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Thursday, July 21, 2011

the final trip wrap

So...a sustained internet outage caused my posts to get delayed, so I apologize for this last one being tardy. After getting back, I was swamped with email and work-related items, so it's now time for me to get this all wrapped up from the trip. I will indeed add pictures soon to each post, so please check back.

After our amazing culinary experience at the Basque club, the bus drove us back to the hotel for our final night in Mondragon. What shall we do? Should we go somewhere? Who is up for some fun? A few of us met at the downstairs bar, and enjoyed some fun and spirits. I've been so glad to spend time with everyone and get to know people I normally don't see during the week because we're all in different programs...this was another opportunity for us to do that. We've grown some camaraderie over the week and it will be a little sad to have that gone. Before we knew it, a few of us were off on the town, and decided to make a stop before heading back for sleep and an early morning of packing and checking out. I had a great time...was 100% wiped out when I finally went to bed, and was not in a mood to get up in the morning.

The next morning we had a few final stops and meetings to attend. Fred Freundlich was kind to speak to us from the Mondragon Innovation and Knowledge Research Center (MIK), and talk about some of the projects that they have been working on. He also graciously picked up the tab for some breakfast in their cafeteria area, and so there were many happy coffee drinkers that were appreciative!

Our next and final official stop was the Company Incubation Center, and a quick talk with Isabel Uribe. This particular location focuses on company promotion, and she spoke about some current initiatives the group is working on (and has worked on in the past with companies that need assistance). The whole cooperative is so tightly wound together, and it was nice to see what ideas others have to promote new businesses and organizations. This is one area that I see lacking in my current work area - if we could do more to reach out to other campus partners and make ourselves more visible, we may have an easier time talking about our services and how we can help faculty and students with teaching and learning.

After one more lunch at Otalora we were back to town to wrap up, say goodbyes to those who were moving on to other locations, and talk about our experience. I am so thankful to have been a part of this entire experience - it's not one that can be seen in many places around the world. Jimmy and I decided that Bilbao would be our next experience, and so we were taking the bus there - an hour ride meant time for a nap.

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