VALENCIA, Spain - Valencia Engine Plant’s material planning supervisor and intrepid hiker, Mariló Bernat, recently completed one of world's most challenging mountain walks. Her intention was to plant a Ford flag there but having grown attached to it after so much hardship, she decided to bring it back to Valencia; she will keep the flag for her next trek.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal is a mix of sub-tropical forest, paddy fields and spectacular high mountain scenery, with a challenging pass crossing at 5,416m.
Mariló had always wanted to visit Nepal and when the opportunity arose she went for it with the support and encouragement of her supervisor and colleagues.
“I had a one-week holiday, so I asked if I could get more days and my supervisor encouraged me. I asked on Friday, I confirmed the trek on Monday and four days later I was sitting on the plane to Katmandu.”
For her, the trek was as much a physical as a psychological challenge. “It was a challenge comparable to my job, in terms of difficulty”, she said. “In Logistics, there are no two days alike, every day you learn something new and you have to solve a new problem. But that’s what I like about it.”
“It was a true experience in every sense,” Mariló added. “Not only because of the landscape, but also because of the people you meet, of what they share with you, and the questions it raises about your own life. I went alone and came back with friends for life.”
This journey has helped me professionally and personally. At work, I am in charge of other employees and this experience has shown me how important it is to pay attention to them. Good team work requires much more than individual expertise. It’s also about human interaction. It is about showing more empathy and that you care for your colleagues.”
What began as a straightforward remark during a conversation with her supervisor became one of the journey’s best moments. “I told Eduardo Guillamón that I was going to take a Ford flag up there”, she said. And so she was presented with a flag for the journey by the Maintenance team.
“We talked about it, but the idea with the flag was hers, and it is something we are all very proud of,” said Eduardo Guillamón, manufacturing engineering manager at Valencia’s Engine Plant.