The OTN Tour of Latin America has come to an end and I was very lucky to have been a part of Northern part of the tour.
My OTN Tour consisted of visiting 3 countries in one week and giving 8 hours of presentations. This blog post looks back at the OUG Panama conference and I’ll have separate blog posts for each of the other countries.
My travels stared the Saturday before the OUG Panama conference which was on Monday 4th. My flights consisted of flying from Dublin to Newark and then onto Panama. All of that seemed to go smoothly until I reached Panama. After passing through emigration I was then in a very chaotic baggage hall. After about 1 hour of searching for my suit case I sought help from the airline. They were able to tell me that my suitcase was scanned off in Panama. So after another 30 minutes of searching for the suitcase with airline staff, there was still no sign of it. So a lost suitcase report was filed and off I went to meet the person who was collecting me from the airport. But there was no sign of them. I managed to find some wifi and sent a few messages looking for help and how could I get to my hotel. I got a quick reply and and 45 minutes later I was on my way to the airport.
This is the 3rd time that this particular airline has “lost” my suitcase.
I was very glad to reach the hotel but I had no change of cloths or toiletries with me 😦 For all future travels that involve a flight change I will be packing some of these in my hand luggage.
On the Sunday morning, after several hours trying to contact the airline, I finally got approval from them to buy some items. It was then time to meet up with Gurcan Orhan and we headed out to explore Panama city on foot (and to buy me some things). We spent about 3 hours walking around exploring Panama city where we say lots of differences in living standards right beside each other. Then it was back to the hotel as the local user group had arranged a tour for us.
Our tour guide and one of the helpers for the user group was Melin took us to see the Panama canal, the old town and lots of other areas of Panama. We finished of the evening with a dinner in a traditional Panama restaurant. On getting back to the hotel my suitcase was there 🙂 but no communication from the airline about what happened.
On the Monday morning I met up with Gorcan, Debra and Glen who were to be my travel companions for the week. There was a bus arranged to pick us up from the hotel and off we went to the conference venue which was in one of the Universities in Panama. We arrived at the venue very early and not many knew about the conference or where we should go. After a while we worked it and found the conference location.
Many thanks to the User Group in Panama for inviting us and for all the arrangements. There was plenty of helpers on hand.
My 3 sessions were not on until the afternoon so I hung out in a session by Gurcan and also one by Dan Morgan. Then a bit of hanging around with the conference people and talking about some Oracle tech stuff. For my 3 sessions I completely over ran on my first session and then for the last 2 sessions I was playing catchup. Especially for the last presentation as there was a bus booked to take us to the airport at 4pm. So I basically ran out of the presentation and straight into the bus to the airport. But before I did that I was able to give away the very first copy of my book. It wasn’t released yet (it would be on the 8th Aug). I had a raffle for everyone who attended my sessions and here is a picture of me with the lucky winner.
We arrived at the airport, with a minor detour via the hotel, with lots and lots of time to spare for our flight. Our next location was Costa Rica.