[Editor’s note: Google generously provides sponsorship for former Google Summer of Code students to attend events relevant to their experiences with open source.  This post from Zubair Assad, a 2010 GSOC student with Sahana, is the first of three from former Sahana GSOC students that were able to attend our annual meeting in Lisbon because of such support.]

I had the opportunity to visit Lisboa, Portugal to attend the Sahana Community Bar Camp, Annual Meeting, SahanaCamp@ISCRAM Disaster Workshop and Simulation, and Interoperability Workshop as part of the 8th ISCRAM Conference.  Since this was the second Sahana camp I had attended and also coincided with ISCRAM it was a huge learning experience but truth be told I was more looking forward to meeting the community members esp Pat. As Mark said once, “there is no substitute to face to face meetup”.

What I take with me are some memories and perhaps this post would help me to archive them in a proper way.  I have summarized them and ordered them in terms of individual people. The following points in no way reflect the order of how i cherish those individual moments, except for the first one:

1. Fran as usual was a delight to meet. He finally explained to me something that had been bugging me for quite sometime. Yes, I finally know the reason behind his pony tail. Its not a camp without Fran. Anyone who is expecting to attend a Sahana Camp should look forward to meeting Fran. He is one hell of an awesome person!!

2. My sincerest thanks to Mark for patiently helping me with the documents and my other queries. Also, Mark’s motivation to me, to sightsee the entire city was a great push for me.

3. Lt. Col. Martin Thomsen’s “fatherly” attitude towards me. Even my dad never twisted my ear lobes like he did. They actually went numb, warm and red for a moment. Fortunately it was a warm respite to the cool Lisbon evening.

4. David’s friendly pokes and jeers at my “ventures”.

5. Praneeth and Robby for giving me company in the after hours of the camp.

6. Brent for sharing some of his wisdom with me.

7. Greg for loaning me his Cr-48 for sometime.

and finally Google and the Sahana Software Foundation for sponsoring my trip. I would also like to thank IBM for sharing space and brunch with us. Their employees were really very cooperative and wonderful.

Sahana Software Foundation’s Blog has a more formal account of the entire event. You can read it over here.

This was my first attempt to blog on a non-tech episode as such it is a very candid perspective to my trip.

My experience would have been profoundly elevated if I would have been able to meet Pat. But as Brian would have said it, “there’s no pleasing some people”. 🙂

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