Baby, You Can’t Drive My Car

Before we left for Grenada, we were told that we would not be driving while we were here because Grenadians drive on the other side of the road than what we’re used to. On our first full day here in Grenada, we took a driving tour of the island and I quickly caught on to why we are not driving here! Not only do people here drive on the other side of the road, but also Grenada’s roads are very hilly and winding, so you can often only see a few yards in front of you at a time. At one point in the middle of St. George’s, we came over the crest of a hill in a busy part of town and started descending at an angle so steep, it felt as though the van might just fall off the slope. About halfway down the hill, our tour guide pointed out the window and said, “That’s Grenada Planned Parenthood.” This turned out to be our daily route to the office!

As someone who gets car sick, I’ve been surprised that this hasn’t happened to me yet. On our tour, we drove up steep hills – I could feel the elevation change in my ears – only to quickly descend back down. I had not expected Grenada’s terrain to be so hilly! One of the great things about this, however, is the spectacular views that suddenly pop into sight as we drive from place to place. It’s so beautiful here!

As part of our work with Grenada Planned Parenthood Association (GPPA), we’ve had the opportunity to travel to other parts of the island to speak with community members about sexual and reproductive health in Grenada, and to gather their thoughts on the current version of the National Reproductive and Sexual Health Survey that GPPA will be administering across the island later this year. It’s great to have the opportunity to see multiple parts of the country, and the more I ride around the more I become accustomed to the hilly roads. Today, we drove to Grenville and walked around the market to speak with people there. I was surprised by how open people were to talking about these topics with us! Everyone was very friendly and willing to share their thoughts with us. One vendor I spoke with even gave me nutmeg (for free!) after we spoke. I tried to pay her for it and she refused to accept, telling me “This is who we are.” If anything, I felt that I should be buying something as a thank you to her for speaking with me, and instead she spoke with me about this sensitive topic and then also gave me a gift. Americans would never do that!

I’m looking forward to what the rest of the week has in store!

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