Life’s about memories and relationships, and the Poland&Czech Republic Global Study Trip delivered its fair share on both ends.
Not really sure what I had expected before the trip, but if someone had told me that it would go the way it did – I’d have taken it in a heartbeat.
I was surprised by how much I did not know about my home country and my close neighbors – guess you learn everyday. I’m also very happy we had a chance to hear from amazing leaders with very different perspectives on the economic, political and social development of P&CR over the last 25 years.
But when my grand-kids are going to ask me about this experience in 50 years, that’s what I’ll tell them about (in random order):
Haitham: a man of many, many, many degrees, with heart bigger than all of his dissertations combined, full of appreciation for beauty and generosity measured in gigabytes
Nan: whose idea will change the history of selfie-taking and, along the way, probably many more less important industries;)
Victoria: who wasn’t afraid to open up and let us get to know her true self and who is the nicest and warmest person one could ever find
Konstantine: Fun czar (with capital F), who taught us all how to be humble and have an optimistic approach to life
Ming: with her strength and positive energy despite many challenges in life. adaptability is the word.
Joe: guy with EQ the size of Mt. Everest, who has an amazing ease to connect with people and make friends
Jeffry: teacher whose love for sharing knowledge and teaching others can be matched only by his love of meat:)
Jonathan G.: guy who is so laid back, funny and cool that he could honestly be me:D
Kassandra: lady with Beyoncé’s moves and an appreciation for good music!
Jonathan H’s: ability to draw thought-provoking insights from each meeting and ask questions that unveil them. plus the best briefing of the trip.
Gaurav: man who reminded us about the importance of family ties and was the meme-master who took over groupMe with his astonishing pics
MJ: who had the guts to start us off with the spotlight and did it in a brilliant way, allowing herself to be vulnerable and setting the tone for the following talks. plus funky tees.
James: man of few words and dark(ish) sense of humor whose candidness and straightforwardness were very refreshing and appreciated (at least by me)
Yu: who I admire for his patience in dealing with rowdy crowd of MBAs and ability to approach challenges face-on (many being out of his comfort zone)
Chloe: lady of so many great qualities that I could write another post about them. Kipp is a luck guy.
Siqi: for being a good spirit of the trip and becoming a great addition to my soul-mates club
Omar: the haiku master, Wifi expert and a man of a great perseverance
Byron: charmer, gentleman, X-Factor expert, 1D groupie and our only connection to a second-tier non EuroZone country
Andy: faculty who can level with students like no-one else – through 1on1 bus chats, kebab trips, dinner conversations and many more
Yanni: an oasis of calmness and good vibes…who knows how to party
Jordan: smart and savvy guy, with thoughtful comments…and my new wing-man
Robert: man with stamina of a world-class athlete – last man standing at parties and first up at breakfast…always ready to have good time – we will leverage that back in PA
Alex: super eloquent dude, with a killer (:D) sense of humor and very pragmatic approach to life
Cordelia: crazy FUN and energetic girl, whose direct questions can only be topped by her dance moves
as for the leadership team:
Klauds: who was on top of all things and even in crisis moments maintained her composure and pragmatism. and she’s the party animal, which she hides a bit in PA:)
Jess: who had to deal with (at least my) sub-par attention to detail and took on the challenge of being in charge of the least sexy elements of the trip planning, such as finance and day-to-day logistics…and delivered on them perfectly. JESS YOU ARE MY HERO.
Elizabeth: whose enthusiasm of the Czech Republic allowed all of us to experience the country in a much more profound and personal way.
David: guy who I can definitely learn from how to read group dynamics and react to them on the spot in a way that is thoughtful and discrete.
ALL: whether you like it or not, from now on I will call you my friends. Happy Holidays. See you in 2015.
ps. special shout out to Joanna and Robert: THANK YOU and good luck with your GST next year:)