Working in events, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel from time to time for work. Unfortunately, this was not the case for a recent trip to Puerto Rico taken by Jason Teshuba and Ryan Colpaert, our CEO and Director of Sales and Marketing, respectively. The rest of us Mangoes spent the week slaving away at the office while Jason and Ryan spent a week relaxing on the beach in sunny San Juan. Ok fiiiine, I will admit that their trip was not without purpose (and I promise I’m not still bitter). Our two jetsetters made their way to Puerto Rico to attend the 77th Annual World Library and Information Congress Conference and Assembly! The conference took place from August 13-18 and, according to the website, it brings together over 3,500 participants from more than 120 countries. The exhibition portion of the conference boasts over 80 exhibitors with a combined buying power of all delegates estimated at more than 1.2 billion dollars! Needless to say, it was an exciting opportunity for Mango Languages to attend the show for the first time, especially given this year’s exotic location.
Because most of our Mangoes are curious travelers and always seeking out cultural experiences, Ryan and Jason decided to extend their trip and get a little taste of what San Juan has to offer. And being a self-proclaimed foodie, I was most interested in what they actually DID taste. Jason came back raving about his new favorite food, mofongo. A specialty of Puerto Rico, the dish combines mashed plantains with any combination of meat, seafood, and vegetables. Traditionally, the dish is prepared in a mortar and pestle, but can also be made in a food processor, depending on how authentic you want your experience to be. Either way, I will selflessly offer to taste any mofongo you decide to prepare. I’ll bring the Puerto Rican rum.
Aside from food and drink, Jason and Ryan also took advantage of Puerto Rico’s famous rain forests. While in San Juan, they had the opportunity to take a tour of El Yunque, pictured above. Additionally, the guys caught an awesome cultural performance of native dances at the conference, shown in the video below. I’m thinking we should try this out in the office. Nothing like a little choreography to break up the work day!
That, coupled with lounging in the sun, does not sound like too stressful of a work trip, no? That, my friends, is what we call “fundipline.” A combination of “fun” and “discipline,” it is one of our core values we are always striving to emphasize over at the Mango office (and the creation of a new word exemplifies “innovation,” another one of Mango’s core values.. TANGENT ALERT). Work hard, play hard is what we are all about. Rather than fly in and out solely for the show, our Mangoes decided to take advantage of their time in a new and exciting place. I think it goes without saying that I will be joining the guys for the 2012 conference in Helsinki (where we will hopefully indulge in some Finnish sweet bread, called pulla). Until then, adios and hei-hei!
Can you recall a time where you have been able to combine business and pleasure to gain a cultural experience?