I wanted to give a quick shout-out to my new-found friends in LA (Latin America, not Los Angeles!) for their hospitality and professionalism during my two sessions in Bogota, Colombia and Quito, Ecuador. As the first person in my family to ever tread on South American soil, I was thrilled to visit places I’d only read about before.
My reception in Bogota was simply wonderful! I did two sessions on the newest features of Oracle Database 12c to a welcoming crowd who were kind enough to listen to me carefully even when my translators struggled to keep up with my rapid-fire delivery. Giovanna Paez and her ASUOC team did a great job keeping everything moving along. The university campus was an oasis of beauty in the midst of a classic South American city, and our hosts kept us revved up to present with the real thing: true Colombian coffee, leche only on request.
Landing in Quito was an experience – some of the roughest turbulence I’ve ever encountered in my travels, then a mild temblor in the 3.5 Richter scale, followed by a drive through some of the more precarious highways I’ve ever seen – but my driver’s skills would’ve shamed those of any NASCAR driver. Paola Pullas and her ECUOUG team in Quito were top-notch, and all of my presentations on Oracle 12c went off without a hitch. I did get a chance to see Quito intimately, especially the fantastic Virgen de Quito.
And Paola’s team made sure that none of us were ever hungry. I have never seen an empenada larger than my head until our dinner at Los Geranios (“The House of Geraniums”) in the old colonial section of Quito.
I sincerely thank both the ASUOC and ECUOUG teams for an extremely warm reception! I hope I was able to transfer my enthusiasm to the eager participants of both venues, and I promise that by next year, my conversational Spanish will have improved enough to understand the questions I’m asked during my presentations. Until then, my colleagues, hasta la vista!