Thank you again for the opportunity to accompany you on our global trip to Colombia. This year was unique for me because it was my first experience to lead students to a place that I also had never been to. (I know, it makes you wonder what the word ‘lead’ could mean.) Normally I enjoy the opportunity to expose students to things that I myself have previously loved, appreciated, observed, or experienced. This year was much different, because I got to experience it with you, and at the same time as you. I try hard to stay in the shadows, and let you take the forefront. That was more difficult this year, simply because you were all such delightful travel partners.
I have been traveling to Latin America for nearly 40 years, and it holds a pretty solid and large portion of my heart. Selfishly I always hope that others come away from trips to Latin America with some of the sense of why it is dear to me. And I believe that we did accomplish that to some degree. This year we also got to feel that same sense from Eli, who was able to bring his home country to you.
I also believe that the reason the McCombs sponsors the global trips is to help you to learn some of the issues that would make you more effective when conducting business with others beyond our borders and beyond our cultural norms of experience. Colombia seemed to have a wonderful mix of vibrant potential, an itching to explode on the global stage, and the Latin American bumps in the road that foster flexibility and creative thinking.
Again, thanks to all.