On Nov 26, we were spoiled with a super organized hiking ‘n networking event for the AWS Community Builders, Heros and Usergroup leaders. I’m so grateful I participated the hike! The German AWS Hero, Johannes Koch, initiated the hike last year and continued for 2023. This year were over 50 people from the AWS Community participating 🤯 Kudos to the Community Team of AWS who supported this event at an early stage! We got a bus and even got a badge after the hike 🥰 Is there a better way to get in the mood for AWS re:Invent? I don’t think so! 😎
We made a trip to the Valley of Fire 🔥 This State Park is around an hour drive from Las Vegas.
The hike was a great opportunity to network outside of AWS re:Invent’s rush which was already starting on Sunday afternoon. It was lovely to hang out with Sana (who leads the Women User Group Berlin/EMEA), chatting with the AWS Hero Hiromi Ito (who is doing amazing things for the Asian community), being a bit silly with Danielle Heberling (who supported the hike organisation, as well) or getting to know what AWS Hero Niv Yungelson is building for the community in Israel. She has such a cool tattoo! Ask her for “sudo” 😁 I love it! She also asked me during a short video by surprise for which AWS service I hate the most 😂 Hilarious! I answered Cognito. Because I have a love-hate relationship with it. But, I was a bit embarrassed (haha). The Cognito team sure does their best, and I don’t want to be mean, but it just popped up in my mind instantly. I’m sorry, Cognito!
When driving back to Las Vegas, we had a beautiful sunset. I love these sunsets! 🌅
When arriving back in Las Vegas, it was time to pick up the re:Invent badge. And guess what: I bumped into Jeff Barr!
It was just a short meet up, but I was really excited to see him. I’m a big fan of his blog posts and spirit! So, badge and swag was picked up, and I was ready for the first re:Invent day!
After the hike, we met for a small dinner together. It was lovely, as well. My husband and I did Cosplay guessing with Hiromi, Shinya Yamada and Kento Suzuki. This was so fun! They were amazed how much my hubby and I did know! He is simply amazing 🤣 One funny anecdote: We were about to pay the bill and a man asked me “if I am Nora, Nora from Germany.’ Of course I said yes, but I didn’t really know who he was 😄 A bit later I asked who he was: “Are you ‘Matt’?” “No, I’m Jason. The Community Builder Jason.”, he smiled at me. At this moment it hit me!
Jason Dunn, the head of the AWS Community Builder programm was standing in front of me (and actually was sitte not far away from me during dinner). I was so embarrassed not noticing him! But even more funny were the reactions the community noticing the scene: They were shocked obviously. You could read it from their faces: “How can you not know Jason??” 😂 I’m so sorry, Jason! I’m awful with names and faces.😅
To end the day in a classy (Las Vegas) way, my husband and I went to the Las Vegas Show of Dita van Teese 🔥 So much glitter, hot dancers (both male and female) and so much Jazz-vibes. I really loved it 😍 So grateful to be able to enjoy this show spontaneously! At the show I met an American women who was sitting next to me. She was really nicely dressed, so I complemented her on her dress and shoes. It fitted so well for the show! We had a great chat. She was so excited to be in Las Vegas and to see the show, as well - a huge fan of Dita van Teese. After the show she approached me and thanked again for our little talk. This was so sweet, but still feeling unfamiliar in the same way. I think I’m getting into the American way of small talk. I really like it! It was a lovely evening. I’m so grateful for this experience! 🥰
What a Sunday to end my first week in Las Vegas. A full summary of my Las Vegas vacation will come after the re:Invent diary.
See ya tomorrow! 👋🏻💜 Nora I draw something at AWS re:Invent!