On the way to Medellin, Colombia from Los Angeles, I was seated beside a Chinese lady, around 25 years old, and her client or boss from Beijing. The elderly gentleman did not speak English nor Spanish. The lady spoke some English and Spanish. I inquired about the nature of their travels. They came from Beijing and were traveling to Colombia and Puerto Rico for business. They had transient visas through Los Angeles.
A couple of things caught my attention:
- The businessman traveled with an interpreter. This was a great example of “surrogate” learning. The lady was part of the businessman’s learning system. Ordinarily it is a limitation, but having a translator becomes a part of one’s ability to transact business, an old practice and technique that Marco Polo applied well.
- The face-to-face experience with globalization and “Marco Polo.” Although, many of us know the concept in theory, this incident reinforced my experience that we really are in one world, very well connected. Language, culture, facility and business practices transcend our small world view. Marco Polo was on the plane with me.
Ray Jimenez, PhD www.vignettestraining.com
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”