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Powwows: (another) first-timer "testimonial"
Thread poster: ICL

ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 24, 2006

I am sure this has been commented at length in the past, but still, I want to contribute with my own feedback, in case any potential powwow "newbies" happen to read this message.

I attended this past Saturday my first powwow (in Düsseldorf, Germany).

I have been registered in Proz.com for 7 years (with sporadic participation in the site in general) and I just recently became a "paying member". So being definitely a newbie in terms of powwows, I have to say that it was great fun!

First of all, it was like a "group-blind-date", because it had all the excitement of meeting for the first time not just one person, but a whole group of persons/colleagues (even if you "knew" some of them a little bit through forums, kudoZ, emails or just their profile information).

On the other hand, though I was a bit worried about my command of the "official" powwow language (I have been very lazy about improving my German... ) and though I ended up chatting mostly with a fellow Spanish speaker (¡hola Rosa!), I still managed to communicate with some of all the friendly German/non-German people who attended, to the point that I look forward to future powwows, in Germany or anywhere else in this multicultural/multilingual Proz.com world.

So I definitely got the feeling that powwows can be a fun way not only to share professional-related experiences, frustrations, networking, etc. (for example, in this Düsseldorf powwow the "direct-client" sketches improvised by Chris and Herbert were both hilarious and yes!, even useful ), but also to just plain socialize, considering that we freelancers mostly work at home by ourselves, thus with sporadic or no face-to-face contact with other colleagues.

And finally, as you can imagine, powwows are also a great opportunity to vent, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere (over a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, etc.) anything you might have to say about (against?) Proz.com, which in many cases can be positively "cathartic" (because you will most likely end up laughing really hard about it).

In short, if you are considering attending a powwow, why not give it a try? If they are as fun as the one I attended for the first time, there is a good chance that you will be nicely surprised. Furthermore, they can be a good excuse for a vacation plan, if you have the time/savings for that.

Cheers,

Ivette


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Kathryn Strachecky  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:53
French to English
Hear hear! Oct 25, 2006

I attended my first powwow in Nice a couple of weeks ago, and I have to agree with you, ICL, that they are really good fun, and are definitely worth a little effort and/or expense.
Let's hear it for the powwows!


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Nice? La France? Oct 25, 2006

Mon Dieu.... it sounds like sophisticated fun.... I have to start saving even more for all these powwow travel plans....



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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 03:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Hi Ivette Oct 25, 2006

We were having our powwows at the same time!

I'm glad you enjoyed yours! Don't wait to see that there is a powwow being organized in Paris to decide to go to Paris, do it the other way round. If you're going to travel, organize or contact somebody who can organize it in the place where you're going. I attended two PWs in the Dominican Rep. in this way, it was great and fun. I can't count how many PWs I have attended, really a lot.
I like to look back and think that when I organized my first powwow I just wanted to meet translators to see what they thought about their job! I was just thinking about becoming a translator.

Maybe we can meet in one of these?

Claudia


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hola Claudia! Oct 25, 2006

I know we had our powwows on the same day, and I am glad you enjoyed yours as well!

The thing is, as I kind of jokingly said, I am going to have to start saving a "special budget" for potential powwow vacations (or at least visits), because I think it is "safer" to make a vacation plan based on a powwow, obviously because the local powwow people, besides being colleagues who already have a friendly attitude because you are visiting, will be able to help you with any tips that only local people can give you.

I don't know if I have enough energy to organize a powwow, but it is an idea worth considering. The "reverse" option you mentioned also sounds like a great idea to motivate any prozians to meet, especially when no powwow has been organized in a given place.

I guess what impressed me the most about this first experience, besides what I already mentioned in my original message in this thread, is the obvious fact that sometimes this mere Internet contact might give you a "distorted" image of people or of people's opinions, only to realize, face-to-face, that we might have a lot more affinity than what we thought.

Anyways, so far I can definitely say that powwows are a fun Proz.com invention and I certainly hope to meet you in one of them sooner or later...

Un saludo cordial,

Ivette


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 03:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
And I forgot to mention Poland Oct 25, 2006

I'm coming back just to fix a big mistake: I forgot to mention that when I travelled to Poland with my daughter (hosted by two nice Prozians, Magda and Robert), Magda also organized a PW in which I met several other members...

It really brings nice memories and opportunities

Claudia


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:53
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Powwow Experience Dec 29, 2006

I am a regular at PowWows in and around São Paulo, and have organised two PowWows myself, and must add to what other people have said here, that they are an excellent experience! The Powwow movement is quite active here in Brazil although participation tends to be somewhat small (10 to 15 people is the average). In São Paulo alone (including Santos and São Vicente) we have Powwows three or four times a year and they are always great occasions!
Here, Powwows are usually in the form of Saturday lunches and have included seafood, pizza (the only time the meal has been disappointing, at the Veridiana in São Paulo) and the Italian pasta for which São Paulo is so famous, having an enormous Italian immigrant community - as well as a lunch (which I organised) at one of Brazil's famous steak houses where the waiters come round relentlessly with spits of fatty and juicy meat, and you can eat until you burst for a flat fee of R$ 10 (US$ 5) or even less!
The Powwows here seem to be restricted to São Paulo State and Rio de Janeiro - why not in other places?
By the way, you don't need energy to organise a Powwow - unless you plan to have it in your home!
So, my advice to Prozians across the globe is - check out the nearest Powwow to your location and get over there!


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Brazil.... it sounds cool! Dec 29, 2006

Thanks for sharing, Paul!

Like I said before, I really have to start saving some extra money to make it to a few more powwows across the globe.

Your Brazilian powwows sound like tons of fun. I hope one day I can make it to your beautiful country.

Feliz Año 2007!

Ivette


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