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Shari Mallory-Shaw’s Blog

Cultural Entrepreneurship & Documentation Program in Grenada – Nature is a Great Teacher

My role was set…I was chosen to be the Entrepreneurship expert for the CEDP project in Grenada this year and I had confidence that I could contribute in a meaningful way to this project.  Once we began working on the project in Grenada, I realized how special and fortunate I was for being chosen for this project and learning experience.  Entrepreneurship can be defined in many ways, and my role was to help participants uncover their entrepreneurial spirit and ideas.

Our students (NSCC and TAMCC) were tasked to interview, video, and document cultural specialists during the first few days of the project. Aside from a few hiccups in the beginning, the student teams operated very professionally as a multidiscipline team.  The students were in control of this aspect of the project.

One of the most memorable interviews was with Dr. Marcelle, an herbal remedy specialist and educator.  We sat in the middle of his farm among swaying bamboo, listening to his ideas and philosophy on education, climate change, symbiosis, Grenada culture, generational differences, apathetic teachers, applied learning and the list continues.   His farm is on a very steep hillside and is not in neat and tidy rows; it is a natural growing species of native plants.  He cultivates and maintains every plant and has a specific use for each one.  There were tons of fruit trees, spices and herbs, plants used for medicinal purposes, plants for specific pest control, and plants that are just pretty to have around and enjoy.  He told us how the plants are at the bottom of the food chain and unfortunately humans do not respect the plants for this reason.   

After the end of the interview, I felt I had completed a full 45 minutes of shavasana in yoga; I was relaxed, calm and ready to tackle the world.  It truly is important to listen to "elders" as they have an amazing ability to find simple methods of solving problems and understanding life. From this experience, I appreciate the importance of asking questions, being curious, and using active listening skills.  These are all essential in learning and teaching.  However, as I meandered through some overgrown paths, I uncovered a sign in his garden which read, “Nature is a Great Teacher”. Isn’t it time to take our classes out into nature?

Shari Mallory-Shaw

Faculty, School of Business

NSCC Truro Campus

Shari photo 2

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