Saying Goodbye to the Valley

At 5:30 a.m. on Saturday I flew out of McAllen airport, leaving the Rio Grande Valley behind. It was definitely bittersweet. I was happy to be heading home, as I’ve been traveling for awhile, but my thoughts were still with the students and people I had met in the valley. Now I am back here,…

The Space and Time in Between

This week we have gone to the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg campus, a talk about Zika virus between US and Mexican scientists, South Padre Island, to an international bridge in Progreso, Texas, to the border town of Brownsville where the border is even fuzzier and there’s a fragmented wall. So we’ve essentially reached…

The Big Stuff

  They say that everything is bigger in Texas. The food, the hair, the hats, even the animals in Texas are supposedly bigger. More important than any of that, Texas seems to have big health inequalities. Throughout the past few weeks while I have been preparing to travel to Texas with my class I have…

Ready or not here we come!

I can’t believe we leave for Texas in one week! This semester has been such a whirlwind! I feel like I just applied to come on this trip and now here I am, two months and three midterms later, about to leave. And while I’ve spent the past few weeks preparing – researching the region,…

Laughter is good for the soul

While it may seem surprising, one of the most unexpected things I have experienced on this trip is the power of laughter. It wasn’t until Wednesday evening, after having completed two focus groups with my teammate and listening to myself on a tape recording as I transcribed the discussion (a very odd and humbling experience…

Farewell Grenada!

In my last hours here I can finally take step a back and reflect on my time in beautiful Grenada. Today we were able to present our findings from the week (including recommendations and next steps for the University of Illinois at Chicago student coming in two weeks and the UM SPH student coming in…

To ask or not to ask…that is the question.

Welcome to the 2015 PHAST trip to South Texas! One of the few places left in the continental United States that is currently not experiencing below-freezing (or in many cases sub-zero) temperatures. As a native of Ann Arbor I am no stranger to winter, but having lived in Washington, D.C. during the six years prior…

The search continues…….

In my last post titled ‘In search of the “Afro” in Grenada’, I promised to share aspects of Grenadian culture that are similar to African culture. This post is a response to my sociological question: What remains of the African heritage in Grenada? During the first few days of our trip, I thought the African…