Nursing - Study Abroad - Grenada

Front row from left to right: Juliette Quintana, Liz Padilla, Thania Beaubrun, and Taylor Vallez
Back row from left to right: Dr. Mary Colvin, Dr. Paula Delpech, Olgiy Fortune, Christina DeLeo, Henry Molina, and Dr. Debbie McGregor.

Christina DeLeo

Realizing our trip has come to an end is bitter sweet. Being on this beautiful island for 10 days doing community work and enjoying their magnificent beaches has been an unforgettable experience. Our group had such a good dynamic that becoming close friends with each and every one of them has been effortless. We were all able to work together and provide health education to a community in need. Most college students vacation to an island for spring break and lounge on beaches all week, but the seven of us chose to go a different route. We wanted to be a part of something bigger than just tanning by a pool. We worked alongside local nurses, nursing students, instructors and others to bring the community together and educate them. Our experience was so much richer visiting the not so beautiful areas of Grenada. I am going back to Miami a more culturally competent, compassionate and resourceful nursing student and I am forever grateful.

I am so incredibly honored to be a part of Barry's NSAP for 2014. Dr. Delpech and Dr. McGregor are so involved and passionate in what they do and I think we all got to see that in a different light during this trip. I will always be so thankful to these professors for making this an eye opening experience. I know I can say that I am certain that I want to be involved in more community projects as a nurse in the near future and I would have never realized this before this trip.

I'm not ready to say goodbye to Grenada just yet, so I guess this is a farewell for now. "Yeah mon!"

Henry Molina

I just couldn’t believe our journey was coming to an end. I missed my family back home but the connection we built with the Grenadian people was so deep that I just wished we could have stayed longer. We impacted so many individual lives that I just want to take it to the next level and make that number much larger. We got to our own health fair late but it brought great relief to see that they were patiently waiting for us. It was double the number of patients that attended the first health care fair and to see so many individuals want to learn about their health was amazing. Most of them haven’t been to a physician in years and our presence might just be the eye opener they needed to get on track with their health and try to live a healthier life. I was impacted to a great extent also. It made me realize how much they appreciate what we do for them. It made me realize that we don’t appreciate the things we have the way they appreciate the little they have. I was able to build the skill of leadership, and hopefully in the future I can make an impact in other countries in need the way our group impacted Grenada. It must not stop here we must keep on and teach our fellow colleagues that we cannot settle as regular nurses but expand our knowledge and care globally. I am truly sad that we are leaving and I can’t emphasize any more how magnificent this whole experience was. I will be back Grenada, and next time I am here I will use my RN power to impact you even more.

Juliette Quintana

We woke up bright and early to spend our last day in this beautiful country by doing a health fair. We were so busy! We saw about 200 people or more. I was assigned to check glucose levels. It's so funny to see how people freak out when they hear I am going to prick them with the lancet. They aren't used to it, so I have to talk them through it. We would laugh after when they realized the pinch wasn't so bad. I love doing the health fairs; I meet so many new people. It's amazing. It's great to know we actually make a difference. We made friends with all the nurses and the students. We all talk together and are even going to try and go out together tonight. I don't want to leave.

This has been such an amazing trip. When I decided to come here, I had no idea I would be this impacted. Tonight is our "last supper" in the most amazing restaurant in Grenada. I have mixed feelings, I am excited because the food is so yummy there and sad because it's our last dinner together. I am so lucky to have experienced this with such amazing people by my side. #besttripever

Christina DeLeo

The trip is almost coming to an end and it is finally starting to hit us. We are ending our last full day in Grenada by hosting our second health fair in St. Marks. It was the last morning that we would eat whatever the chef has cooked us up for breakfast. It was the last day that we would wake ourselves up with a cold shower. It was the last day that the cows would wake us up in the morning. Today was starting to feel sad. On a brighter note, our health fair went amazingly well. We had a great turn out and were able to see hundreds of people. Everyone genuinely wants to ask questions about their health concerns. And they are eager to learn the normal levels of blood pressure or blood glucose. It was such a rewarding feeling for people to thank us and tell us to keep up the good work after we saw them. The health fair went on for about two hours longer than what we anticipated because of so many people wanting and needing to be seen by us. It has made us all feel a sense of purpose. Leaving the health fair and saying goodbye to the wonderful women and students that helped us through them all was quite difficult. I hope to be able to have another opportunity to come back and work with them again. The day ended with us eating at our new favorite restaurant called the Beach House and we had some great laughs and each of us went around the table talking about what we are going to take home with us. I am most definitely going to bring home with me the sense of kindness and need that they Grenadian people have showed us. It is pretty different from our culture so it really made us see things in a different light. I am not ready to leave yet, but new experiences await me back at home.

Liz Pamela

Our last day in the beautiful country of Grenada!

