Here we go. Welcome to our blog for McCombs Global Connections 2017, with our trip to South Africa. I’m Orlando Kelm and our GRA this year will be Funda Sarilar. We are just barely at the beginning phase of our trip. Come back soon and we’ll have more details.
Day 9, March 15
Could it possibly be that our program in Colombia has come to its last day? Today’s last company visit was with Ruta N. Many had follow up meetings with our start ups, and then free time for the three S’s: shopping, sight seeing, and souveniers.
We officially closed the program with a dinner at Carmen Medellín.
How does your impression of Medellín differ from that of the Zona Cafetera and Bogotá? What were the take-aways from today’s activities?
Day 8, March 14
Given the different meet up times with our start up companies, today was one of the most flexible of the trip. Some groups met with their Colombian partners for full presentations, others had initial meetings, and others scheduled visits for another day.
What we did enjoy together was a visit with Santiago at EPM and with Agostinho & Patricia at Promotora.
How did you day go and what did you learn for your experience this day?
Day 7, March 13
Yes, we really did fly back to Bogotá again today, and yes flights again were delayed. No problem, upon arriving we were met by John and Adriana, and they helped us get settled into our hotel and then sent us on our city tour.
Botero square, gondola rides, and a visit to see the graffiti art and community spirit near the escalators. What a tremendous introduction to Medellín.
Day 6, March 12
Who says that you can’t do it all in one day?!
Zip lining, check! Coffee picking, check! Lunch in Salento, check! Jeep Willies to Cocora Valley, check! Walking among wax palms, check! Coffee roasting and tasting, check! Shopping in Salento… well OK, lightening, a power outage, and pouring rain did affect that. However, it was still a great evening for the hot tub at the La Esperanza Finca Hotel.
Tell us about the impressions of your day.
Day 5, March 11
It’s hard to pick coffee on a plantation in Armenia when a person is still in a hotel in Bogotá. Sure enough, with 2 cancelled flights, and a 4:00am arrival at the hotel, this day included creative ways to decide how to best adjust our schedule with a full day of activities that would need to be rescheduled. The decision: get to Armenia and try to fit it all in on the following day. So, back to the airport in Bogotá, and yes, we did arrive in the coffee region.
The day was not completely lost because we did end the evening with a visit to El Solar restaurant (complete with the first celebration of Jessica’s birthday).
As to Colombia, what did you learn and appreciate better as a result of this day?
Day 4, March 10
Nathalie relates to MBA students, and she also enjoys sharing her vision of the future of a family business. Today we visited Totto, with a factory tour in the morning and a visit to the flagship store in the afternoon.
What did the visit to Totto teach you about business in Colombia? What did you learn about Totto in general?
Our day also ended with a trip to the airport, and there may be some other details that we are leaving out. However, if you want to add any comments about time spent at the airport, go for it!
Day 3, March 9
We’ve got a plan, Corona administration visit. This to be followed up by a visit to the Home Center, and ending with a visit to the Sopó factory.
Wait a sec, we’ve got a change in plan. Given that we sat in a bus that didn’t move for over an hour, lunch at Home Center was compressed, and the factory tour was cancelled.
Still, the information exchange from both Corona and Falabella were tremendous, and the innovation within Home Center was impressive. A free evening was also appreciated.
What did your visit with Corona give you today? What did you learn or appreciate better because of that visit?
Today we started our company visits with Camilo at La Gaitana. Beautiful sites and smells, and a greater appreciation for the cultivation of flowers.
After lunch (including playing on the playscape) we headed to the American Embassy, also meeting with visitors from the American Women’s Club. Indeed, one of our take-aways was the subtle meaning behind “qué pena.”
And we finished the day with the Alumni dinner, complete with flowers, cake, and nice exchanges with our visitors.
Talk about your observations, take-aways, and learning points for today.
Everyone has arrived (well except Adriana, but that is a different story). Veronica and Jose introduced us to Bogotá, with a city tour that included visits to the Presidencial Residence, a visit to Monserrate, and a walk to Chorro de Quevedo.
We then had our opening reception at Andrés, Carne de Res, bringing on the food and drinks.
What did you learn about Bogotá and Colombia today? What were your take-aways?