My First Stamp!
MSW/MPH Candidate, Health Behavior Health Education
“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.” – Anonymous
And so my first international experience begins; 2,466 miles away on the white sandy beaches of Grenada in the Caribbean. I am filled with so much excitement, because not only will I spend a week in paradise, but I will be doing impactful, transformative work. As an emerging evaluator, I have had the opportunity to conduct many evaluations here in the United States. While each evaluation was unique, they were based in the United States and the nuance of the issues were all quite similar. This evaluation experience will be different, because I will be assessing issues in a country with a completely different history, culture, population, and political constituency. Specifically, I will be working with the Grenada Planned Parenthood Association (GPPA) Ministry on the topics of HV, family planning and gender-based violence. From researching the literature, the root of these issues are grounded in a legacy of systemic and internalized oppression that is different from that in America. I look forward to collaborating with GPPA, community members, and other key invested parties to understand how these issues present themselves within this population.Given the cultural differences and the role culture plays in persistence of these issues, fostering a culturally responsive and equitable approach to this work will be paramount for ensuring the work produced is reflective of the community.
Not only will this experience advance and challenge my evaluation skills and knowledge, but I will have the opportunity to emerge myself into the culture of another country. I am excited to try Grenada’s staple dish, called oil down. Also they are known for their chocolate and spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. In my freetime, I look forward to basking in the sun on the warm beaches under the blue skies. The sounds of the water and the laughter from my colleagues and the new people I hope to meet are also anticipated.
Oh what stories this stamp will bring! Look for my next post to hear about some of my amazing stories on the ground!