The last week has been absolutely wonderful. Building up to the IMD MBA 2008 reunion here in Lausanne, I spent most of my non-working hours catching up with those whom I haven’t seen since our graduation last year. It began on Tuesday when my Swedish classmate, Jesper, arrived in town and crashed at my apartment for a few nights. We went out for drinks with the other Laussanois classmates as well as some others who had made it into town early but we also had great opportunities just to catch up between ourselves. I found this particularly valuable as Jesper is working on a project to bring distributed solar energy to the developing world. I know he will be wildly successful and perhaps some day we will have the opportunity to work together.
On Thursday, Jesper’s family arrived so he moved into a hotel with them. Then Friday my Slovakian classmate, Tomas, arrived to take over the Jesper suite. Friday was fun. The reunion began with lunch at IMD followed by a full afternoon of presentations from IMD faculty and staff about the school, the program, and the like. After our back-to-class sessions (No case preparation necessary!) we moved to the IMD restaurant for a cocktail and dinner. For those of us who traditionally spent most of our lunch time playing ping pong, this meant that we first played ping pong all evening until the sun went down and it was no longer feasible. Oh what glorious memories!
That same evening the Class of 2009 had organized a Latin Party so we stopped by for some dancing and catch-up then wrapped up at MGM, one of our favorite lakeside watering holes from last year. It was a great kickoff to what was sure to be an exceptional weekend.
Saturday morning most of the class loaded onto buses for a day-long hike in the mountains. The four of us who frequently played beach volley last year, though, embraced the gorgeous weather and returned to the sand courts of Vidy. Mario (Brazilian), Martin N. (Czechoslovakian), Tomas, and I were the only ones playing so we enjoyed several games and a dip in the lake before a relaxing lunch at Le Carousel.
It is amazing but the weather here is clearly tending toward fall already. The high on Saturday was in the mid-60s (F) and there was evidence of many fallen leaves on the ground. Furthermore there was that particular autumn smell in the air that indicated warmer clothing would be necessary soon. It seems that just about the time that it becomes too cool for beach volley in Lausanne I will move to Houston where I can keep playing for another two months–good planning!
After lunch we returned to the courts and played against locals, who had finally begun arriving. A dip in the lake and a nap back home prepared us for the evening’s festivities. What seemed like the entire class gathered at Le Pur for dinner and followed up at Red Club afterward. It was wonderful to see everyone but it was apparent that everyone was dead tired after a full day of physical activity in the sun. By 3 AM only Peter (the Great Dane), Ian B. (Canuck), and I were left at the club so we decided to call it a night.
Sunday morning began early as I met up with Sergei (Belorussian) and Martin N. for a mini-reunion of our first building block bbb7 group. We decided to allocate some time to discuss the weightiest issues on our mind. I therefore expected to be talking about career issues, professional challenges, etc. but, instead, we spent the whole time talking about the women in our lives! Hmm, maybe that’s dangerous to refer to our women as “weighty” but they know we love them! 🙂
Although we could have tarried for hours, we wrapped up our discussion and made our way to Parc du Milan for the final Class of 2008-vs-Class of 2009 soccer match of the year. 2008 won 2-0 to take the series decisively. The Class of 2009 will forever cry foul that some of their players were unavailable due to ICP travel requirements but, well, a win is a win. 🙂
All Sunday afternoon was spent at a relaxing picnic along the lake. We grilled out, ate, drank, and took hours to say all of our goodbyes. It was a wonderful weekend and many thanks go out to the organizing committee–especially our fearless Chair, Irina (Russian), for pulling it seamlessly together. Those who were unable to attend were sorely missed but we will all hope to see them soon.
On the subject of tearful goodbyes, today is my last day at Poken. I have a great deal to accomplish in order to enjoy a farewell drink this evening at Les Brassieurs. What an intense ride it has been! I will definitely miss the Poken team and just as definitely I will continue to foster Poken adoption wherever I go.