July 22 – After an amazing experience in Peru, Lauder’s 2016 Spanish track hit the road running in Colombia. We were welcomed to the lovely city of Bogota with World Cup fever with streets full of people (and dogs) wearing yellow jerseys, as Colombia’s national soccer team beat rival Uruguay, cementing an historic – yet all too short – run at the title. A blistering pace of festivities and classroom activities ensued.
From dance classes to an eclectic evening in the famous Andrés Carne de Res, the enlightening trio of professors incorporated current events (aka World Cup) into classroom activities and took us on a remarkable stroll down memory lane as we followed the path of local café’s and bars as they have transformed throughout the many turbulent years Colombia has experienced. As if Bogota didn’t have enough to offer, we spent a few days in Medellin putting our new salsa skills to the test and then relaxed on a beach off the coast of Cartagena with adult beverages in hand.
Our corporate visits have been equally engaging. We learned about the delicious coffee of Juan Valdez – including a visit to a coffee farmer who clearly had enjoyed too much of his own product – and experienced the wonderful, olfactory-opening operations of Passion Growers and their supplier Ipanema Flowers, one of the largest exporters of roses to the United States.
As our two-month immersion is wrapping up, our Spanish speaking ability has dramatically increased, our dancing abilities are…well, they are what they are, and though our group of nine students is incredibly diverse, we have become a family. Although we are sad to leave South America, we are excited to begin our Wharton journey with the rest of the class and occasionally reminisce about our summer abroad over a pisco sour and aguardiente.
With Lots of Lauder Love,
Aleksas Juskys (Lauder/Wharton Class of 2016, Spanish Track)