Hello everyone! I can’t believe it’s already time to go to Costa Rica. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion – I’ve graduated from college, said my goodbyes, and prepared to embark on the GMI journey for the next year. I will admit that it’s also been a scary few weeks – change is always hard, but I’m also very excited. I’ve always been an adventure-seeker, and I know these next 10 weeks will be full of excitement.
I’m most excited about the opportunity to work with Costa Rican communities. I love meeting new people, and I know that talking with and understanding the individuals that I encounter will be a huge component of this program. I am looking forward to learning more about Costa Rican healthcare firsthand, and using my observations to drive our projects for the next year.
As I progress through the GMI program, I hope to develop not only as an engineer, but as a human being. Going into this experience, there are a few key qualities that I aim to keep at the forefront in all my interactions with patients, doctors, nurses, professors, and my teammates:
Empathy – Empathy is the ability to understand the people around you, and I believe this is will be an integral ingredient in everything we will do in Costa Rica. Being able to put yourself in the shoes of another human being (whether it be a patient, doctor, nurse, or professor) is an invaluable skill to have, and I will work to actively keep the feelings and needs of others at the forefront.
Open-mindedness – Open-mindedness is a willingness to consider new and different ideas. This can apply not only to my interactions with my teammates (when we inevitably disagree on some topics), but also with how I view Costa Rican healthcare as a whole. It’s important to remember that just because something is done in a different way than we are used to doesn’t make it wrong – just different. Remembering this during our observations will make a huge difference in how we approach our projects.
Optimism – Keeping things positive! I know the next couple of months are going to be full of challenges, and sometimes it’s easy to let that discourage you. I am challenging myself to view each day as a reward (because it really us) and remember that I am really blessed to have the opportunity to participate in such an awesome program!
Overall, I’m thrilled to be working with the rest of the GMI cohort and Dr. Richardson, and can’t wait to see where this summer takes us!