Words cannot describe the love I feel for this place and its people. This is by far one of the greatest if not the greatest experience of my life. I have learned so much about myself and about what I truly love and what I want to devote my life to; so many of my everyday worries seem so minuscule when compared to the big picture of life. Life is more than going through motions and accomplishing tasks. Life is about immersing yourself in the present moment and setting aside some time to critically think: how can I make a difference?

I am so blessed and grateful. The people of Grenada were wonderful. Every bus ride I would look out the window and people would wave and smile at me, even if just for a moment we exchanged some joy and how awesome is that.

I have learned from this experience that it doesn’t take a whole lot to help people. In fact, a lot of times, a warm smile is all a person needs. I’ve also learned that to succeed in life one must be able to improvise. There were so many occasions during this trip in which we weren’t prepared for what was thrown at us or we forgot some supplies or just something went “wrong” and we were forced to work with what we had.

I have gained so much confidence in myself. I have gained so much respect and understanding for all those around me. I am so grateful to have worked with such an amazing team.

I could go on and on about this experience and I probably will at some point. As for now I need sleep because our flight leaves in just six hours.

To the people of Grenada… thank you. Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of yours.

I am so grateful to God.

Taylor Vallez

Thank goodness when I woke up this morning I was in a lot less pain then I anticipated. This was good since I was about to have to go on TV and sit with a smile on my face. Our driver was running a bit late, so we started to panic because today is the day we needed to be on time. We finally arrived to the TV station late. There was a change of plans and the two seats we had on the channel were now molded to one interview. I was interviewed along with Dr. Delpech and Dr. Callaghan about breast health awareness. This was a great opportunity to utilize the media to educate the people of Grenada. Although I was caught off guard by the questions I was asked, I still feel I got my knowledge across to the people watching. Next stop we visited the General Hospital. The location of the hospital was incredible. It overlooks the Caribbean Sea. As I was touring the units I noticed something that may have not been noticed by more people but I found intriguing. The windows were all open. When I pointed that out someone said, “of course they need to open the windows because they do not have AC.” Yea, this is true, but looking at it from the perspective of overall health I thought having the fresh sea air blowing in, and seeing the sun rise and fall everyday cannot make a patient worse off. This is nursing 101.

After a short break we headed to the government center where Dr. Delpech and the other researchers were presenting their project to the community members and health officials. The room had no AC and was packed full of people but the presentation was so intriguing to the people that attended no one walked out. I noticed this because in class if the air isn’t working the students line up to leave.

Dragging our feet after the long day we got ready for the BBQ at Ms. Hopkins. Ms. Hopkins was unable to be here but was so nice to still have friends host us at her house. As soon as we pulled up to the house we all forgot about the long day. All of our friends from the trip were there to greet us including Ms. Hopkins wonderful nephews. We ate delicious local food, and talked and talked. It was nice to kick back again with everyone together after the long week.

Cheers to another successful day.

Henry Molina

Today was a long and extremely interesting day. I felt as if the days in Grenada were longer than normal because we got to fit so many activities in one day. First, we headed to the television station, before even having breakfast. Dr. Delpech’s wonderful research team accompanied us. Only one student was allowed to be live on television and who better than Taylor. Dr. Delpech and Dr. Callaghan spoke about their research project and their focus on breast cancer awareness. They all did such an outstanding job, and Taylor showed that Barry students are natural leaders. We headed back to the hotel where we had breakfast. Our friend Trevor drove us to St. Georges’ Hospital where I realized I had to come back and make a difference. I found that the nurses are the core of the hospital and even though the resources are low they manage to make it work with what they have. We take so many things for granted and I would like everyone to see that not only do we take things for granted but also always want more. Other countries are still running their hospitals in an old system format and its not because they like it but because that’s the only way they can do things. After an amazing experience at St. Georges’ Hospital we drove around St. George’s University where I was extremely jealous that Barry University doesn’t have the ocean view. We headed back to the hotel for a couple minutes and back on the road we were. Next stop was a conference meeting with many important individuals. Thank God students were not the ones doing the presentation but Dr. Delpech and her research team. They promoted their project and I would of never thought that research would be so interesting. I was so amused by it that sometime in my nursing career I would love to do something similar to their project. The only negative about the conference was that it was a sauna in that room. It was about 105 degrees in there but other than that what an amazing experience. We headed back to the hotel and had to get ready in a hurry to go to a barbeque that we were invited to. I was impressed to see such a huge, beautiful house. They welcomed us so nicely and made us feel at home. The food was delicious and the hot sauce was hotter than usual. We had such a great time interacting with the locals and with our new friends. We will miss them all and would love to stay in touch with them.

