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Lima, dia uno y UbuConLA prep

Saying my Spanish is “weak” is being generous. I know lots of nouns and a smattering of verbs from “learning Spanish” in school, but it never quite stuck and I lacked the immersive experience that leads to actually learning a language. So I was very thankful to be spending yesterday with my friend and Ubuntu colleague José Antonio Rey as we navigated the city and picked up a SIM for my phone.

I’m staying at Hotel & Spa Golf Los Incas in Lima. Jose and his father were kind enough to meet me at the airport, late on Wednesday night when my flight came in. The hotel itself is a bit of a drive from the airport, but it’s not far from the university where the conference is being held today, an 8 minute Uber ride yesterday evening in brisk traffic. They offer a free shuttle to a nearby mall, where I met up with Jose come morning. The day kicked off by discovering that Lima has Dunkin’ Donuts, and I don’t (at home in San Francisco). Having already finished breakfast, I didn’t avail myself of the opportunity for a doughnut. We then searched the mall, waited in some lines, waited for processing and finally got a SIM for my phone! With the data plan along with it, I plan on taking lots of pictures of llamas when I reach Cusco and sharing them with everyone.

From the mall we took a bus down the main east-west avenue in Lima, Avenida Javier Prado, and then the Línea 1 del Metro de Lima, a train! The Metro goes north to south and was very speedy and new, if packed. We took it just a couple stops from La Cultura to Gamarra.

Gamarra is home to a shopping district with various open air markets and a lot of clothing and street food along the way. Our journey took us here to pick up the custom t-shirts that were printed for the staff and crew working the UbuConLA conference. The shirts look great.

It was then on to the train and bus again, which took us to Señor Limón for some amazing ceviche!

After lunch we went over to Universidad de Lima to get a tour of the campus and see how things were coming together. Jose met up with several of his fellow conference planners as they tested audio and video, streaming and got all kinds of other logistical things. We also picked up boxes of Ubuntu goodies from across campus and brought them over so setup of tables could begin.

It was pretty fun to get a “behind the scenes” view of the pieces of the conference coming together. Huge thanks to everyone putting it together, it’s a real pleasure to be here.

My evening wound down at my hotel with a nice meal. At noon today I’ll be giving my keynote!