25 05 2010

It has been an incredible week and a half. I am sitting in the Delta Sky Club in Tokyo looking through all of the pictures that I took during the trip. Some great memories and good ideas for the future. Even the time we spent shuffling around the cities was well spent. The conversations with the local cab drivers, the takeaways from our meeting and even the perspective from the local news on the rest of the world were all welcome and enhanced the understanding of the global experience.

Probably the biggest takeaway from the trip for me was the differences in political climate. This was my first venture into a communist country and to see the praise for the government at any meeting was really a little disturbing to me. The fact that we had to review our questions prior to our trip the university goes against everything I grew up with. With a strong family focus on education, I was always encourage to ask question, probe for more information, question what doesn’t make sense, and most of all to voice my own opinion, while respecting others doing the same.

Our visit to Saigon South felt a bit like a scene out of the movie called the Truman Show. I felt as though when we were driving around or looking out the balcony that a big camera or light was going to fly down and smash on the ground. I was struck by the contrast between the 1M apartments and the little motor bikes racing around downtown Saigon. I am not sure I understand how Saigon South will actually be able to survive, it seems as though it is more a governmental show piece then anything else.

Finally, the visit to Cambodia…this may sound trite, but it changed me. I have always heard of people living in that kind of poverty, but I had never actually seen it. I have been through poor neighborhoods in the mid-west, the worst neighborhoods of NYC, but nothing like what we saw in Cambodia. I am impressed by the Wat Bo primary school, but am still not sure what the end game is for those students. When they finish the schooling what next? While there may be some in the school that had the ability to get out of the country and become further educated, most could not. Our tour guide spoke of his daughter wanting to be a doctor, but he had no idea how to help her make that happen, let alone the money to even think about that.

I would never have selected to go to Singapore, Cambodia, or Vietnam on my own and not sure that I will return, but I can say the experience was once in a lifetime.


Sinapore Flyer

15 05 2010

After the tour of the city this morning, we are getting on the Singapore Flyer to get a view of the city from above. Modeled after the “London Eye” the Singapore Flyer gives a view of the city from 165 meters (or for those in the states about 600 feet). Remember in 2nd grade when they said the metric system would take over, Mrs Troha would be pleased.

Arrived in Singapore

14 05 2010

I arrived in Singapore at approximately 12:50a, Saturday (local time) or about 12:50p, Friday. For those keeping score, that is approximately 26h, 30m, from my arrival at Dulles on Thursday.

Flights were long though the one from MSP to NRT (12h 10m) felt shorter then the one from NRT to SIN (7h). Little bit of excitement into Narita, we had an aborted landing due to another plane rolling onto the runway. We were pretty darn close to touching down, when we powered up and made a hard accent.

Had a little Japanese McDonalds at the Narita airport, then on to Singapore. After what seemed like an eternity, my bag rolled out onto the baggage claim belt and I was off to the hotel.

After checking in, I stumbled…well they stumbled, I met Jim and Wayne in the elevator making their way back to the room after closing down a local establishment.

Latest Tucker update: Cindy is with Tucker getting more tests, they have ruled out a cancerous tumor and are doing a few more tests to see what is causing the facial paralysis. More to come…

The day has arrived…

13 05 2010

Back in January of 2009 when I started the Executive MBA program the international experience seemed so far away, almost not real. The old saying time flies, certainly applies here. About an hour and a half ago most of my classmates left Williamsburg via bus to Dulles Airport. I spent the night in DC with my wife and we will be headed to the airport after a nice breakfast. We fly around the same time this morning, but my will be taking different paths. I choose to upgrade to first class for the 22 hours of flight time ahead of us. Delta will take me to Minneapolis, short layover then on to Narita, with a quick stop, then on to Singapore. I should be landing in Singapore around lunch time (EDT) tomorrow. My classmates will be flying direct from Dulles to Narita, but then on to Bangkok for the night before departing for Singapore the next morning.

Some of our luckier classmates have spent the week in Australia or Thailand on vacation. We will all come together Saturday night (Singapore time) for a night time safari and then start our official agenda on Sunday afternoon.

There is no doubt this will be an amazing trip, stay tuned for more details and pictures along the way.

Start of a journey…

10 05 2010

Good morning all,

In January of 2009 I began a journey, with the unwavering support of my wife Cindy, that will end (hopefully) with receiving a Masters in Business Administration from The College of William & Mary, Mason School of Business. It has been an amazing 4 semesters and on Thursday we head to Asia as a part of our Global Strategy class. I will be making the trip from Washington Dulles, through Minneapolis and Narita and will land in Singapore at 12:50am local time on Saturday morning.

Part of our school work requires us to share our experiences in a journal, so my plan is to use the journal of 2010, a blog. I will post pictures and updates as I can. If you have any suggestions on what to do in my off time or questions about the culture or the cities I am in, please let me know. Comments, Blackberry Messenger, and e-mail are the best way to reach out.