Week 2: Ready, Fire, Aim!

This past week has felt like a month in the best way possible. Every day is long, but filled with very important information. Dr. Matthew Wettergreen joined us for two days of clinical observation and later lectured for four days on turning clinical needs into prototyped solutions. This 4 day crash course involved GMI students and undergraduate Costa Rican students from various universities. I LEARNED A LOT. The 4 days covered in extreme detail what I had spent one year learning in my undergraduate design course.

Chatting with some students from Costa Rica at the beginning of the course.

I won’t sugarcoat this- the days were long and sometimes hard. However, I’m very proud of the learning I accomplished and am eager to apply what I learned throughout this next year. One pro tip I learned from the course is this: Ready, Fire, Aim is a much better design concept than Ready, Aim, Fire! This allows for multiple testing of prototypes without learning the “Hard Way” of a failed Fancy prototype- saving time, money, and frustration.

On the non-education side of things, the GMI students and I took advantage of our free day on Sunday and visited La Paz Waterfall Gardens. It was a Top Ten Day- we hiked, saw waterfalls, climbed boulders, fed hummingbirds, and saw countless animals. On the way home we stopped at a side road vendor and bought cheese and fresh strawberries. The cheese is native to C.R.(it tastes like a slightly saltier mozzarella), and the strawberries are fantastic- they’re grown in soil rich with volcanic ash. Unfortunately we couldn’t see the Poás volcano because it erupted in April and is still pretty angry-looking.


When nature says hi


Just a picture of a tropical duck with human arms, and Chandler


Glamour shot of the crew

We travel to Guanacaste tomorrow to continue more needs finding and help implement a design project the GMI students worked on last year! If you’re still reading this, I’ve attached a couple thoughts I couldn’t manage to incorporate into my blog post but am too attached to delete. See you next weekJ


  • Pro tip: If you get in a fender bender in C.R., you have to stay exactly where you crashed or else insurance doesn’t pay for it. This makes for some interesting traffic jams.


  • The team ate Subway, Chinese, Subway, Chinese for dinner for four consecutive days. We are now experts on Dim Sum and Sub of the Days.


  • The GMI crew also saw a soccer game Thursday night. This was single-handedly made possible because of the real MVPs Dr. Richardson and Dr. Wettergreen, who walked around for an hour and talked to ticket scalpers in the pouring rain with just a few hours left before the game started. They found us all 10 tickets near each other for a reasonable price. The game was worth the lack of sleep the next morning!

Muddy shoes, excited engineers

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