Hola (that’s all my Spanish used up).
Olá (and my Portuguese too).
The Oracle ACE program has approved my inclusion on the OTN Tour of Latin America (Southern Leg), so in about a month I will visiting:
- Santiago, Chile
- Lima, Peru
- Montevideo, Uruguay
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Sau Paulo, Brazil
Apologies for the English spelling of names.
I did the Northern Leg of the tour last year and it was great fun, but incredibly tiring, so I’m starting to get the fear over this trip. I know I’m going to love it, but it’s going to be really hard work as well.
Can wait to meet everyone!
Getting to Ecuador from Colombia was really quick and easy. I think the flight time from Cali was about 45 minutes. We arrived late in the day, so it was bed and straight to the conference.
We had a little car trouble on the way to the venue, so we were a little late. Fortunately my laptop was ready to plug in and go, so that’s what I did. I think the translators got an easier time during this conference, because I got the speed of my presentations about right. Both talks went well and I got to speak to a lot of people between sessions. I also got to do an interview for the user group and a local computer magazine. I was famous for 15 seconds in Quito.
On the evening we went for a tour of Quito. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera, so I just have a few very bad shots from my phone. I’m sure you’ll see some great shots from other people on the tour though.
The following day we took a trip to see a volcano crater, a big market and the equator.
Being inside the crater of a volcano (even an extinct one) is a strange experience…
The trip to the equator was a real bonus. It’s odd to think how happy it made me to stand on this line.
I even got a bit over-excited and did a couple of tricks.
I’ve made some of the photos available, including some I “borrowed” from other people on the tour.
Once again, a very big thank you to Paola, the tour organisers and the ACED program for making this trip happen. Latin America is definitely a great place to visit!
In a few minutes I’m off to catch a flight to the next location. It would be really nice to get some sleep some time soon!
Update: I just found this video interview from this event. It makes me laugh. I’m trying so hard to speak slowly and clearly I can see myself straining, then visible relaxing at the end of each sentence.
Let me start by apologising for spelling Colombia incorrectly on previous posts. I think I’ve corrected all the mistakes (I hope). Also, the name of the tour doesn’t really reflect the actual locations, since it contains two South American, one Caribbean and three Central American countries. I’ve heard multiple names for the tour, none of which are quite correct for all the countries involved, so I’m going to stick with this name for the sake of consistency. Once again, sorry if any people don’t like the tour name…
Update: I switched to “Latin America”, since this fits more of the countries (5/6).
I was sent a bunch of security notices before traveling to Columbia and I must admit I started to feel very nervous. As it turned out I had nothing to be worried about. Like most places around the world, if you are naive you can get into trouble, but if you take sensible precautions you will be fine. During my stay in Cali I had a great time and never once felt unsafe.
One of my lasting memories of Cali will probably be the fruit. I ate (and drank) loads of fruit. It just tastes so good!
The conference went really well. It’s always a little scary using a translation service, because I talk so fast normally. I tried really hard to keep things slow and not waffle too much. I hope I managed it. People were a little reluctant to ask questions in the sessions, but several people came up to me later to ask questions after each session.
Robin was a great host and made sure we had a good time. I’d like to send a big thank you to him and everyone else at the conference that made it go so smoothly. Also a big thank you to the ACE program and the tour organisers, without whom this would not be possible!
I’m not too great with a camera, but I did take some photos.
The journey from Birmingham to Cali (Colombia) was very long!
It started with a quick flight across to Amsterdam and a 1.5 hour wait for my connection to Panama. The flight to Panama took about 11 hours. It wasn’t a bad flight, but it felt super-long because I knew it wasn’t the last flight of the day. I had a 4+ hour wait at Panama for the final flight to Cali.
Panama airport is pretty small and not really the place to hang around for 4 hours. Just about the only entertainment was watching the “junk in the trunk” that was on display everywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before. It seemed like everywhere I looked was something that made Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce look like they had flat asses…
The final flight to Cali was over pretty quick. I landed and there was a guy waiting to take me to the hotel. I checked in at about midnight, and got to bed at about 01:00 local time, making it a very long and tiring day. Unfortunately, I woke at 04:00 and I’m typing this at 05:30. Today is the beginning of the jet-lag wars… I must remember to grab any opportunity to sleep, no matter how small.
Tomorrow (Monday) is my Birthday and also the day I fly out to Colombia to start the OTN Tour of Latin America. On the positive side, the timezone changes make my birthday last quite a few hours longer. On the negative side, I’m going to spend 14 hours in a plane and 8 hours in airports. Good job I don’t really do Birthdays….
I’m still feeling quite nervous, because it’s a complicated trip. I’ve been delaying packing a long as possible, because packing is the sign that it’s really happening. I’m out all day today, so I will have to do some adrenalin packing tonight or early tomorrow morning. Adrenaline packing is always the best approach in my opinion.
Not surprisingly, two and a bit weeks on a plane will make me pretty slow at answering questions, so please don’t have a cow if I take some time to respond. Remember, you get what you pay for and I do this for free.
All the flights and hotels are booked, so it now feels very real. In a little over a week I will be taking part in the OTN Tour of Latin America.
I’m a little nervous because there are so many legs in such a short time. The tour lasts 13 days. In that time I’ll be taking 11 flights and visiting 6 locations.
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Costa Rica
I feel my stomach twisting as I look at the list. With so many locations in such a short time, the possibility of hiccups in transit seems rather high. Miss one connection and things get tricky…
I’m looking forward to meeting people, but I would be a liar if I said I’m happy about spending 2 weeks on a plane.