Around Cape TownApr. 9, 2012
Being in South Africa twice in a month I can say was absolutely unexpected. When we decided to come back to attend the Wonderware X-Change 2012 and to add some days of vacation just before it we could only hope to live the great experience we finally lived.
We landed in Cape Town the Easter Day and reached the hotel in a cloudy, foggy, rainy day. Looking at the Table Mountain from the room window was almost the same experience of looking out of the window in a typical November morning in the “Pianura Padana”: almost only fog. We tried to walk around the city following an itinerary suggested by our guide. Missing the right way almost immediately we had the opportunity to walk around in places we were not expected to go, like the train station or the minibus station. It was probably more interesting that following the guide. Looking at the real people, at how they do live is more inspiring than seeing the official touristic stuff. Walking in the minibus station under an heavy rain, all the minibus lines with at least 10 cm of water in the ground, people screaming all around and moving fast to catch the right bus, people cooking and selling meals between a line and the other: that was interesting. That was being thrown in a real life completely different from our, without elements to really understand it, but only with the possibility to look at ita s a spectator that tries to understand something that is to far from his domain of knowledge. But especially for this reason it was a way to start to look at things in a different way and to start to better understand the South Africa planet.
The day after, visiting Robben Island, that immersion in the actual society became a way to actualize what almost a century of history, of which Robben Island is one of the key points, has created. Robben Island was closed only few decades ago. It’s very strange to think that those things were happening while we were going to school (in our perception only few years ago) and becoming aware that they are still happening around the world. Man doesn’t really learns enough from his history, not enough to avoid to repeat the same mistakes again and again.
Kruger ParkApr. 13, 2012
Left Cape Town in the early morning we reached the Kruger park after a couple of hours flight and four hours drive with our fantastic guide Ivan od Africa Spears. We really didn’t know what to expect from the 4 days Safari. All the decisions were take in a very short time and we had no way to document ourselves on what we had to expect. For this reason all was a surprise and, I have to say, a great surprise. Ivan was really great. He had the ability to anticipate what the animals were going to do and position us in the best way to look at it. For this reason we saw tens of elephants crossing the road jus in front of us, black rhinos a few meters from the car, hunting lions in actions and the elegant leopard walking side by side us.
Looking at the animals is always spectacular. They are so elegant (each one for different reasons) and exciting. Hours of drives all around the park just flew like minutes and at the end we left with the strong sensation that we will have to come back.
I think it’s a feeling you bring home with you that permanently resides in your mind and heart. It’s not only the animal itself, it the scenaries, the sun, the colors, the smelling. It’s something that you cannot forget and that calls you back periodically.
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Ellis ParkApr. 13, 2012
The main reason for being in Johannesburg again was not visiting the city, that I superficially visited just one month ago. That was the less important part of it. Yes we went again to Soweto (and I have to say that the second time was more interesting and comprehensible that the first one), we went to visit the Golden mine, we went shopping in Mandela Square. But the real goal was to go to the Ellis Park to see the Rugby match between Lions and Blue Bulls. That was what me, and my wife mainly, were looking for. A real south African rugby experience… and it was an experience.
We were guests at the EOH box, so a very privileged way to look at the match. The stadium wasn’t really full due to the ranking of the Lions that are not really performing well this season, but it was in any case not comparable to what any rugby stadium is in Italy. We had the rugby Jerseys of our local team, that we used before the match to take some pictures in a trial of a virtual twining. It was really fun to use them in such a context.
The match was nice, the Bulls were much better than the Lions, but what was really great was the overall atmosphere of what sport really should be. Moreover it was funny to meet Stefano, plumber born in South Africa, but with a mother born in Sarego ad a father born in Piovene Rocchette, both 20 kilometers far from were we live. It was funny listening him talking a very good Italian with a strong dialect accent. It was nice to look at his bright eyes when he was speaking of his visits to the relatives showing a great enthusiasm for Italy and all the places that we are used to go.
Thanks Alberto to make it happen!
X.Change 2012Apr. 17, 2012
Everybody always told me that the South African Wonderware conference was really good and that was one of the reasons I wanted to go. I have to say that it wasn’t good. It was fantastic. I don’t know if it was because of the twentieth anniversary but it was really amazing. The organization was spectacular and the content really good.
I had the possibility to spend some more days with the guys from Bytes that I met during my previous trip fro the MESA training and to better appreciate them. They are all wonderful guys, good technicians and nice friends. I really loved the time we spent together and all the conversations we had.
It’s difficult to say what I bring home from the conference. Many things of course of several types. One of them is for sure the strange feeling to meet some of the Wonderware people (especially Thommy and Didier) in three different continents in just two month and, as Thommy said, never in one of our own countries. That gives you the sensation of how small the world has become and of how many opportunities there are around ourselves and how they are reachable. I was presenting my company’s success story fro the third time from November, and the two previous ones were in Paris and Nashville. If someone did told me that it was going to happen just a few years ago I really wouldn’t believe. I have to say I’m a little proud of that.