I know, I know … it’s been weeks since I finished participating in the 2018 Latin America Oracle Developer Champion (LAODC) tour, but I have an excuse: I’ve also been on vacation in the Galapagos and Ecuador for ten days, and then I took a brief break for some remedial surgery. This tour was one of the most intense ACE Director travel experiences of my life – nine presentations in five different cities over 11 days! – but I appreciated every moment of the opportunity.
My part of the tour got off to a rousing start in Asuncion, Paraguay at the PYOUG event with a visit from their internationally-famous Recycled Orchestra. The 30+ students constructed their instruments completely from recycled materials and presented several numbers to get our attendees revved up to learn all about Oracle technology, especially Cloud – which is ironic because Paraguay has just recently upgraded its national internet infrastructure sufficiently to allow their DBAs and developers to take advantage of Cloud offerings.
Next, it was time to scale the mighty Andes and head to Santiago, Chile, by way of Buenos Aires. (Just like in the USA, sometimes the shortest distance between two points … isn’t.) My newfound friend Marc Sewtz from Oracle – a wizard of all things APEX! – was my able traveling companion for an early-morning flight to Santiago.
We teamed up there with CLOUG, Anil Nair (master product manager for RAC), Connor MacDonald (of AskTom fame), and plenty of the local ACEs – nice meeting you, Alexis and Otavio! – for several excellent Oracle presentations, excellent company, and some great Chilean wines and local beers. (Speaking is tougher work than it looks. We stayed thirsty, my friends.)
Next stop: Sao Paolo, Brazil, one of the true megacities of the world. We had a little extra down time upon arrival, so we joined up with ACE program commander Jennifer Nicholson at the magnificent Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) to view their collection of medieval and modern art. A brief evening rainstorm didn’t cloud our spirits as we presented the next day on behalf of the GUOB and and their team to several hundred attendees.
Then it was time to head for the airport again and make the journey to Montevideo, Uruguay. I’ve dreamed of visiting Montevideo since I was in high school, and I was not disappointed – marvelous beaches and skylines, great company (nice to see you “at home,” Edelweiss Kammermann and Nelson Calero!), and a fantastic speakers’ dinner at the old Ferry Building that’s been converted to an open-air restaurant locus. Jennifer, Anil, and Marc even tried their hand at being cocineros for a few minutes. Montevideo had numerous squares scattered across the city on our way to our UYOUG hosts as well – a pleasant reminder of what I like about my native Chicago too.
Finally, I ended my part of the tour with a visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Buquebus ferry across the Rio de la Plata speedily delivered us to our hotel just down the street from the famous and magnificent Obelisco in the Plaza de Republica, a tribute to Buenos Aires’ founding in 1812. We spent a long day with ACEs and speakers at AROUG, and after another marvellous dinner at an Argentinian steakhouse, I set my sights towards my trip to Quito, Ecuador to join my wife to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary aboard ship bound for the Galapagos.
This trip was the culmination of a dream I’ve had since my teenage years – to actually see the cities and countries of America del Sur Australes that I’d only read about. I encountered vibrant Oracle User Groups and ACEs in every country I visited, as well as DBAs and developers that were hungry for the knowledge that I and my fellow ACEs and Oracle team members delivered. Thanks so much for the opportunity to present within your marvelous side of the world, my friends and colleagues!
Oh, and one more thing: I discovered that the Spanish word for developer in South America is desarrollador. How sexy is that?