Christina DeLeo

I was excited to wake up today because we were to be interviewed on the local government television show in Grenada. I was originally supposed to go on TV with Taylor to talk to the public about drug abuse but unfortunately things changed around and I was unable to speak but Taylor went on with Dr. Delpech and Dr. Calihan and did an amazing job! We were all so proud of her for representing us so well. After the show, we went on a tour of the general hospital and it was eye opening. The conditions were quite different than what we are used to. They use whatever resources they have to get by for example they used sand bags for traction. They do not depend on technology like we do and for that I believe they are more resourceful. After that tour, we drove around St. George's University and went to eat lunch at De Big Fish. The last event on the agenda was to watch our professors give their research presentation on breast health to the health minister and her colleagues. It was so rewarding to be able to see the process of this research process and help out in whatever way we possibly can. At the end of the night we had a treat planned for us. A local resident, Ms. Anne Hopkins, invited us to her home for a BBQ. Her house was beautiful and a lot of locals were there cooking for us. It was so sweet of them and the food was delicious.

Liz Pamela

Today we were able to relax and stay in the hotel! It was much needed after all the work we have been doing. Some studying we had been putting off was accomplished.

At night we went to Fish Friday! I had a huge lobster for about $20! It was so delicious I ate it in like 5 minutes and I'm the slowest eater on earth. We got to interact with the locals and even dance with them. It was so much fun. I wish we could stay another week just to go back. It’s so interesting to see how the Grenadian people just go out into the streets and enjoy each other’s company, food, and dancing. It’s like a huge block party and a really good one at that. One of the locals showed off his dance moves. He just let his body go and moved so funky to the music. He seemed so free and unconcerned about what others were thinking.

I am becoming a little nostalgic because I know tomorrow is our last day in Grenada. I truly don't want this experience to end.

Taylor Vallez

Today we have a day to relax and study. But before that we have a quick morning radio show. After talking about teen pregnancy on the radio show earlier in the week he asked us to come back to talk about our experiences.

The trip has been so much fun and so intriguing but we are exhausted! All of us are starting to get a little but anxious about our upcoming exams.

We relaxed and studied in the sun all day, it was nice to have the quite time but that did not last long. When 5:30 rolled around Trevor was here to take us to Fish Friday; the party that we had been anticipating since we began to plan our trip to Grenada. They have fresh seafood and local music to dance to on the streets of Gouyave.

We really had a good time with the research team, our professors, and each other. The lobster was so good. Christina tried it for the first time and loved it.

Christina DeLeo

This morning we went back to the radio show to talk about our experience in Grenada. It was very cool to go back and share our stories. We then went back to the hotel and Dr. D was nice enough to give us a few hours of study time! I don't think anyone has ever been excited to study as much as we were since we all have exams on Monday when we get back and did not feel prepared. The study time helped so much and we were very grateful. Then at night the day had finally come, it was Fish Friday! It is a known day of the week for the locals to go to a city called Gouyave and walk along a street where vendors sell the fresh catch of the day. This is where I first tried lobster! And I am happy to say that my first time eating lobster was in Grenada and it was delicious! The fest was so fun. We were eating, dancing with the locals, and buying beautiful jewelry from vendors. It was a great experience and I wish I could come back every Friday!

Juliette Quintana

So after a couple long exhausting days, we finally had a chance to lay down by the pool and study. Not that I haven't enjoyed these past couple busy days, but I do have a high acuity exam Monday. So I was relieved to know I was going to get done studying in.

Earlier in the morning, we went to the radio station to talk about our experiences in Grenada. I could've spoken about the trip nonstop but I get nervous when it comes to public speaking. But I did it! So yay for me!

I spent the rest of the day studying in the pool. I have the wet papers and sun burn to prove it.

Fish Friday is today! We have been waiting for it since we even heard about it. There are fish vendors down the street, playing music and selling their catch of the day. We are actually on our way now I will finish this when we get back.

Okay so, I am coming back next Friday for fish Friday. It was amazing! The area was filled with locals, it was so cool. Everyone was very relaxed, the lobsters were huge! Never have I ever seen anything so big in my life. We ate lobster for about only 50 EC, which is 25 American dollars! The lobster was absolutely huge. We had an amazing time dancing with the locals and our team. We spent time with the research team at fish Friday, which was a great time like always. It amazing how many new people you meet. I'm going to miss this, so much.

Christina DeLeo

Oh! It was finally the day where I was going to be a daredevil and jump of the seven sisters’ waterfall. Woke up this morning feeling extremely ecstatic and anxious to see how high the jump was going to be. I got ready in a heartbeat, went running on the beach, and ate breakfast all in one hour. As you can see the excitement was surreal. Our amazing driver Trevor drove us up the mountain, and all I could think about was my adrenaline pumping to the max. We finally arrived to the site; the hike was a work out itself. We had to go through rocks, mud, trees, ponds, probably anything you can think of. As soon as I saw the waterfall I knew it was going to be one intense jump. We jumped in the water, which by the way felt like it was below zero. All of us kept insisting to jump but we needed someone to guide us up the hill. Finally, a young boy took us up and let me tell you probably one of the craziest things I have ever done. We had to climb a steep mountain, jump of three different waterfalls; it was literally mission impossible. I looked down from the top and the first thing that came to mind was “oh henry you are insane, apparently nursing school has made you nuts.” Two of my classmates jump first and I knew there was no backing out now. I gave it one more look and aahhhhhh… jumped off. I started leaning back little by little and splash! I landed straight on my back. It was SO painful that I would do it again but with a lot more caution. I have a sore neck, my back is a bit bruised but it was such an amazingly insane experience that I am glad I did it.

