We Are Back and We Are Liming!

Group photo inside Detroit Metro airport

Marlene Zahran, HBHE Student

Note: There was a temporary pause in the publishing of our blog posts as our team returned in early March to the rapidly changing nature of the Coronavirus in Michigan. We now wish to share the thoughts of students on their experiences just before the COVID-19 outbreak.

MY FIRST THOUGHTS! The minute we landed on Grenada Island I was simply shocked by the beauty of the country, and by the kind hospitable souls of the local people. I have been to Australia, and people say the beaches there are the most beautiful in the world YET GRENADIAN BEACHES DO NOT COMPARE! Some social norms I learned in Grenada include: 1.) Liming means chilling and 2.) Locals don’t shake your hand but fist bump. Spending a week in Grenada did not only mean clear blue beaches, and sunshine but it also meant we got to work with our collaborating organizations. For my team, we worked with the Ministry of Education to gather preliminary data for the creation of a drug prevention program, through the use of sports as a medium. By conducting focus groups with government officials, the Anti-Doping Organization, coaches, athletes, students, and other administrative workers, we were able to understand the perceptions Small boat along the beach coastand beliefs around marijuana and alcohol in Grenada. One important thing, I have taken away from this trip is learning to conduct focus groups with youth from another country, collecting data, and data analysis using a qualitative framework. Another important take away from this experience is that conducting focus groups with youth is harder than it looks because you have to try to build rapport and keep the youth engaged in the conversation, all while gathering the data you need to collect. I also learned the ins and outs of a survey program called Qualtrics, this includes creating survey questions, and analyzing data into graphs to better understand the data gathered. On a professional level, I learned that good communication under a stressful environment is key to creating a successful project.

HOW I FEEL NOW? After coming back to the United States and feeling the gust of cold wind hitting my face, Group standing behind colored Grenada lettersonce I stepped out of Detroit airport, makes me nostalgic to the warm weather and beautiful beaches. On the other hand, I feel I gained the skills I need to conduct consulting projects within a fast-passed environment within another country. I feel empowered to do this line of work in the possible future! THANK YOU PHAST!  


PS: If you are ever in Grenada you must try the nutmeg ice cream!

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