Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Follow the (yellow) brick road to Antigua

Quick update: The team was dazzled by the beauty and horror of a volcano that erupted in Guatemala yesterday. Even though we found out about the eruption much later through google images and our translators, we felt as if we had really been there. 

Second update: Whenever we talk about the danger of eating salad or apples it is because of the lack of sanitation that Guatemala has for their water. Unfortunately they lack potable water and drinking it would mean spending the remainder of our trip in bed. Thus, we are advised to refrain from fruits and vegetables that would have been processed and washed with this water. We are continually replenishing our bottled water repository and the continual reminders of our health adviser, Anna, keeps us from certain misery. 

Dr. Walker, Casey, and Sara ambushed by some papparazzi (michael) before
we leave our hotel in Guatemala City
Nate capping the day off with an enviable research presentation
at Universidad del Valle
Now, today, renewed by the night’s rest and rebooted by the hardy breakfast, the team packed up and left hotel Casa de Nazarenos. The first thing on the docket was to go to Universidad del Valle. This university, located 30 minutes from the hotel, is one of the most prestigious ones in the country. After some light introductions, Casey, Orlando and Nate presented in front of some of the school’s undergraduate electrical engineering students. Even though they had rehearsed their presentations with us before, I couldn’t help but be impressed by some of the work that these Vanderbilt students do. These were accompanied by more excellent presentations, given by two students from Universidad del Valle. Learning about their work was truly stimulating and exciting, and it was encouraging knowing that these represent some of Guatemala’s finest students and the future leaders in engineering and technology of the country. 

Orlando drools over a power supply in the university lab
Not shown: A couple hours later, four team members forcefully removing Orlando from the lab.
Following these student presentations, Profesor Carlos Esquit gave us a brief introduction to the Engineering School at Universidad del Valle and held a brief Q&A for the Vanderbilt students, as did Dr. Paschal for the Del Valle students. In addition to a great tour of their very impressive facilities and a wonderful luncheon, we finished out our time with our Del Valle friends with a generous lunch provided by our hosts and some very thoughtful gifts: t-shirts from Universidad del Valle. Leaving with new knowledge, friendships and garb, we headed off for our last afternoon at La Hospital de Juan Pablo II.
Dr. P caught in action: Uniting Vanderbilt, GEO, and guatemalan hospitals.
A candid shot of two engineers in Universidad de Valle
The back story: FGH is the name of Vanderbilt's engineering building.
The back back story: Jake and Michael gave up modeling for a career in engineering

·        - Shout out again for our amazing presenters! Keep doing science kids!
·        - Orlando continually claiming that he was going to drop out of school to go to Universidad del Valle
·        - No one has gotten sick!

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