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First, I finally made it to JoBurg, and have a good night’s sleep behind me. But there was a moment when it wasn’t clear that fate would play that way.

After about 7 hours in the São Paulo airport, I headed to the gate for my flight to JoBurg. And I sat there, striking up a few conversations with others waiting as it got closer and closer to, and then beyond the scheduled departure time. Finally one of the agents came over to those of us waiting in the premier section and said that he wasn’t getting a lot of info from the pilots and suggested that we head back to the lounge to wait as it could be 5 minutes or 30. I decided to stay for a while, but after the 30 had passed, opted for the lounge.

And then I tried to get information, and information I got – it just wasn’t consistent nor complete. I was told anything from they were finding a new plane, to it will likely (make that may – lost a bit in translation) cancel, but I wasn’t allowed to change to the other flight that night since it hadn’t cancelled yet. And the worst piece of misinformation was that if it canceled, since I didn’t have a Brazilian visa, I would have to fly back to the States rather than waiting for another flight (yes scenes from Terminal flashed into my mind). Later information changed this to that they can get provisional visas for folks when this kind of thing happens.

Thankfully, the flight left, 5 hours late, but it left and I didn’t have to test the visa question nor did I have to go back.

And even better, the driver I had arranged for a pick up at the airport in JoBurg was able to wait and got me to my hotel just after my check in time (so at least I didn’t have to worry about what to do if I couldn’t get into my room early as would have been the case of the flight had been on time).

After freshening up, I headed a few blocks away to the ThoughtWorks office to say hi. It turns out that it was home office day so tons of folks we’re around and that turned into a party, complete with dancing, while the night was still young.

Eventually hunger won over and I convinced a few folks to head out to grab some food, so we headed to a local establishment (Great Dane) which is known for their hotdogs. It’s interesting how worlds seems to come together. The name of the establishment reminded me of my college days in Madison and the hotdogs were an interesting twist with me living in Chicago. Not that I can say that I have ever had a Mac & Cheese hotdog before (another nod to Wisconsin?), but I can tell you it was quite good and really not the spot after my long journey.

Sadly, around 9 I hit the wall and was able to catch a ride back to my hotel with a coworker where I slept quite well and am now ready to see a few sights around town before heading onward to Zambia tomorrow.

Wendy

I’m generally not a person who gets into this alternative celebration of Christmas, but I sure wasn’t going to turn down the gift that was dropped into my lap as I boarded my flight from Chicago to São Paulo. I had booked my ticket in business class on miles so was quite surprised when I got upgraded to first as I got on the plane. I’m not sure what all played into it, because normally with a miles ticket you aren’t eligible for upgrades. But I wasn’t going to complain.

And it was awesome. I are so much that I was close to exploding. And I have never seen a pork chop as think and succulent as the one I was served. I also slept very well, which I am sure I would have done in business as well.

So now I am sitting in São Paulo, sipping Starbucks since the lounge doesn’t open until noon (which will be when I can actually post this since I don’t have wifi as I write). Once it is open I’ll only have 6 more hours until my flight to Johannesburg – and it will probably start boarding an hour or so before take off, so I’ll only have 5 more hours to kill.

That’s all for now, as my journey has just begun.

And, yes, now in lounge and posting (after a quite nice free hot shower).

Wendy

ThoughtWorks offices across the Americas will be hosting events on Tuesday October 16th to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day. Check out ThoughtWorks Events for an event near you to join and network with other women in STEM careers.

I personally will be leading a break out session at the Chicago event.

I have been with ThoughtWorks for over 17 years and have enjoyed solving technical problems and making people happy along the way. I also love to travel. So life as a consultant has been great, giving me many chances to enable solutions while living in places I never would have dreamed of living while growing up, including Brazil, France, and India. Until recently my presence in the blog sphere was centered entirely around my travels. Finally I got up the guts to post something technical. Similarly, despite actively pursuing a hobby of performing in musical theater productions and having been a facilitator for a number of training classes, I had never given a conference talk. That also changed when I spoke at That Conference in August. In this break out session I will share my experiences with addressing my fears in both of these areas and will encourage others to do the same. In addition there will be opportunities to discuss why there are so few women at conferences, both attending and presenting, and if we have any ideas of ways to change this.

 

To register for this event visit our EventBrite site.

For more information about Ada Lovelace and other events happening that day see Finding Ada.

Hope to see you there or hear the stories of the event that you attended after the 16th.

Wendy

Now that I have been writing about my travels to my many destinations, I figured it was time to write something about home, after all I do live in Chicago which is a destination for many travelers. Don’t worry, I will have plenty more to say about other locations in later posts, and even a bit in this one. Especially since I am elsewhere these days more than Chicago.

One thing all of the travel has not been good for is my waistline. Partly because I tend to eat out more than I should and when I don’t I am often eating quite late and food that is quick to prepare and not always healthy. In addition, it always seems harder to work out on the road than at home, or at least to get to a gym.

Looking at all of this back in October I decided that it was time to start running again. I ran cross country and track back in high school and have run on and off since then, recently more off than on. So I looked around for training information and being in the mobile world now found an iPhone app that I could use as a guide. Then I picked a target race on New Year’s Day, figuring that would be a good way to force myself not to stay out too late on New Year’s Eve.

My first day out as I started my “Couch Potato to 5K” program was to walk 1 minute, run 3, and repeat until 10 minutes. I was so out of shape that that was hard and I really needed those 1 minute walk breaks to get through the work out. Little by little I built up my times and distances yet partly due to being sick over Christmas on race day I had yet to run 5K, so I wasn’t sure what would happen. Well, I was pretty sure I would finish, just wasn’t sure if I was going to have to take some walking breaks. OK, to end the suspense, I finished without walking, I wasn’t fast, but I didn’t care.

Since that race I have continued to build up my times and distances and have now ran for an hour without walking and actually consider a 30-45 minute run easy. I’m not ready for a marathon, I am actually signed up for another 5K and then might look at a 10K. I’m not saying I’m not tempted by the marathon concept, I am, I just think I need to build up to it slowly.

And the idea of having a way to exercise without a gym has actually worked quite well, despite living in two cold cities. Yes, there are days that it has been too cold or too snowy to get out and run, however overall between the chinooks in Calgary and a few warm weeks while I was just back in Chicago I have generally been able to get out a few times a week. This week may be a sad exception as the warmest day is supposed to be Thursday with a high of -9C. Brrr. Of course that might also mean that I need a gym option as well, sigh.

Wendy

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