Santiago, Iquique, Sao Paulo! A whirlwind week with many miles, family togetherness, and good times.
After a 28-hour door-to-door journey from Accra, we arrived at our daughter’s apartment in Santiago, where she and her boyfriend, Marcelo, welcomed us with snacks and pisco sours. Delicious!
The next day we were refreshed and enjoyed the Spring weather in Santiago.
Jan and Marcelo had a chance to try the local specialty -- a "terremoto"(earthquake drink). It's like a wine float!
On Monday we attended Leslie’s class on social entrepreneurship at Universidad de Desorollo, where her class of 25 students is half Chilean, half European. We enjoyed seeing her in action. Later, we took the two-hour flight up the coast to Iquique, where we had been invited to give a three hour seminar at the Universidad de Arturo Pratt on Lessons from Silicon Valley. We thought the banner in front of the auditorium was pretty cool.
On Wednesday, we delivered the presentation to an audience of 150 in English, which Leslie translated expertly into Spanish.
It was well received, and Leslie received this feedback from a student:
“I just wanna say thanks to you and your family for coming last day to Iquique, you opened my eyes and helped me to answer one of the most important questions in my life, what I want to be in the future?
Here in Chile are many talks, mostly from managers from mining companies, they always tell you how they became manager, so after the talk you and your classmates say "hey i want to be just like them, go to the same company and try to be the best" which is not bad, but they never tell you that you can create your own company starting with a great idea
So, When i went to your family talk you told me what i really want to hear in many years ago, i just want to be just like you, i want to create my own company and change the world, just like your father, your mother, your brother and you! Thanks to you and your family, i hope to see you here in Iquique again.”
We even made the local newspaper!
That afternoon, we also presented a three-hour seminar to 12 professors from three different universities in town. Phew! We flew back to Santiago for a day, before leaving for Sao Paulo, where we celebrated Ed’s birthday during a 24 hour layover with the family who hosted him as an exchange student in 1970. As always, they welcomed us with open arms and were more than happy to throw a birthday party —complete with many relatives and friends!
We spent the night Saturday and all day Sunday traveling back to Accra (through Johannesburg) and arrived at our apartment just in time to prepare for another week with our clients. At 6:00 on Monday, Ed was on a flight to Lagos for a weeklong series of meetings.
'Glad we don’t travel half way around the world every week! It was fun to visit South America, but it’s nice to be back “home” in West Africa.