Grenada:Three Month Review

So now that I have a few months here under my belt I can talk about some of the work that I’ve done. The most common comment I get from people is: is that really ‘work’ you’re doing there, or just having a long vacation.

There are 12 holidays and then many ‘fete’ or party days, that are taken off of work. Leaving most weeks to be short. But I do believe that most people work hard and play hard too.

My biggest ‘win’ for being here after just 9 weeks, was hearing that a passing conversation I had with my host sister is coming to fruition. She happens to work for a large estate (300 acres) and just getting started planting out a few acres and mentioned how bees could help increase production. She mentioned this to her bosses and she mentioned that they had just hired a local beekeeper to but 20 hives out on the land. Now to see if it works.

A short list of some of my work I’ve done in the short time I’ve been here:
  • Met personally with 28 beekeepers/interested people in
    beekeeping
  • 6 of those my counterpart(s) and I visited their apiary/bee
    yard
  • 3 of the visited apiaries we worked the bees that day
  • Met 12 extension officers, ministry officials, SGU contacts,
    other individuals that work in the agriculture industry
  • Met the Association Executive Board along with the Chief Veterinarian
    Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and the Extension Agent for Beekeeping (this last week-finally)
  • Attended the 4 day St. George’s University Bee College in
    St. George
  • Emailed Inter-American
    Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and National Vocational
    Qualifications (NVQ) or Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) certification
    about current and past trainings held in regard to beekeeping (none as of
    lately nor in the near future)
  • Attended GAB membership meeting (14 people in attendance)
    and The Goat Dairy board meeting & On-Farm Workshop
  • Networked with many people on the island along with
    inquiring about resources on the island for beekeepers and the association
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    Discussed, researched and wrote Response Counterpart Workshop
    proposal with assistance of Mr. Gittens, fellow Response volunteers and
    27-month volunteers

  •  Met and followed up with Ms. Melissa Tyson, 4-H Extension
    for St. Andrew’s, on term-long project proposal for 12-16 year-olds on
    pollinators, habitat and importance.
  •  Partnered with Belmont Estate to create simple business and
    action plan for bees to be established on the estate, including training-of-trainer for estate to also train staff on better understanding and best
    practices
  •  Attended Saint Andrews Development Organization (SADO)
    planning meeting for Rainbow City event in Grenville happening before Carnival
    to assist beekeepers in preparing for possibly exhibiting
  •  Followed up with meeting with Dr. Louison specifically for
    filling out paperwork on Grenada clearance for honey to be accepted into the
    U.K. for beekeepers to enter London Honey Show October 29-31st 2015
  •  Created project plan for self-started projects, events, and
    notable dates, holidays, etc.
  •  Continued researching and compiling world honey, pollen, and
    propolis plant sources to create Caribbean and Grenada specific plant lists
  •  Wrote abstract and applied for Travel Award to attend
    Apimondia, an international beekeeping conference being held in Seoul, Korea
    September 15-20, 2015 (And had it ACCEPTED, now looking for funding to travel to the event)

As you can see I keep ‘busy’ doing ‘work’. Living on an island makes it easy to keep my nose to the grind stone and keep on top of things, as I do need to summit a monthly report to Peace Corps. 
Hopefully in the next month (Mid-August due to Carnival taking over now until 2nd week of August) I hope to get Introduction to Beekeeping training going twice a week, and soon after a Pollination/Pesticide course for beekeepers and farmers and hopefully Ministry officials as well. There are many more classes to write, people to get involved, and equipment and resources to procure as well as funding for some of it.  I will be visiting more beekeepers in the next weeks leading up to this as well. I believe there are close to 100 beekeepers on the island.
 
The best complement I got this week from a 27-month volunteer that he thought I was working ‘quickly’ as things take longer than normal here as change is very difficult for people in general. But learning and doing something different is a whole other beast entirely.

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2 Comments

  1. Yes, it sounds like you have been very busy. It's interesting to hear what you do there. I was just thinking about you this morning as we thought we found an underground nest of bees – something I've never heard of before. It was interesting to do some research and discover how these bees are different than others, but in researching we discovered that we have hornets instead (they just looked different from other hornets we are trying to get rid of so we thought it might be bees – no luck there).

    Like

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