Did you really buy over 25 pounds of Mexican pottery?

1 Posted by - February 9, 2017 - GWSB Blog Posts, IPADE Business School, MBA, Mexico

After a week of traveling around Mexico, I am finally back in my little apartment in Mexico City (CDMX). Since my last post, I was given the nice surprise that I did not have class for over a week. This gave me another opportunity to see the country that I have called home for the last six weeks.

On the shore of Chetumal with Belize in the distance

During the time off, I was invited by a fellow classmate to his family’s beach house in Bacalar, near the Belize border. As part of our time off included a national holiday and an optional case competition that most of the second years were not taking part in, the group going  numbered 22, with only a handful of other international students. The trip has been the highlight of my time in Mexico so far! We flew into Chetumal, the capital city of the Quintana Roo province, just a few miles north of the Belize border. The charming one gate airport was one of the smallest I have seen with our plane being the only one at the entire airport. From Chetumal we made the 45 minute drive to his family’s home in Bacalar. The city is named for the famed lagoon of the same name. The lagoon is locally known as “the lagoon of seven colors” for the seven shades of blue throughout the lagoon. During the trip we took a boat tour and got to see each of the seven colors up close. It was truly breathtaking to see it change as the boat raced through the water. Throughout the day, we were able to swim in each of the colors drinks in hand and music playing, making it a truly fantastic day.

In addition to swimming in Bacalar, we also got to drive to Mahahual on the coast and spend the day on the beach of the Caribbean Sea relaxing while some went scuba diving. Each night after dinner we would turn up the music and have little dance parties on the dock at their home and then fall asleep in a hammock hearing the waves hit the shore. The trip was not only relaxing, but a great way for me to really get to know my classmates and become friends.

After returning from the beach with a nice tan, a few of the other American exchange students and I decided on an impromptu overnight trip to the city of Puebla, another UNESCO world heritage site, two hours south of CDMX. The city is known for having one of the tallest cathedrals in Latin America, the site of the first public library in the Americas, and for their pottery, among other very important parts of Mexican political history. During the trip, I fell in love with the many colors of the pottery and decided to make a “few”purchases. For those that know me, I can go a little overboard, and in Puebla I very much did. I decided I wanted to purchase a new set of plates for my home and was on the hunt for the best deal in the city while my friends were also on the hunt for their own finds. During the search, which resulted in us visiting back storage rooms, attics, and side rooms via alleys, I discovered boxes of broken pottery at a few stores. I immediately had the idea to create mosaic projects with the broken pieces and started to bargain with the shopkeepers who were all but confused on how to price the broken items. In the end I not only ended with a set of 8 stunning dinner plates and 8 appetizer plates, and a tequila decanter, but also about 12 pounds of broken pottery for future projects from various stores. How I expect to bring it all back is a problem I refuse to address for another month, #denial.

Between the travel, classes are still going well with the reputation of IPADE really showing. In my General Management class last week we read a case and discussed in detail about GE’s gamble moving into the innovation space through hosting “Ecomagination” challenges. The challenges, were open to any company and individuals can submit proposals for certain issues GE is having. Our Professor, a former GE Mexico CEO, had a wealth of knowledge, but the real surprise was he was able to bring via video conference the head of GE Latin America’s “Ecomagination” challenges. She discussed how the program evolved and answered our many questions about the program. It was a great opportunity to hear current updates about what we learned in class.

Tomorrow evening the whole class is getting together for a mid-quarter party, which will give us another opportunity outside of class to get to know our colleagues. As a school deep with tradition, tomorrow’s event is paid for by the second year class as a gift for the first years. I very much admire the many traditions here and ways that the classes take care of each other. It really feels likes a family here.

Well that is all for now. Till next time!

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