heading to Antigua, we needed to pick up some essential supplies at a quant store, beloved by locals: Walmart. Everything in the Walmart was oddly familiar except for the prices which, after the $1 to 8 quatzales exchange rate, presented us with Walmart quality goods at Ralph Lauren Polo prices. We quickly got back on the road and no sooner did we find ourselves in the jaw-dropping Guatemalan countryside. We wrapped around mountains, valleys, forests, and maybe even some volcanoes. The beauty of the countryside was somehow matched by the beauty waiting for us in Antigua. We are all very excited to be calling this old Spanish colonial town home for the next few days. Once inside our hotel, we found an interior that mirrored the majesty of the exterior.
Our stunning seniors in the courtyard of our hotel

We ended the night with dinner at a (very) nearby restaurant which featured chefs who would prepare salsa and guacamole in mortars at our tables. Laynie, Liz, Mallette, and Corey took on the challenge of a Pollo Fajitas platter suitable for a family of kings.

We couldn’t make it a single evening in Antigua without a quick walk around the central square, where we stumbled upon a picture which ought to be your new desktop background for the next few weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the posts! We love reading them!