Greetings from beautiful Grenada! This island and nation is a wonderful place to be, and I am excited to share the experiences I have had thus far.
On Sunday, we were fortunate to have a tour of the island. We learned very much about the nation’s history and geography, saw a gorgeous waterfall, ate a delicious lunch at the Belmont Estate (where we also purchased chocolate from the Grenada Chocolate factory – I purchased 10 bars!), and learned about the processes behind the production of rum and chocolate here on the island. We also learned about all of the spices on the island, particularly nutmeg and cinnamon.
Image 1: Nutmeg
On Monday, Adrienne and I met our incredible preceptor, Mr. Dave Alexander. He serves as the Drug Secretariat within the Ministry of Education. He is extremely knowledgeable, respectful, accommodating, and on top of those qualities, he is also very funny! On Tuesday and Wednesday (today), we travelled to four schools throughout Grenada in order to speak with principals and students about the proposed revisions to the National Schools’ Policy on Drugs. Given my background as a substitute teacher and a health instructor at schools in Michigan, I am always fascinated to visit new schools and to learn about the students and their experiences. Speaking with the principals and students was eye-opening, as we were given the opportunity to hear firsthand about the current perspectives and situations regarding drug and alcohol use. The students were so much fun to work with, and they were excited to discuss issues about which they are passionate.
Image 2: One of the schools we visited
On the way home from Grenville today (where we visited two schools), we drove past a rainforest where mona monkeys live. Our kind driver, Jason, pulled over and told us to get out in the pursuit of finding a monkey. To our surprise, we immediately spotted a monkey across the street! I had taken a banana from breakfast today and hadn’t eaten it yet, so Jason suggested I walk over to the monkey while holding my banana. The monkey delightfully peeled and consumed my banana. Jason told us that the monkeys are very friendly and advised us to pet the monkey and hold its hand. What a once-in-a-lifetime experience! I will never forget our new friend. 🙂
Image 3: Adrienne, the monkey, and me
Tomorrow we will be meeting with school guidance counselors and school attendance officers to learn about their perspectives regarding the policy. Then, we will synthesize the information we will have learned from our meetings with principals, students, and counselors/attendance officers and present our findings and recommendations for the next steps to the Ministry of Education.
More to come after our presentations!