Liz Pamela

Today was a crazy day in Grenada! I had so much excitement built up for this day. I had looked up Seven Sisters’ Waterfall on YouTube and was ready to take in all its beauty and adventure. When we got there my nerves started to spike up a bit. I’m not the most adventurous person but I was mentally prepared.

The hike down to the waterfall wasn’t too scary. You had to be careful and watch your every step but it was definitely doable. We carried these cool sticks that probably made us look really dorky but really helped! You had to poke the ground in front of you to get a feel for whether it was slippery, muddy, sturdy, or unsteady.

We finally made it to the waterfall and it was so beautiful. There were huge trees all around us and the sound of the breeze and the waterfall combined sounded like music. Again, a little piece of heaven found in Grenada. (Side note: nature makes me feel closer to God.) We all jumped in and the water was FREEZING! After a few moments a local came by that said he could take us up to the waterfall and of course we jumped at the opportunity to do so.

This is when the craziness began. We all thought it would be a small hike up but it was basically an obstacle course. We climbed up a relatively steep wall, jumped off of smaller waterfalls, passed through a strong current… and basically did the most intense workout of our lives!

Finally we made to the top. ALL my classmates jumped and I was up there alone being a scary cat. I was TERRIFIED. Seriously, I was praying while I was up there. I finally gathered the courage and just did it! And it was AMAZING! Probably one of the best things I’ve ever experienced in my life. Hitting the water hurt a little but it was so refreshing and I was so proud of myself.

I realized something very important. The best way to build confidence is to take a leap of faith and trust in yourself. We all have things that scare us but it is so important to understand that life is meant to be lived with courage.

There’s a quote that says, “Don’t take life so seriously, no one makes it out alive anyways.”

Always be cautious but never afraid. God always has my back anyways.

Liz Pamela

Another unforgettable day in Grenada has gone by. Early in the morning we visited Chichester Nursing home. We made crafts with the residents and they absolutely loved it! It was so much fun to see how involved they got and also how into it my classmates and professors got. A few of us ended up competing with each other to see who could make the best crafts! This was a great activity for the residents because they were able to work on fine motor skills and also it was cognitively stimulating. Even though it was simple decisions they were able to choose whether they wanted pink paper or green paper, happy face stickers or flower stickers. Most importantly, they had something to show and be proud of when their craft was completed.

For lunch we ate at a local food spot. I had delicious “fish and chips. I had never eaten this type of fish which one of my classmates told us is called marlin. Woah! I just realized that’s like the Florida “Marlin’s” mascot! COOL! Anyways, it tasted so fresh I don’t even feel bad we ate our baseball mascot. As we ate our food the television played images of “jouvert,” or carnival. It was so relaxing to be in the streets of Grenada enjoying this meal. I felt such close contact with the Grenadian culture and the people.

Our day concluded at the beach and as always at the beach… we had a blast! I went tubing with another one of the girls on the trip, Gigi, and we flipped and I probably flew at least five feet into the air before plunging into the sapphire water. Ahhh!!! I can’t describe the thrill it is to have the wind and cold water against your face as you hang on to the float for dear life and scream till your throat gives out!

I can’t wait until tomorrow. We are hiking down to Seven Sisters Waterfall! I think I may go to sleep early just so tomorrow can come faster!

Olgiy Fortune

I am overjoyed to finally say that I'm a college senior with only one more semester left in my undergrad career. I like to go by Gigi, because I don't like people butchering my legal name and being unapologetic about it. I'm the oldest student participating in the study abroad program and probably the most traveled. One of my favorite lines: I'm always ready to stamp my passport.

I chose to participate in the study abroad program for numerous reasons. But the main reason is because I love the feeling of helping others. I get a sense of personal gratification to know that I have made an impact on someone's life. Because many have done for me, the least I can do is something for others.

I don't have any expectations for participating in this study abroad program. I prefer to take in this experience without any reservations or expectations. I'd like to give Grenada my passion for nursing. Meaning, I'd like to put my passion of nursing to use in Grenada for the benefit of the Grenadian people.

Christina DeLeo

Waking up at the crack of dawn has become a routine for us. Well not necessarily the crack of dawn unless you consider it before 9 a.m. What can we say, we're sleepy college students. So we visited the nursing home in St. George's to do arts and crafts with the patients there. It was tons of fun helping the patients pick out all the different supplies they wanted and assisting them with making their door hangers look pretty. We ended up making a lot of them and I had a good time helping my patient with hers. It was then lunch time for the patients so we left to eat lunch ourselves at a place called 'Fish and Chick" which was delicious. We went back to the nursing home briefly so Dr. Delpech and Dr. McGregor can make their presentation to the nursing staff about Alzheimer's and elderly abuse. So after all of our good deeds were done for the day, it was finally time to soak up some sun at Grand Anse Beach in St. George's. The beaches in Grenada are absolutely beautiful and the water is so clear. We wasted no time and jumped right into the pretty chilly water. We also went tubing which was a blast and the video we have from it is amazing with the background of the island. I love Grenada's Beaches!

