The absolute first thing I noticed once we arrived in Grenada, was how at home I felt in a completely different country. Immediately after leaving the airport, people were smiling, saying Hello and welcoming us to our home for the next week. Even though I had heard the people were warm and kind, I didn’t know what to expect, but their kindness surpassed my expectations. Even the taxi driver and the hotel staff were so nice- especially considering it was 9pm at night and they had already had a full work day.
Every single person I have interacted with since arriving, has had a kind disposition, hospitable nature and when I talk to them, they become open books willing to share their life stories, triumphs and tribulations.
The other day, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure in between working on the health modules. I spent close to two hours in the spa just talking to the workers about Grenada’s history and how it has shaped their lives today. Granted, they had no obligation to share such intricate details of their daily lives- but they did. I know what you might be thinking– well Heather you might just be someone people can open up to. And yes, I would agree, however most, if not all of us, on this trip have had these deep conversations with taxi drivers, housekeepers, vendors, and other locals and I don’t know about them, but every conversation has warmed my heart.
There’s something to be said about an island that has been through so much within the last 50 years, but regardless of where you look, you find a resilient, warm, hospitable community.
The other thing about Grenada that is worth mentioning, is the idea that everyone pretty much knows everyone else. If you know a last name and an area of the island where they live, someone knows the family. More than once, I have heard that as a child, if you are acting up and not doing what you are supposed to do, by the time you get home, your parents will know. On a community level, there is this idea of accountability that I think is quite admirable. Everyone is accountable for everyone else. This is something you do not see in the U.S. or many other places for that matter. We as a society have transitioned from ‘I am my brother’s keeper’ to ‘Everyone for themselves’. So it is refreshing to be in an environment where those principles of accountability are maintained.
Being here in Grenada has really taught me the essence of kindness and hospitality. If people in the US adopted some of the principles in Grenada, I believe that we too could truly embody this idea of community. I encourage, actually I CHALLENGE anyone reading this blog, that when we experience, see, or even create negativity and hatred, to turn that into positivity. Be kind to one another, be hospitable, remember humanity. Kindness is what our world needs right now and Grenada should be our example.