You Are Going to Grenada, So What?


Marcus V Spinelli da Silva

2nd Year, MPH, Global Health Epidemiology Candidate

Hey y’all, 

Marcus (he/him) here, I am a second-year Global Health Epidemiology student. It's nice to meet y’all. I'm originally from Brazil but now living in Michigan's Tundra. I am here to share about my future experience in Grenada. I seek fresh experiential learning in the field, especially since I collected my own data during my summer internship. Moreover, I believe that a person's lived experiences are extremely relevant when crafting specific interventions or solutions. Naturally, being from South America, I'm also looking forward to getting some sun; the sun is my best friend. 

While in Grenada, I'm excited to test my adaptability given the time constraints and see how well I can adjust to the Caribbean Islands region for the first time. I'm eager to learn more about Grenada, meet local folx, and indulge in local food and drinks. For me, a successful global partnership entails immersing oneself in another's culture and customs and learning from it along the way. 

Working with the community is important to me. I look forward to engaging with folx about my project and beyond. I aim to fully immerse myself in the culture and customs while also sharing my own. This reciprocity impacts my personal life because, as a social butterfly, I get to be both a student and an instructor. 

One of my goals for this trip is to enhance my data-collection skills. However, a concern I have is the illegality of being a queer individual in Grenada. I'm deeply apprehensive about this and how to navigate safely and avoid personal harm. Professionally, I'm also concerned about the time. I hope my team and I can collect valuable information promptly, leading to a polished presentation. 

Being from Brazil’s largest city (and the largest in the Americas) afforded me the privilege of exposure to various cultures and people of different backgrounds. Consequently, I believe I'm open-minded when it comes to new cultures. Overcoming cultural nuances comes surprisingly naturally thanks to my inherent healthy curiosity. When overwhelmed, my go-to stress-buster includes self-care routines, movies, and music from home to help me recharge and reconnect with myself. 

In conclusion, this global experience will strengthen my personal experiences of meeting folks from different places, learning from them, and, perhaps most importantly, lending my skills to assist them. I firmly believe in the power of qualitative work to create interventions/solutions - with the mindset of "solutions created for them, by them, while I only supervise and act as the bridge." 

That’s all for today, folx. I'll catch up with y’all once I return from this adventure to share all that unfolds there. MVS