Henry Molina

The island of Grenada doesn’t seem to stop impressing me. Today we headed to Chichester nursing home. The staff gave us a warm welcome and the patients were so glad to have us there. We introduced ourselves and explained to them what we were going to be doing. We had been planning the crafts for weeks and we were finally going to let our artsy side out. I approached one of the patients and she was excited to start her masterpiece. I tried to let her do as much as she could because in reality the activity was for her and not me. We worked on her piece for about an hour, which was more than enough time to learn a little about her. All my peers looked very into their craft and the patients loved how amazing everything was coming out. I then moved on to another patient. He knew the whole history of Grenada! I was so intrigued of all the stories he had to tell me. We spoke about the British fort that could be seen from the nursing home. I would really like to visit the fort before leaving simply because it’s such an amazing historical site to tell others about back home. We finally had lunch in town, I don’t remember the name of the location but the food was exquisite. I had “fish and chips” which was marlin and fries. I definitely want to go back to that location and have the same thing. I start salivating just by talking about it. We had some time left over to enjoy the beach again. We decided to try a different beach and like everything else in Grenada, it was simply beautiful.

Liz Pamela

Every day there is more and more to take in from Grenada. My mind is racing right now trying to think of all that we did today.

We started our day by going to a radio station show where we spoke about our trip thus far and did a brief teaching segment on teen pregnancy. I was so nervous at first but I told myself to just relax and go with the flow… “This is Grenada! Nothing could go wrong!” Despite my pep talk I could feel by body tensing up a bit and my brain starting to anticipate how everything was going to play out. It went nothing as I expected. The radio host made us all feel very comfortable. He asked questions on the spot and I was first up! I was so proud of my classmates and myself for having the ability to not only deliver a well-researched educational segment on teenage pregnancy, but also for being able to rise up to the occasion and answer questions we were not ready for on the spot…while being listened to by hundreds of people…while in another country!

Later on in the day we did home health visits in St. Marks. The homes in St. Marks were beautiful. The houses were decorated so vividly and the contrast they made with the lush green mountains and the fresh vegetation was simply indescribable. I tried to take pictures but the pictures are nothing compared to the delight that this was to see. Most of these houses were not big and fancy, actually most were old, but they had character and certain warmth surrounded them that makes you want to leave everything behind and just move into one of them. The people in the homes were even more beautiful than the houses. They asked us questions about different health concerns and they listened intently as we shared our knowledge. As nurses we make a huge community impact. People may see us as the “go to” person before they visit a doctor and we need to be prepared to answer all types of questions related to their biological, psychological and social concerns.

On our way back home we visited a little piece of heaven. No, seriously… our awesome driver found us a beach that felt like a conversation with God. I felt so much freedom, peace, and love at that beach. The water was crystal clear. It didn’t even hurt to open my eyes under water. We went right when the sun was setting so the view was spectacular. I could keep writing about this amazing day but I am getting sleepy; more to come tomorrow.

Henry Molina

As we walked into the radio station building, I didn’t know exactly how the radio broadcaster was going to approach us. I was prepared to just talk about teenage pregnancy from a male perspective and that was it. He actually made us interact about the reason why we chose nursing and our mission here in Grenada. This made us feel more comfortable, which made it so much easier to do our teenage pregnancy teaching. I was very proud of my classmates and myself for doing such an amazing job. I really hope many teens were listening because our focus was to get such an important message to them.

Today we also had the opportunity to go to individuals home in St. Mark’s. I got the chance to visit a couple homes and talk about diabetes, hypertension and any health conditions that they currently have. I was in shock how much information I was able to provide them. We provided families toothbrushes, oothpaste and breast cancer awareness shirts. It was also a good way to invite them and get the word around that on Friday we will be having another health fair.

After walking so much in the burning sun we needed a way to cool down. We decided to quickly pass by one of Grenada’s beaches. Let me tell you, it was the best decision we could have made. The water was just right, the way the sand massaged your feet and how the sun kissed your back was just therapeutic.

Christina DeLeo

It's day four in Grenada and we still hadn't gone to the beach. It's shocking, I know. We are young college students on a Caribbean island and we do not visit the beach? Hmm. Anyway, so today we struggled to wake up and be ready to meet our driver Trevor (who is awesome) by 7:30 a.m. to go do our radio show. Let's just say the bus ride was pretty quiet, aside from the snores. Getting the radio show was when the group that was presenting there was starting to get nervous. We met the radio host and he explained some things to us and then we got started. The group presented on teenage pregnancy which is quite prevalent in Grenada. They did an amazing job and I believe they really got a good message out to the young adolescents that were tuned in. After the radio show we were starving and went back to the hotel to get breakfast and head back out to start our day visiting homes in St. Mark. It was a scorching hot day (as it is every day on this beautiful island) and we weren't very happy about walking up and down hills in our black slacks and white community polo shirts. We all split up and visited homes where we gave education and asked if they had any medical questions for us. It was such a rich experience to get personal with these residents to see how they live and what they're health concerns are. Everyone in Grenada is so welcoming that they invited us into their homes without hesitation. After a long day’s work walking the hills of Grenada and teaching residents, we headed for the BEACH; yes, the beach! The water so clear and calm and the view was amazing. We had a blast swimming and finding sea glass. The beach was such a great relaxer for us and I hope we get another chance to enjoy it!

