Monday, March 9, 2009

Many Thanks!

We're back!

We had an absolutely amazing trip. We almost wish we were still there...

As a group we want to thank a few people for their support and for making this possible:

-Dean Galloway and the School of Engineering
-Professor Giorgio and the BME department, specifically staff members Tina and Ray
-Professor Galloway and the BME 271 TAs
-Dolores Black, Steve Wadley, Sharon Lowe, Stacy Klein (VUSE "swag" providers)
-Greg Cox and Lin Taylor at Project C.U.R.E.
-The Shalom Foundation, especially Cindy Bhavsar, Allison Bender, Maria Jose de Gallardo, and Victor, our bus driver
-Dr. Paschal and Dean White

Thank you all for your efforts. This opportunity was one we will never forget and never take for granted. Thank you again.

-Jessica, Garrett, Lauren, Jessica, Wade, Sung, Jim, Paul, Chris, Rosie, Katherine, and Karen

Day 7 - Final Day in Guatemala

We woke up and again headed over to the hospital. A group of Jessica P, Jessica K, Jim, Lauren, Freddy, and I worked on a few vitals monitors checking the ECG, spO2, and blood pressure functions using simulators. After lunch Lauren, Sung, Maria Jose, and I tested some defibrillators in the adult OR. We then headed back to the Nazarene center where we cleaned up and got ready for dinner. The food was amazing! It was tough to say our goodbyes to Maria Jose, Dean White, and Sophia (Maria Jose's daughter), but we got back in the bus and headed back to the nazarene center for the night, dreading waking up at 4:30 the next morning for our flight home.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Last day of work!

Today, we spent the day working at the hospital. Dr. Paschal, Chris, and Paul worked on an ultrasound machine. Some of us tested vitals monitors -- the only problems we found were with blood pressure readings. Wade worked on a pump, while Lauren, Garrett, and Sung tested defibrillators in the adult OR. We had a delicious, traditional lunch provided by Maria Jose's mother. Tonight, we are going to a traditional restuarant here in Guatemala for our last meal. We leave tomorrow very early for the airport to head back to Nashville!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 6 - Painting the Shalom School!

Before I start: here is a link to a picture album that Jessica K. made for us:

We spent the day, like Jessica said, painting the library at the Shalom Foundation's school. It is a kindergarten through what we would call 12th grade. The last three years are called 'diversificacion', or diversify. After 9th grade, the students choose a trade that they will specialize in. For example, some trades are to learn can be a graphic designer, becoming a secretary, a teacher, etc. Some students are sponsored by people who donate $35 a month for a student to receive a scholarship and be able to go to school (the Shalom School is a private school). If you want to sponsor a student, go to

Below are pasted the before and after pictures for the library we worked on:




Today, we visited the Shalom Foundation's school. They were constructing a new library and we painted the walls and windows. It took us all day to finish, but it looks really good! We took a lunch break outside during which we played with some of the elementary school students. Jessica K., Katherine, and Rosie played "duck-duck-goose" with some 7-8 year olds and had a blast. We came back around 5:30 to eat dinner and relax. We are all exhausted, so we are going to get a good nights sleep before our last day working at the hospital!


Here is a picture of us painting!

Here we are talking with some of the students!
Here is Jim sweeping the floor after we finished painting!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 5 - Universidad del Valle!

We got to the hospital and as the maitenance workers were greeting us the head doctor of the ER and OR came in to test the electrosurgery machine we had fixed the day before. He brought with him a chicken leg and a hot dog. After testing both the coagulation and cutting mechanisms of the machine on the chicken leg, he started to thank us for fixing the machine. They hadnt used the machine for over 5 years and to have another one made another OR room adequate for more types of surgeries.

In the afternoon, we came back to the Nazarene center, got cleaned up, and headed out to the Universidad del Valle. After touring their engineering school and meeting a bunch of the students and talking with them for a while, we met up in the conference room and shared presentations. Dr. P, Katherine, Wade, and Rosie each presented research they had been working on and three groups of UDV students each presented projects they had been working on. A professor from UDV also presented his research. The groups of UDV students presented on an artificial hand, a distilling machine, and a robot controlled through either thoughts, eye movements, or hand movements. They were all really interesting topics. They provided dinner after and we all had awesome conversations with the students. Another fire and bed finished off the night. Tomorrow we'll be painting the shalom foundation's shool!


Visit to the Universidad del Valle

Today, we worked in the hospital for the morning. I worked on cleaning microscopes and other equipment with Dr. P, Garrett, Karen, and Rosie. Lauren, Katherine, and Sung fixed vitals monitors. After working, we had yet another delicious lunch then headed back to the Nazarene Center. We got cleaned up and ventured to the University. We toured the engineering labs, which were incredibly nice and full of great equipment. Next, we shared presentations -- Rosie, Wade, and Katherine each presented their projects. Dr. Paschal gave a presentation about Vanderbilt and some of the research she does. A professor from the Universidad del Valle presented, as did three groups of students. We then shared a delicious dinner together! It was great to talk to the students and to share common ground with our engineering studies.