It’s with mixed emotions I report our work is done now. We had a very productive meeting with the Honorable Mayor Binay and the Senior Makati city leaders.
Lisa and I co-presented and it appeared the presentation was well received. Funny how 3 weeks of effort of 6 executives, 3-4 support members, interviews and discussions with more than 50 experts can be condensed into a 45 minute or so presentation. Nonetheless, the team did a great job of culling and condensing the main points into the most salient.
We are very proud of our work and we know we created a well studied report. We took a different tack than the dozens of other studies done over the years. We tried to make it ‘real and realistic’, yet we pushed the limits in reasonable ways.
After the meeting we were hosted to lunch at the Manila Polo Club by Mariels (IBM General Manager of the Philippines) and then we had a debrief meeting. Then we had to scramble one last time to submit our final report. The stress of repeated deadlines and late days/nights made the stumbling across the final/final finish line almost comical. Sort of… but not really.
Then we were free to don more casual clothes and enjoy some time together, one last night. In the morning a subset of us had a long breakfast of almost 3 hours. Although we are very different, we’ve really enjoyed our time together. We’ve learned much from each other and we’ve learned the equivalent of textbooks of information, although much of what we’ve learned you could not learn from a book.
I’m very excited to return home to my wife, family and friends. To sleep in my own bed and drink really good coffee and savor a good beer. I’ve had 3 home cooked meals in the last 6 weeks I think. I miss the simple things in life, like a quiet moment in my home. I love the adventure, but I yearn for home right now. Three flights and 24+ hours, and I’ll be home around 8:30 Sunday morning.
Travel teaches me that reading of a place pales in comparison to actually experiencing a place. I’ve learned so much from my colleagues, from our local hosts, and from my experiences here. These learnings have widened my aperture of understanding of what is similar and what is, wondrously, different. In definite ways I have changed. Travel teaches me to embrace the variances of culture and remain open minded because limited experiences tends to close your mind and tends to make you feel smug. I’d much rather risk a little and learn a lot by getting out of my comfort zone and jumping in with both feet. The full immersion makes you feel a bit out of control at times; however, I simply need to remind myself this will all be ok in the end. And, as has been said before, “if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”
In a very good way, this is not the end.