Henry Molina

The sun was shining through my window when I looked at the time. It was 9 a.m. and for some reason I thought we had to be ready. I rushed to get organized; made sure I wasn’t leaving anything behind and ran to the tiki bar where we were supposed to be meeting up. I got there and realized we were supposed to meet up at 10 a.m. Instead of being late I was early! I took advantage of the time I had left and ate some delicious Grenadian breakfast. The sun was beaming; we were on the road for about 30 minutes when we stopped to drink some coconut water. There is no better way to cool down on a hot day than with coconut water. We got back on the bus and after a long ride we arrived at the plantation. Oh man! Let me tell you the food was delicious! My plate included fish, beef, chicken, and salad with nutmeg dressing, macaroni, and peas and of course I had to add the amazing pepper sauce. We then moved on to quickly explore the plantation. Trevor gave us a brief description on how chocolate is made and the process of fermentation. We also met a parrot by the name of Rain Bow who had a lot to say. Rain Bow seemed to really want a cracker and apparently happy birthday was his favorite song. Even after having such a huge three-course meal I couldn’t pass on getting some organic dark chocolate. On the ride back home most of us ended in a food coma. Back to the resort, where the Grenadian nursing student gave us a presentation about Grenada’s culture. Grenada is such a historical landmark, and her presentation was so well formatted and interesting that she definitely caught her audience full attention. We finally hit our rooms and prepared ourselves for a new day in Grenada.

Liz Pamela

Today was supposed to be our “relaxing” day, but somehow it was incredibly exhausting! We woke up at around 9 a.m. and my freezing cold shower woke me up immediately. At around 11 a.m. we headed over to Belmont Plantation. On the ride over there I spoke to one of the nursing students we met yesterday. One particular thing we spoke about that really caught my attention was the idea that in Grenada it is difficult to implement structure. I thought about how different it is in the United States where it’s all about systems, structure, time efficiency and pressure. Is this a good or bad thing?

We arrived at Belmont Plantation later than expected. We sat down in their restaurant and for probably over two hours enjoyed a full course Grenadian meal. I can’t remember the last time I did this back home. It’s like there is no sense of urgency here because the people just go with the flow. There’s no rush. You’ll get to your destination when you get there and you’ll be done with what you are doing when you are done. It seems to me like they are keenly in tune with the present moment. It’s awesome.

Some of my thoughts on our way back to the hotel: Am I maybe living my life back home with too much stress and pressure? Am I missing out on enjoying the beauty of living in the present? While the nursing student from St. George’s University (SGU) agreed with me that at times Grenada does need better adherence to structure, I believe that there’s much to learn from how Grenadian’s seem to live life mostly in the present moment.

Liz Pamela

We woke up at around 6 a.m. to what sounded like the world falling on top of us. Apparently that’s what rain on tin roof sounds like. It was a gloomy day but the air was crisp and the proximity to the ocean was felt. I felt alive. Soon enough, in “island time” or 30 minutes later than planned, our driver showed up with a countenance that said, “We’re going to make this a great day!” How could we possibly be upset at him?

In retrospect, it was a great day. Our ride was bumpy to say the least, but when there’s so much to see and internalize, the bumpiness only makes it that much more exciting. My eyes jumped all over the place trying to at least catch a glimpse of every little detail. There were so many different colors and shapes. Every house looked different… a bright turquoise one, then a pastel pink one, and suddenly a gray, worn-down house that somehow looked as beautiful as all the others. Smells of all sorts, something cooking in an outdoor grill far away, nutmeg seeping into our bus, a whiff of fresh fish mixed with the ocean. People walking, talking, simply hanging out in the street (what we would consider loitering) human beings that looked of all social classes enjoying each other’s company. This is Grenada.

Our health fair was a success. Everything was set up quickly and we were all very efficient and effective in our roles. The nursing students from St. George’s University were such a great help. They shared with us how they worked their health fairs and even told us about remedies like sour sap, which is supposed to help prevent/cure cancer. It was cool to be able to connect to these students through nursing.

We had people coming in and out all day. It was sweet to see how the people using word of mouth found out about our health fair and made their way over. Some even went back home after seeing us to get their family member. There was a strong sense of community in these people. They looked out for each other. The majority seemed somewhat modest. They were respectful and willing to listen intently to what we had to say. As a student, this was a very humbling feeling. These people valued what we had come to do for them. I felt so happy inside.

