It was absolutely an honor that our first two STP events were hosted by, and took place at Microsoft offices, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I have to confess that visiting Ho Chi Minh City where my Bamboo Solutions colleagues hosted the final STP tour stop made for an absolutely perfect conclusion to the tour. As I type, I’m in a conference room at the Bamboo Technology Center, located right here in HCMC, and this afternoon represented my first-ever trip to the Bamboo offices in Vietnam. I’d had the pleasure of meeting many of my colleagues from the HCMC office previously on their trips to the home office in Reston, VA, but being here in HCMC, seeing so many familiar faces, and meeting so many new ones, is an absolute thrill.
As the local hosts for Sharing the Point HCMC, my friends and colleagues at Bamboo went above and beyond the call of duty, making sure that not only was I made to feel like family, but that all of my STP tour mates, Rob, Dux, Joel, and Mark were also welcomed as if they were part of the Bamboo family. We were greeted at the airport yesterday by a group of my colleagues, and shown the city, including a solemn visit to the War Remnants Museum and, for Joel, a sought-after opportunity to see the city from a scooter’s eye view, as the locals do.
Once we were checked into our hotel, we were picked up again and ferried to Marina for, as we were told, “the best seafood in HCMC.” And what a feast it was … a three hour cruise, consisting of one delicious dish after another, as the STP team met, bonded with and shared a meal with Bamboo senior staff.
The Sharing the Point event this morning was the largest gathering of the SharePoint community to date in Vietnam, eclipsing the first-ever SharePoint Saturday which occurred in January. and including attendees who flew in from Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, and Cambodia. There’s another SharePoint Saturday coming up in April, being organized in part by some of my Bamboo colleagues, so the STP team is passing the baton to you, my friends, and wishing you an even larger turnout as you continue to grow your local SharePoint community.
I should mention, however, that a.s.a.p. may not come until the middle of next week since my flight home to Washington, D.C. leaves HCMC at midnight tonight and I’ll be home for fewer than 24 hours before heading back to the airport for the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. I hope to have time (and connectivity) to get another post or two written and published before I leave for that vacation, but I had to make sure that I got a post out this afternoon from the Bamboo office in HCMC, thanking all of my colleagues for their support of the STP event, and for making the entire STP team feel so very welcome in Vietnam. I think it’s a safe bet that HCMC hasn’t seen the last of the STP team.
As well, thanks to everyone who came out to our event today, and thanks for posing for our traditional group photo:
Special thanks to Anh, Binh, Phong and their teams for all of their hard work in arranging the STP event, and for making sure that everything went off without a hitch today, and to Trang for being our guide, arranging transportation, restaurant reservations, and providing recommendations for everything from markets to massages. I thank you, and the STP team thanks you.
I think I have just enough time before we need to leave for dinner to mention that, by request (mostly of Joel, easily our most adventurous eater of the tour with the possible exception of Michael Noel who couldn't be with us in HCMC), the post-event lunch today with my Bamboo colleagues involved a menu including cobra (including the still beating heart, served as a shooter, along with the liver, eggs, and meat ground up with spices that, astonishingly, as Rob observed, combined into a flavor that was reminiscent of Fruit Loops); weasel, prepared grilled, fried, and served in a stew; and some more traditional dishes such as a rice dish with shrimp, pork, and vegetables. There’s never a dull moment when it’s mealtime for the STP team, folks!