We are on our way to Grenada! With the chaos that comes with grad school, I haven’t had a lot of time to think about this until now and maybe I’m not completely prepared, yet. I’m ready for the “work” part of it. I’ve read up on alcohol use and gender differences, looked over the project documents, and discussed the work with my team. That’s the easy part. The bigger challenge is getting the right mindset for approaching a new culture. I’m sitting in the Miami airport, but already it is clear that I am in a vastly different region. The shops have brightly colored sculptures. Spanish is just as prevalent as English. Fried plantains are on the menu at more than one of the restaurants we’ve seen…and we haven’t even left the States, yet. When we arrive in Grenada, these aspects of my environment will change, yet again. Culture, language, diet, and so many other social nuances that warrant consideration in public health research shift when you change geographic regions. Yes, we’ve done our reading and maybe we know the recent trends and statistics, but that isn’t the whole picture. We don’t know about the traditions, the rituals, the unspoken social divisions, or any intricacies of a culture that the scientific literature simply cannot portray. So, entering into this new environment, I have to shift my mind set. It’s a delicate balance you have to strike. I want to use my skills to help the people of Grenada, but I can’t just come into their space and declare that. I have to establish trust. I need to show that I want to learn from them. I need to open up, remain humble, and accept any knowledge that they are willing to offer me. Oh, and I have a week to do so. So I’m just trying to keep all of this in my head and enter with modesty and an open mind.