Everything about our day was surreal. I was in a dream. How could I have never gone on a trip like this? On our way back to our hotel the bus driver played a song that went, “may the life I live speak for me.”

I’m wondering what the life I live says about me but I know I want my life to sound more and more like days like this one.

Henry Molina

Ah man! First full day in Grenada was absolutely marvelous! We were supposed to be ready by 7 a.m. but I was so eager to start the day that by 6:20 a.m. I was up and ready to go. We had breakfast, gathered our supplies and before we knew it, we were on our way to St. Patrick’s to provide a wellness fair for the small village. The astonishing scenery made a long drive seem short and wonderful. The narrow streets made it look impossible for the vehicles to fit properly but the good communication and caution among drivers made it safe for everyone. After almost an hour and a half on the road we arrived to the location where we were going to be working. Newly graduated nursing students from Grenada helped us have a smooth successful health fair. We provided blood pressure, “accu” checks, BMI, height and weight, women’s health, breast examination, and health education. Two humble physicians were also present; they helped patients with any abnormal findings and referred them for further evaluation. We had over one hundred patients and it was a wonderful feeling to help a community with such a tremendous need. There was many patients who were unaware of the importance of a good diet and how it affects health overall. The remainder of the day we spent it learning about the island. We got the opportunity to drink fresh coconut water, eat watermelon, and even taste a local hot sauce. I cannot wait to see what this fascinating Island has in store for us in the next couple of days.

Christina DeLeo

Today we went to visit the Belmont Estate Plantation and it was breath taking. The ride over there was amazingly scenic as usual. We drove up the mountainous vegetation of the island. We ate lunch at the Belmont and it was great. I was able to leave my comfort zone a little bit and try some Grenadian food such as lemon-grass infused rice, curry fish, and green bananas. After lunch, we walked around the plantation and learned how their dark, rich chocolate is made and got to try some as well. Although the chocolate was delicious, my favorite part of visiting the plantation was seeing 'Rainbow' the parrot. He is very talkative and loves to say common phrases like "polly want a cracker," "happy birthday to you,” and "hello" however, he also loved to say a not so nice phrase and then crack up at it! It was hilarious and enjoyable. I really wanted to take him back home with me. I am excited tomorrow to do the radio show and visit some homes within the community!

Liz Pamela

I met an amazing lady on the plane ride. She was incredibly sweet. She wore an all gray sweat suit that fit loosely over her bony frame and bulky off-white yellow-stained new balance sneakers. She had a black-knitted hat that covered her short-braided white hair. A rich brown shade hid the wrinkles on her face. Thick brown glasses sat at the bridge of a wide yet petite nose. Her eyes shut tight. I wondered if she was squinting but really she looked like those intensive care unit patients that have a hard time opening their eyes after days of sedation.

She told me she had glaucoma and that it was so advanced she was at the blind stage. I sat next to her and assisted her with putting on her seat belt. She was so grateful and there was so much grace in how she said, "thank you so much dear" in soft, fast spoken English that at times I could barely understand. I had to lean in closely to really listen as she told me about her travel from Atlanta then to Miami and now to St. George's where she would meet her grandson. This woman could not even fasten her seatbelt and at one point as the bright sun gleamed through her window she asked if it was already dark out. Yet, she had been making this long journey with the help of many along the way.

When I asked her if she was nervous she said "a little." We spoke a few minutes but then kept to ourselves. As the plane started to take off, she started her prayers. "Lord, please protect this plane. Lord, let us land safe." On and on she prayed and told me God was always protecting her. I couldn't get her name, but in my heart this woman will forever be the embodiment of the phrase, "walk by faith, not by sight." I hadn’t even landed yet, and Grenada had already given me a warm welcome.

Juliette Quintana

My name is Juliette Quintana. I am a senior nursing student, graduating on May 3rd, 2014. I am part of the Baptist BOND group.

I have chosen to participate in this study abroad program because I am curious in the health care world in a different country. The past two years in our clinical rotations, we have been exposed to working mostly in hospitals. These hospitals have had every single resource possible to save or even extend a person’s life. Outside our health care world, there aren’t even gloves for the health care providers. I want to be exposed to the health care in Grenada.

My expectations for participating include very simple goals. I want to just learn and see first-hand the actual world of Grenada and their health care system. I expect to learn and be able to share my knowledge with my peers back at home.

One thing I would like to give to Grenada is essential hygiene supply. As a group, we are bringing toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash for the health fairs we are taking part in. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are essential for dental hygiene because it could affect the rest of the body if not well maintained. Another thing I would personally like to give Grenada is knowledge. As a student nurse, I might not have all the knowledge or experience that RN’s have but I do have enough knowledge to pass on to the people of Grenada.

