STP 2013 Northern South America: The Bogota Experience, with Our Host Andres Rojas

Once we had finally arrived in Bogota (after our unanticipated delays), we were greeted with welcoming smiles and hugs from our host, SharePoint MVP Andres Rojas. Andres had brought a welcoming party for us consisting of co-workers, with his colleague Carlos acting as our “number two” in the city. We split up between two cars with Michael, Joel, and Paul riding with Andres, and me in the car with Carlos and two other members of our team of hosts. I didn’t mind at all being split up since Carlos was very nice, spoke perfect English, and had a brand new Mercedes.

Photo from Joel Oleson

We went to the hotel to check in, and then it was off to dinner, and what a dinner it was. We went to a restaurant in a near mall that was built in an old warehouse. The restaurant was five stories tall, and open all the way through the roof. We were told that the owner is very weird and likes to collect … “strange” things to decorate the space. You can see from the pictures that the restaurant is an assault on the senses. We wandered around a little to see the place and then settled in for an incredible meal. We were treated to local favorites, traditional dishes, interesting beverages, and then there was the “future cat lady.” The restaurant found out that we were first-time visitors, and out came the cat lady, a band, and confetti.  We were then crowned (paper, Burger King style) and given “honored visitor” sashes, a la beauty queens. They made a big deal about it, and made us feel very welcome in the process. After a long day, including our difficulties in getting to Bogota, followed  one of the more ridiculous meals I’ve ever had, it was time for bed.

Photo from Michael Noel

Photo from Joel Oleson

One of the best things about the STP event in Bogota was that it was taking place in the hotel where we were staying. That made for a much nicer morning. The problem came when we found out that the Google Maps API that Eventbrite uses put the event location 50 blocks away from where we actually were. This clearly had an effect on attendance, but we still had a respectable and responsive crowd. Alas, given the delay caused  the location issue, we had less time to see the city. Andres and Carlos suggested a lunch place with a view.

Off we went (me in the Benz again), out of the city, and up into the surrounding mountains. You can see from the pictures that saying this place “had a view” was a bit of an understatement. After lunch it was back to the airport and off to Quito.

photo from Michael Noel

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