Wharton Antarctica Leadership Venture 2010/11

Jan 03

Dispatch #4

Published at 04:39
Dispatch created from email
Last news from us was that we were frantically boarding a plane for
Antarctica...with high hopes. But unfortunately we were unable to depart so
we unloaded the plane and recovered our gear. The weather in King George
Island has been unprecedented and consistently too poor for landing the
airplane.

We did manage to complete our first outdoor activity after the
disappointment at the airport. The entire venture grabbed full packs
(weighing nearly 40 lbs each) and headed to Reserva Nacional Magellanes--a
national park that overlooks the Strait of Magellan. We all completed a
hike of approximately four miles with some significant elevation gain. It
was strange to begin the hike at 8:15pm, finish just before 11pm, and be
walking in daylight the entire time.

This first true outdoor team activity gave the leaders of the day some real
experience to reflect on with the team. Thanks to the day's leaders: Amol
Tripathi, Ahmad Mazhar, Loucynda Escobar, Nisha Patel, Eduardo Samuel,
Virgilio Aquino, Kate Janes, and CJ Bak.

On Sunday, we headed back to the airport after about two or three hours of
sleep. This time our "weather window" closed before we boarded the plane.
So, no Antartica today. Needless to say that individuals are disappointed.
But spirits still remain high, and nearly everyone is still confident that
we will get to Antarctica.

Even though students haven't been able to engage in the leadership
activities that are normally part of the venture, many of the venture
characteristics are present: communications issues, frustration, ambiguity.
These challenges only serve to make us stronger.

Sunday afternoon was highlighted by a visit to the Pinguinera Seno Otway--a
colony for Magellan Penguins about one hour from Punta Arenas. The animals
and the pleasant weather managed to lift some people's spirits and fulfill
the goals that many had to see penguins in the wild--along with many other
birds, including pink flamingos!

Thanks to our leaders of the day again today. On a strange day for all,
these people keep their teammates motivated and informed. Nina Jacobi,
Michael Jeanblanc, Sherri Anjelic, Rohit Bhat, Fahad Najam, Jennifer Lee,
Nicolas Bentz, and Anuj Kulkarni.

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