Technology Speaking Tour of Northern South America Kick off


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STP-LogoI’m happy to announce the Sharing the Point Crew is headed out once again to connect with folks in under served parts of the world.  We are headed to Northern South America.  This “Tour” will take us across the islands of Trinidad and Tobago where we hope to connect with isolated SharePoint folks, to the only English speaking country in South America in Georgetown Guyana and from there to Caracas, Venezuela and on to popular SharePoint city of Bogota, Colombia (home of Communidad SharePoint Colombia sharecol.com) and our final stop in Quito Ecuador.  As far as I can tell, no other US SharePoint speakers have ever spoken in these cities. It’s a great opportunity to unite the global community, and build new communities.  Our success is based on getting the word out.  Please help us!  Please share with your social networks!

Fechas de Gira/Tour Dates

STP Georgetown, Guyana                  9:00am on Tuesday, 3 September
STP Caracas, Venezuela                     9:00am on Monday, 9 September
STP Bogota, Columbia                       9:00am on Tuesday, 10 September
STP Quito, Ecuador                           9:00am on Wednesday, 11 September

Gratis SharePoint Formación De Los mejores altavoces de SharePoint!

Spanish:

Sharing the Point South America 2013 es una iniciativa conducida por las comunidades de SharePoint diseñada para ayudar a educar a usuarios sobre el potencial de la plataforma de SharePoint. El mejor grupo de evangelistas y expertos de SharePoint estarán en esta gira que presentara los usos prácticos para SharePoint en el mundo real.

Ofrecemos este * libre * formación y subvencionamos personalmente el entrenamiento para ayudar al crecimiento de la comunidad de SharePoint y ayudar a proporcionar oportunidades a las personas.

Special Thanks to Elias Mereb, MVP and Andres Rojas for helping us on connecting with the community and logistics in Colombia and Venezuela.  Andres is helping us look into doing a bigger event in Bogota with additional speakers and tracks.  If interested please coordinate with myself and Andres.

Ricardo Munoz, SharePoint MVP from Costa Rica is planning on helping us this time around as he did in Southern South America.  He translated our sessions last time and has plans to help us out.

Please Share the word!  We really want to connect with folks who have NEVER been to a SharePoint event, and our desire is to launch communities in all of the cities where there is no established user group or SharePoint or IT community.  All this training is free.

We are still looking for sponsors if anyone is interested please contact me.

For sure those who have put forth resources willing to sacrifice time and funds to go are:

Michael Noel

Michael Noel (Twitter: @MichaelTNoel) is an internationally recognized technology expert, bestselling author, and well known public speaker on a broad range of IT topics. He has authored several major industry books that have been translated into over a dozen languages worldwide. Significant titles include SharePoint 2010 Unleashed, Exchange Server 2010 Unleashed, Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed, ISA Server 2006 Unleashed, and many more.
Currently a partner at Convergent Computing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael’s writings and extensive public speaking experience across all seven continents leverage his real-world expertise helping organizations realize business value from Information Technology infrastructure.

Paul Swider

Paul J. Swider (@pswider) is the CTO of RealActivity an organization focused on improving collaboration, compliance and fiscal responsibility in healthcare. He has two decades of proven software and healthcare experience and is involved in many community and philanthropic efforts including a founding member of Sharing the Point, an international effort which offers free training opportunities in emerging markets. Paul is an accomplished technology entrepreneur straight from a barrier Island near Charleston, SC where he occasionally gets to chase the tides and winds as an avid boater and sailor.

Joel Oleson

Joel (@joeloleson) Joel was the first dedicated SharePoint Administrator ever. He’s been working with SharePoint nearly 13 years. SharePoint Evangelist & Managing Director at Salient6. Checkout his popular SharePoint blog at http://sharepointjoel.com and his travel blog at http://travelingepic.com

Ricardo Munoz

Ricardo is the SharePoint Consulting Manager at LatinShare, and a Popular SharePoint MVP and speaker in Costa Rica and Chile.

Registration Links (en espanol) :

Can’t join us because you’re in Spain?  Find us at the Iberian SharePoint Conference in Madrid on October 10.

Road Less Traveled: Top 5 Travel Destinations of Armenia

Crazy Foot bridge

Rickety Old Foot bridge

Armenia view Mt. Ararat, the site where Noah’s Ark landed, according to Genesis 8:4. In addition, Armenia has the distinction of being the first country to adopt the Christian faith (301 A.D.) and being evangelized by two of Jesus’ apostles (Bartholomew and Thaddeus). The landscape is dotted with ancient churches and monasteries.

Armenia may not currently be a top of tourist destination due to the challenge of getting there, but my experience is there is a lot of hidden gems and may be one of the top emerging religious tourist destination yet to be discovered, it’s off the radar for most.  It’s definitely an ancient kingdom that has been passed from empire to empire until it gained it’s independence from the Soviet Union.  Since that time it’s had a hard time with a couple of it’s neighbors.  There’s some disputed Territory that was a gift from Stalin to Azerbaijan and another to Turkey.  The Turkish relationship isn’t as strained it appears, but the Azerbaijani relationship is still strained with land disputes.

