Ode to Grenada: Thank You

Mildred Wallace

Mildred Wallace

2nd Year, MPH, General Epidemiology Candidate

As I step foot onto Grenadian soil, wide-eyed, engulfed in nervousness, and blissful, I am greeted with immediate warmth. I experienced the warmth as heat on my skin, but also as smiles, an overwhelming sense of community, along with endless greenery and beauty. 

Though the Public Health Action Support Team arrived about two weeks succeeding Grenada’s  50th Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom, streets, homes, and stores remained lined with vibrant colors and murals– offering a glistening glimpse of just how powerful and festive this day was. Through the Ministry of Social & Community Development Housing & Gender Affairs, our team conducted key informant interviews and focus groups to aid in gathering evidence-based data for creating a Disability Affairs Unit in Grenada.  

It has been an honor to work in community-based public health and be a voice for community members. This project and experience has amplified my continuous curiosity in learning and public health work. Even though my MPH program is nearing the horizon– I realize my education is far from complete. Professionally, I was excited to be engaging in hands-on qualitative tasks, and it felt incredibly rewarding to incorporate what I have learned in academic courses and training. 

In regard to collaboration and team building, it was great to see our team’s dynamic unfold throughout our fieldwork and how we were able to adapt to the environment quickly and pivot tactics as needed. I enjoyed consistently remaining humble and aligning lived experiences and realities with those of a different culture. I am utmost grateful for this amazing deployment experience, and I am grateful for the connections created and tightened through this project. This passage is the vehicle for my first ode to  Grenada, and I hope this work will lead to impactful change. I am excited to have been on a team with such brilliant minds, and I am ecstatic to continue replenishing my drive for public health.