On Sunday, twenty Full-time MBA and Fully Employed MBA students departed for Patagonia, Chile where they will be guests of the clothing company that bears the region’s name and take part in a first-ever week-long study abroad program into the wilds of the Patagonia National Park. Over the next few days, students will learn about conservator efforts underway, environmental stewardship and its business applications, as well as get their hands dirty working the reserve. For Full-time MBA students, the excursion contributes toward completion of the new Certificate in Socially Environmentally and Ethically Responsibility (SEER) Business Practice.
Day 1 – Travel
So, the first day (actually a little more than just a day) was spent traveling, followed by some more traveling, and finally, some more traveling.
I travel a lot for work but I do have to say getting to Patagonia National Park was a HAUL. So, after being greeted at the LAN counter at LAX by leading faculty Tetsuya O’Hara, we boarded our plane, Santiago-bound, with some stops on the way — eight hours to Lima, Peru; a quick break for refuel and passenger exchange; and three more hours to Santiago, Chile. We met the remaining members of the group in Santiago and all boarded for the final two-hour flight to Balmaceda.
After leaving LA around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, we got to Balmaceda around 1 p.m. on Monday.
Long trips like this, with this amount of people, usually do come with some hiccups. Even though some bags were lost, our spirits were high and everyone was excited to get to our final destination, Conservacion Patagonica. It was only another six hours away by bus, on mostly dirt roads.
We were energized by the brisk wind blowing across the plateau at Balmaceda.
It definitely took some time but we were rewarded with breathtaking views. The sights were humbling, awe inspiring, and just really, really breathtaking. The trip was filled with the huge, rugged Andes Mountains, enormous lakes, green trees and woods.
While I was super tired, I was too excited to sleep, worried that I might miss something. The ride took a lot longer that it takes to read this, and we were all pretty stoked on finally getting to our destination.
We arrived around 8:30 p.m., just in time for dinner. After refueling, some of us were taken to the lodge (think: a very cozy B&B) and after that, the rest of us were dropped at our camp site to pitch our tents.