With only a few days left before we leave Ann Arbor and head to tropical Grenada, our trip still seems unbelievable! I normally spend my days working in a microbiology lab thinking about tiny bacterial communities. It’s a pretty drastic shift to start thinking about problems facing larger communities of people. Now the time has arrived when I ask myself if I’ve prepared enough to be ready to start working when we land on the island. We’ve spent the last few weeks in class learning as much as we can about the culture and history of the “Island of Spice”, Grenada’s given nickname for its high exportation of nutmeg and mace.
Most of the information I’ve tried to catalogue in my mind into comparisons with what I already know, hoping that this will help me learn the facts faster. Did you know that the population is about the size of a packed Michigan stadium? Did you know that there are a lot of details to learn when acting as a consultant? It’s true, and I didn’t appreciate it as much until I started collaborating on a project with the Grenada Planned Parenthood Association, my workplace for the next week while in Grenada.
As our class winds down from our crash course in consulting, we take with us skills for designing interview questions and communicating with project partners. Can I actually remember how to use these skills in a real workplace situation? Hopefully, but this trip could be bumpy at the beginning. At this point, I can only bring the knowledge that I’ve gained and some optimism. So the bags are packed, and I’m ready to fly.