Teresa and Rita

meet face-to-face

in Lisbon, Portugal (14-25 January 2005)

 

Rita surprised me a few months ago when she said she and Hector, her husband, were planning on visiting me in Lisbon and then traveling for a week around Portugal. I couldn't believe what my eyes were reading! It was very exciting news!

The weeks went by and late November she confirmed that she was arriving on Jan. 14, flight BA500, at 11.15! Wow!!! It was my day off so I'd be at the airport to pick them up.  :-)

She spent two weeks with her son in Connecticut and we kept in touch through YM. We met online five hours before she took off to Lisbon via London! This is how we felt!

teca2002pt (17:00:46): dear rita, can't wait for tomorrow! have a nice and safe trip! see you at the airport at 11.15!! yeeessss!!
ritazeinstejer (19:07:26): THANKS, dearest Tere!!! I didn't sleep last night..., cant wait, either!!! CU !!!!!!!!! (seems a dream...
teca2002pt (19:07:50): thta's right!!!
ritazeinstejer (19:08:13): hi, Tereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

 

  Day 1: Jan. 14

João drove with me to the airport. A sunny half hour drive! The plane arrived on time and Rita and Hector were before our eyes in about half an hour. Though we had only seen each another in a webcam a few times, the moment we saw each other there was instant Webhead chemistry!!!  :-)

- Tere, is that you? Really you??!!

- Yes, Rita, it's me!!!  :-)

We hugged and hugged and hugged while our husbands looked on and enjoyed that special moment. How could two colleagues who had met through the Internet feel so close and so excited at meeting face-to-face for the first time? There is something special about cyberspace, above all, about communities of practice such as the Webheads in Action!

It wasn't the first time I had felt a similar excitement: in 2002, Sus spent a month Cascais; in March 2004, I met a dozen Webheads in Long Beach, CA; and in June I flew to Valencia, Spain, to meet Dafne after working with her on a very regular basis for two and a half years. I was very lucky to also meet Maria Jordano and Arnold on that occasion.

Curiously, our husbands also related very well from the very first moment, so the walk to the car and the drive to the hotel was great: "we decided" they would sit in the front so that we could babble in the back seat. We drove through the main avenues and I tried to identify the main buildings, monuments and main areas in the midst of a never-ending conversation.

They were exhausted so we left them for a well-deserved rest with a date for 8.15 in the evening. We would be having dinner with my two closest friends: Inha, a first cousin and more like a sister; and José luis, a lifetime friend, who had been in Buenos Aires on vacation last year and had talked to Rita on the phone. The setting was Bairro Alto, one of the many typical neighborhoods in the old parts of Lisbon. It has fantastic night life, with lots of little restaurants, pubs and Fado houses.

 

 

It's around 9.00 pm and here we are in this narrow cobblestone street waiting for our table to be free. In the meantime José Luis brought our first bottle of white wine to start the celebration!  

And so the party began! We were in for a fabulous evening.

Hector and Rita, Teresa, Inha and José Luis (left to right)

 

 

 

 

The special effects (!!!) are part of the celebration.

João, my husband, is on the left.

 

 

Scenes from a fun and F.U.N. (Frivolous Unanticipated Nonsense) dinner! Few comments are needed. A picture says more than a thousand words!  :-)

 

 

Some serious talk now and then, but never for long!!!  

There was always something  happening. This time a man selling these funny bookmarks. João and I presented Rita and Hector with one each!

 

 

     

 

 

     
  Wine, warmth and fun were never absent!  

 

 

       
    A true Webhead meeting. What are Rita and Teresa up to?! What are they talking about??!!    

 

Updated on 30Jan2005

Created on 19 January 2005

Teresa Almeida d'Eça

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