Monday, December 17, 2012

FAD EMEA 2012 Rheinfelden

For the first time since I become a Fedora Ambassador, I participated to the 2012 EMEA FAD, traditionally hosted by Gerold Kassube in Rheinfelden (Germany), in the wonderful Beuggen Castle.
Main body and chapel at the Beuggen Castle

Now, as a mountain lover, I have few expectations from a trip through Switzerland: one is great landscapes, the other is snow. I was not disappointed on both accounts!
In fact, despite the Rheinfelden region is usually not very cold, we were welcome by nice snowfall. Of course that made it harder to reach Rheinfelden (me, Gabriele and Robert shared a car from Milan) but it also meant we woke up on Saturday in this environment:
Almost magical...
If you have not even been in a FAD you may now wonder what it looks like; basically, it is the place where Ambassadors discuss current issues, identify potential improvements and try to come up with a plan to reach goals. In the process, if anything turns out to be broken, we fix it right away.

Christoph made already a nice summary of the main points we touched during the event. In particular, I would like to note we will be trying to expand the range of Fedora branded goods to give away (as swag or otherwise). We also discussed several other items, like the need for more local events, and an expansion of the new Ambassadors mentoring program so new guys will find an easier way into the project. Additionally, we will be run a census among our fellow Ambassadors to understand how they feel about the program, what they are doing and what the project could do to help them more.
Finally, we will encourage all Ambassadors to host an annual get-together type of event in their own country in order to have a tighter local community.

Of course, no FAD is complete with a solid social part. In this case, the real treat was the dinner we consumed on Saturday at the blindekuh (blind cow) restaurant.



The main feature there is a large dining room completely surrounded by thick, black drapes so the room is in absolute darkness. For good measure, you have to leave in storage cabinets at the entrance everything that can emit light.

Luckily enough, reaching your seat and getting your food to the table is not a problem because waiters are blind, but managing to keep calm and consume your dinner is another story! This was a really strong experience and after a while I started to feel a bit weird, something in between drunk and scared. Of course, I was also consuming beer but I'm sure the darkness was to blame...

All in all, my first FAD was a great experience and I look forward to next year for another one. I would also like to thank all the FAD participants for a fun and productive week end: in particular Gerold for organizing our stay and for the great dinner at blindekuh, and Gabriele for driving 5 hours straight in the snow with his brand new winter tires.