Grenada: The Prefield Experience

“Ugh, this snow is horrible! What is wrong with Michigan these past couple days? You must be so excited to be going to Grenada!”

This has been a comment I have heard quite often as spring break creeps closer and closer. Am I excited? Most definitely! But I also cannot deny that the excitement is tinged with a shade of nervousness. As a representative of the University of Michigan I am anxious to do a good job on this pilot social development project.To further elaborate a bit about the project itself, we are working with the Ministry of Social Development and Housing in Grenada to help define vulnerable populations, and map their social services, which means that we’ll be amalgamating what social services they have. There seems to be a lot of interviews scheduled, and we will even be meeting with the Minister of Social Development and Housing herself! Mental note: be on better than best behaviour.

Since this project is the first of its kind, it has proven to be both intriguing and challenging thus far. To start, some of the challenges we had encountered were initially due to the lack of a clear end vision for the project. No precedent had been set before us, and the nature of the project seemed extremely open-ended. However, as much as it was a challenge, I think it was one of the more exciting aspects of the project, and I am very much looking forward to seeing how things unfold.

On an unrelated note, I am really excited to be near the ocean again. (I see you fellow coastal peers, you know what I’m talking about.) Having grown up in the Vancouver area in Canada, (not the State of Washington, and is thus about three hours or so north of Seattle), I had been spoiled by all of the wonderful natural beauty around me. Ocean, lakes, rivers, forests, mountains, you name it, Vancouver has it all! On the few really windy days here in Ann Arbor, I keep unconsciously breathing in deeply thinking that I will be smelling the sea water carried by ocean breeze – only to smell disappointment. But soon, the ocean will be a reality that I can occasionally partake in when I find time during the project! I am hoping, that by soaking in as much information as I can about the country both before and during the trip, I will be ready to be malleable to the challenges ahead.

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