Sao Paulo, Friday 6th of September. It is now 07:30 local time and I have been travelling for almost twelve hours now. Leaving Amsterdam in the late afternoon to get to Paris, Charles de Gaulle, a short 50 mins flight. Got out and transferred to my connecting flight without any trouble through a deserted airport. The flight to Sao Paulo GRU, my second leg, left at 23:30, right on time. I got lucky, entering the plane, the sweetest of French smiles told me that I had gotten a new boarding pass with an upgrade. Great news! So, I went for my new place, 22H, aboard this huge B777. Great place, next to Miguel, a very nice Brazilian gentleman, heading home after a Paris fair he’d attended. Going home and very much looking forward taking a break, with his wife and kids to Orlando going to Disneyworld.
Soon the night and silence aboard takes over and we rush, over South-Western France, Vendée. tip of Portugal over the Azores and across the Atlantic. Getting ashore over Recife, Brazil some 6 hours later arriving in Sao Paolo at 05:56, two minutes ahead of schedule. Great punctuality! Going through customs takes some time (1 hour) but when done, I rush to the next check-in counter to get rid of this suitcase only to hear I can only check it in some two hours before departure. Hmmm, guess he and I are to be friends for some hours before we seperate again. So, after informing home that the eagle has landed, I am now sitting in the airport coffee bar having a great coffee. We should have agreed upon wearing a coronation or some flower in our hair as I am sure some team members are also wondering around the check-in area looking for other #ibmcsc brazil teammates.
Finally, at 13:55
we start boarding for the last leg to Uberlandia. I head to the gate and I spot a “mixed” group of people. That must be them! My heart is immediately rushing. But boarding has started and in the chaos of a platform bus transfer there is no time for greetings. In the bus that is bringing us to the waiting GOL 737, it is Radhesh who spots my Dutch passport and welcomes me. We shake hands and I meet other members. Well done! Finally, just in front of the plane heading for the stairs, there is a window of opportunitiy and it is Christy that is welcoming me with a huge hug! We board the plane and soon after, we have our push-back and hop into the sunny sky. Looking down, I see nature changing from forest, hills-like surroundings to a more plain, grass fields like environment. The ground looks deserted, but I know we will be landing in this huge city soon.
From the airport to the hotel is a short taxi drive. The hotel is really nice. Modern comfort, wifi (!!!), great. Already the atmosphere is great in the team, which will probably heavily impact the success of this group.
After some refreshments and a short rest we go out to the city, being just across the street. A great open-air, bar/restaurant accommodating an enormous amount of people. The atmosphere is going to be really nice. Lots of people, capirinhas, Antarctica’s (original!!! thank you Toby!) but a lot of bonding already going on.
Karin, you’ve really laid an excellent foundation under this group of people who’ve never met physically before, but are already so close to each other! I think Vanessa has already sent you some pictures to prove it! After a beer orso, a particular moment comes to mind that just showed our teamspirit when we had to enter this huge amount of luggage into the taxis. Everybody was so helpfull, no one was left out, it definately was our first “team assignment”. And we did brilliantly! It’s these little things that show we care. #ibmcsc brazil