Khor Virap Monestary

(Above: Khor Virap Monestary)

There are some amazing destinations in Armenia.  The history of Armenia is fascinating.  I do think it’s worth visiting and not one to overlook in your visit to the former soviet union and in your visit to the Caucuses.  You really have to plan your routes through this region of the world.  For example simply flying into Armenia is a challenge.  We found getting from Georgia to Armenia was a great way of seeing the region and there were many more flight options into Tbilisi such as through Istanbul (one of my favorite cities for extended layovers).  Both Georgia and Armenia are Christian nations.

1. Where Noah landed the Ark – Mt Ararat viewing from Khor Virap Monastery – The Khor Virap Monastery is a 17th century Church provides a spectacular and majestic view of Mount Ararat and one of the most visited church and tourist spot of Armenia.  Saint Gregory was imprisoned in a pit for 13 years and as the story goes came out and the miracle of surviving this pit resulted in a conversion of the King and further prostylting led to the country converting to Christianity in 301 AD.

Khor Virap - The pit

The Pit – Climbing down these steps is a freaky experience.  It feels like the latter isn’t straight up and down.  It feels like you’re leaning backward.

Khor Virap in the shadows of Mt Ararat

Khor Virap Monestary with the Bible famous Mt Ararat in the Background.  There were some farmers burning their fields that day, so the mountain isn’t as looming in this photo.

2. Garni Temple – The oldest and best preserved Pagan temple in the world.  This building plays a significant role in the establishment of Armenia as a country and hence has been preserved where a lot of pagan temples around the world were destroyed with the rise of Islam and Christianity.

Garni Pagan Temple in Armenia

The nearly 2000 year old temple has some older structures around it including some interesting mosaics and likely one of the most incredible views of river valley which remind me of the Ihlara Valley in Turkey and have similar looking basalt columns of the Giants causeway of Ireland.

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(View inside of the Garni temple)

While we were there, some pagans were holding a ritual for one of their members who was off to join the military.

3. Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the oldest state-built church in the world.  While meditating in the old capital city of Vagharshapat, Gregory had a vision of Christ’s coming to the earth to strike it with a hammer. From the spot rose a great Christian temple with a huge cross. He was convinced that God intended him to build the main Armenian church there. The Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the oldest state-built church in the world. The original vaulted basilica was built in 301-303 by Saint Gregory the Illuminator with the Kings help when Armenia became the first officially Christian country in the world.He renamed the city Etchmiadzin, which means “the place of the descent of the only-begotten.”  This UNESCO herritage site is a 4th Century church with a rich history of the Christian nation of Armenia.

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Courtesy Wikipedia

There was construction going on on the turrets while I was there so my photo didn’t turn out this great.  The church is part of a greater complex of religious buildings including religious seminaries.

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Above: Seminary Students and Armenian Priests in the greater complex

4. Armenian Genocide Complex – Memorial Complex of Tsitsernakaberd

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Right near the national stadium is the Genocide memorial with an eternal flame and a pillar pointing toward heaven.  My friend Marvel told us stories of his families making the experience very personal.  The Government of the Ottoman Empire ordered the  destruction of Armenians in Anatolia (Eastern Turkey) in an organized expulsion and extermination of Armenians. Women, children and elderly were from February 1915 sent on death marches towards the Syrian desert.  Some 1 million to 1.5 million died.

Apparently there is controversy in the use of the term “genocide” as Turkey and Azerbaijan choose to say these events were part of the war.  It’s very sad.

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Armenian Genocide Memorial 1915-1922, the flowers pile up in a circle around the flame.  Online there’s a 3-D video of the Armenian Genocide complex including the ability to place flowers.

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5. Yerevan Republic Square – The Republic Square is the place where ceremonies and meetings are held. The statue of Lenin used to be located in the southern forehead of the square, but when Armenia regained its independence, the statue was brought down.  Now you’ll find dancing fountains in the summer.

The square is surrounded with seven major buildings:

  • The National Gallery and the History Museum building (north).
  • The Ministry of Territorial Administration (north-east).
  • The Government House: holds the main offices of the Government of Armenia (north-east).
  • The Central post-office of the Republic of Armenia (south-east).
  • The “Mariott Armenia” hotel (south-west).
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (north-west).
  • The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (north-west).

Republic Square Yerevan

Republic Square Yerevan

Christmas in central republic square

Vernisaj Market in Yerevan Armenia

Vernisaj Market in Yerevan, this is a must see on the weekends.  Lots of fun things for travelers.  Lots of crafts involving Noah and the local landscapes.

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This is the Old Yerevan Restaurant Band.  There were tons of fun.  Lots of great food to eat.  The food was one of my favorite things about Armenia.  Lots of great food.

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