Liz Pamela

Hello reader! My name is Liz Pamela. I am a senior nursing student at Barry University. I am passionate about building connections with others and reflecting on the world around me. My friends jokingly have given me the nickname “Lizstotle” (comparing me to Aristotle) because they say I always philosophize and seek deep meaning in even the most insignificant things. I love nursing, working out, reading, writing, and music. Music makes my soul happy!

I am so pleased to be participating in this study abroad program. For months I had been praying for an opportunity to travel and help a group of people completely remote to me. Julie, another student going on this trip, also made it a point to remind me daily how awesome the beach in Grenada would be! This trip was basically an answer to my prayers and a much needed mini-getaway from the pressure of nursing school. Choosing to participate was a no brainer for me!

My only expectation for this trip is to learn, a lot and come back with many new ideas! I hope to absorb as much as I can from my instructors, classmates, and most importantly from the people of Grenada. I love learning about cultures different from my own so I hope that I can immerse myself in Grenada’s culture. I am also certain that this experience will help me solidify where I want to go with my nursing career and my life in general.

I really hope I can give the people of Grenada some of my knowledge, experience and some of my spirit. I also hope that my instructors, classmates and I can find a way to help a specific population in Grenada for a longstanding period of time.

I can’t wait to share more with you!

Taylor Vallez

Hi! My name is Taylor Vallez and I am in my fourth semester of Barry University’s nursing program. From the beginning of nursing school I decided that I wanted to throw myself in full force. Throughout the nursing program I have had several opportunities to learn both on and off campus. When studying abroad was presented, I began the application without hesitation. Studying abroad is beneficial for any student, but as a future nurse it allows me to gain experience that most nurses would only get throughout their career. Cultural competency is recognized as a significant attribute in nursing, especially here in South Florida. As nurses we need to not only be competent in the skills of nursing, but we also need to be well rounded as health care professionals.

While in Grenada I hope to learn more about global health. Particularly, I want to fill in the gap in my understanding of the differences in the health care system, and also understand what the locals believe health is.

I hope that I am able to make a memorable impact to the locals in Grenada. I would like to see many of the island’s residents have a better understanding of health and how to be healthy both physically and mentally upon our departure.

Christina DeLeo

My name is Christina DeLeo and I am in my fourth semester at Barry. I have lived in Miami, FL for the past 14 years and wouldn't have it any other way. I love working in the emergency department and hope to one day be able to attend Barry's Nurse Anesthetist Program. Participating in the study abroad experience was something I have always wanted to do. I was very excited to be able to visit another country while also promoting community health. During our time in Grenada, I expect to have my eyes opened to the way the community in Grenada views health and the significant differences between their health care system and ours. I am hoping to come back from the trip more culturally sensitive and compassionate. I would like to ultimately leave the Grenadian community with better health knowledge and practices. I hope my classmates and I are able to leave a lasting impression on the community and improve their health conditions. I am beyond excited and cannot wait to start our journey!

Henry Molina

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Henry Molina and I am a nursing student at Barry University. I am a hardworking and caring individual who is always willing to learn new things. I plan to be the nurse that receives recognition from the community and from patients for making a difference. I never envisioned being part of a study abroad program but given the opportunity I couldn’t let it slip away. I never took into consideration all the benefits I will gain from such a life changing experience. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be part of this magnificent project and work with such astonishing individuals. I have chosen to participate in the study abroad program mainly because it will give me the opportunity to get to know another culture first-hand. Cultural differences extend beyond just language, food, appearances, and personal habits. A person's culture reflects very profound perceptions, beliefs, and values that impact his or her way of living and the way that they perceive the world. It is obvious to see that we as Americans tend to be uninformed about the world beyond our nation's boundaries. I truly believe that studying abroad will enhance a much less biased perspective toward other cultures and individuals. Being culturally sensitive is an important quality to have as a health care professional. I expect to touch many people’s lives in a positive way. We as nurses should be caring and filled with empathy. With the right resources on hand I will try my best to promote their well-being. I also hope to learn more about their health care system and how it differs from ours. Most importantly I expect to gain a deeper understanding of their perception of what it means to have “good health” and what curative measures are taken when they don’t. One thing I would like to give to the Grenadian community is the importance of promoting health and disease prevention. In my opinion education is a nurse’s strongest tool, and we must emphasize this to all the nurses around the world.

Olgiy Fortune

I am overjoyed to finally say that I'm a college senior with only one more semester left in my undergrad career. I like to go by Gigi, because I don't like people butchering my legal name and being unapologetic about it. I'm the oldest student participating in the study abroad program and probably the most traveled. One of my favorite lines: I'm always ready to stamp my passport.

I chose to participate in the study abroad program for numerous reasons. But the main reason is because I love the feeling of helping others. I get a sense of personal gratification to know that I have made an impact on someone's life. Because many have done for me, the least I can do is something for others.

I don't have any expectations for participating in this study abroad program. I prefer to take in this experience without any reservations or expectations. I'd like to give Grenada my passion for nursing. Meaning, I'd like to put my passion of nursing to use in Grenada for the benefit of the Grenadian people.

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