An Unforgettable Experience in Grenada

Munira Mohamed

Munira C Mohamed

2nd Year, MPH, Epidemiology Candidate

Wow, it's been a whole week since I got back from Grenada, and I'm still riding the rollercoaster of emotions from that incredible experience. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect when we landed, and there was this mix of excitement, nerves, and a bit of exhaustion thrown in. Let me tell you, my trip to the island was a whirlwind of feelings. 

Before we left, I was feeling a bit unsure about how the week would go. The responsibility of the Disabilities Affairs Unit project weighed on me—I wanted to do right by the project and, more importantly, by the people it aimed to help. 

The days out in the field were a lot. I was so eager to hear the stories of the people most affected by the issues we were tackling. These conversations were intense and full of raw emotions. A lot of our participants were sharing from a place of hurt, trauma, and sadness. Some hadn't had anyone care about their challenges for years. Others had shared their struggles before, only to see little change, leading to frustration and anger. 

We had this one participant who almost left a focus group before it even started. She had been part of similar discussions many times, and nothing seemed to improve for her or her daughter. The most common question we got at the end of these sessions was, "After we're done here today, what's going to come out of what I've shared with you?" These people want change; they're yearning for something better for themselves and their loved ones in Grenada. I walked away from those days wanting that for them so badly. 

In the midst of all this, I learned so much about global public health research. I learned that interviews can happen anywhere—whether it's in a car, a cramped office, or outside a half-built house with electricians buzzing around. You've got to be flexible and ready for anything. And you know what? It's rewarding. At the end of one of our focus groups at Dorothy Hopkins School for the Disabled, we got treated to an impromptu performance by the residents. It was a beautiful way to wrap up a heavy day. Oh, and a little tip for anyone prone to motion sickness: always have a few Dramamine on hand, especially if you're on the move all day. 

I miss Grenada; I miss the kindness of its people and those breathtaking views. I really hope the work we did as a group becomes a part of something big that can change the lives of thousands of Grenadians. I just want it all to mean something, you know? That's my lasting hope.