Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sunrise Surfing in Lima, Peru

I caught my first wave at 6:30 a.m. this morning.
It’s day four of GLOBASE Peru, and I’m having an incredible time. This morning I’m writing from the deck at our hotel, Casa Andina, listening to the roar and vibrations of the morning commute on the street below, horns aggressively honking (eat your heart out, NY, NY). Through the morning haze I can see massive mountains towering to the north and the smell of seawater and gasoline (traffic) whipping from both sides of the building. The city is just waking up – but me and three classmates caught our first wave surfing at sunrise.
This year’s GLOBASE program was structured that a great deal of our consulting work was finished before we got on site. In the seven weeks of the class leading up to spring break, we worked tirelessly in our groups researching, making international calls, chatting with our clients, and building our powerpoint slide decks and strategy. The good part of that is we had 80% of our work done by the time we got here, which allows for a lot of socialization, site-seeing, two-hour lunches and strolls through many of Peru’s immaculate parks and marcados (markets).
I’m picking up on Spanish rather well – I can’t hold a full conversation yet, but I can joke around and not get completely ripped off by a taxi driver. Peru is amazing and surprising – very developed and much, much bigger than many cities I’ve spent time in – San Diego, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Portland, and Seattle – all smaller. At the southern side of the city is a massive cliff that drops to the water crashing below – where you find surfers, body boarders, and families enjoying ice cream and jogging. The city is rising to the sky – there is NO direction you can look that you don’t see massive buildings going up here and there – the city’s even working on its new football stadium.
I’ve taken a three-hour double-decker bus tour, tried cebiche (raw fish soaked in lime juice), cow hearts, fresh sushi, yams, potatoes and plenty of Pisco sours at sunset with my colleagues. I’ve explored catacombs beneath a church, walked the bustling market of China town (South America’s largest), watched Parkour and had plenty of wild cab rides. And yes, after this morning, I’ve final surfed, at sunrise, with friends, in the waves of Lima. It's a whole new level to "MBA student activities."
Work with the client has been great! He’s taken us to a frenzied fresh fish market where he sometimes sources his fish, and then through a fish processing plant, where we had to wear near-hazmat suits and saw giant squid (four feet) turned all the way into 1-inch frozen cubes. We’ve worked hard for him, and we’ve got a great recommendation lined up. We’re proud of our work – and the leadership team and faculty have been incredible guides along the way.
Next time you hear from me on the MBA Program Blog, I’ll have climbed Machu Picchu and told a Peruvian businessman the best way we see to crack the US frozen fish market. I dare you to find another two year mba program that can give you all this and more. This is the kind of stuff that keeps us in the top of the business graduate school ranking.

Hasta luego!

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