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I had the honor to be blogged forward by Tom Cenens, a very active SCN contributor and SAP Mentor that I met first in Twitter and SCN and then in person during TechEd Madrid 2011 and with whom I felt empathy since the beginning. Thanks Tom for thinking of me when blogging it forward.

This blog is a part of the “Blog It Forward” challenge.

I’m an independent SAP Solution Manager Consultant and ABAP/IDoc developer, interested in Design Thinking and SAP Mentor. I started working with SAP in 1998, but before that I have worked for one year in a software house. There I learned how to play multiple roles since I had to work as a C, C++ and Delphi developer, SQL Server Administrator and Windows NT administrator.  I have a Bachelor degree in Computer Science, love to study languages, travel, drink good wines, play games (board games, specially Poker and Backgammon, and Sony PSP, Wii and iOS games ). I’m an Apple fan. I live in São Paulo but I was born in Goiânia, capital of Goiás, a state located in the heart of Brazil. It’s a beautiful city with an average temperature around 25C (but every time I go there it’s above 30C…). Goiânia is 300km from Brasilia, our national capital. It’s a planned city founded on October 24, 1933 and is the largest city in the Central-Western Region and the 13th-largest in the country.

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Goiânia, Brazil

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São Paulo, Brazil – Ibirapuera Park

What was your dream job as a kid?

When I was a child my dream was to be a dancer and a choreographer. Dance was always my way to express myself, better than writing or talking. My mother also loved to dance and I truly believe it’s in my genes.

I had dancing classes for many years and during these years I had the chance to perform with my dance school at my hometown’s theater once, which I really loved. At this time Madonna was one of my idols (maybe not the best option for a little girl but her performances and the rhythm of her songs were great). Remember Flashdance, Footloose, Dirty Dancing? Watched these movies dozens of times. They were my source of inspiration together with  Madonna’s performances when creating my own choreographs. I used to perform my choreographs together with my friends in the opening ceremony of the annual sports competitions in my school. That was one of the happiest moments of the year for me. But I learned since then that work as a dancer is not easy and to be successful you really need to be outstanding. Besides that, as many sports, you don’t have a long career, your body may not help as much as you need.

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Flashdance: Take your passion and make it happen


At the same time I always went very well in school and used to have very interesting discussions about science and politics with my dear father, someone I really miss and who always, 100% of times, had an answer for my tricky or naive questions. He was a very intelligent and honest man. He passed away on 2009 and left a hole in my heart. I was always teaching him and my mom how to operate every new electric or electronic stuff they bought at home (still do that to my mom, now with computer and iPad). He was always telling me that his little girl (I’m the youngest) was going to be a scientist one day…


My dream of being a dancer had to be left aside (now is only a hobby) and when I finished high school I realized that I had another dream and I would need a good and well paid job in order to make it come true: “be an independent and well succeed professional who could afford her trips around the world”. The many hours I spent playing “War” (one of the most popular board games in Brazil, a modified version of Risk), the Geography classes, the World Map we had at home (and my lampshade Globe that I used for years to learn where the countries and cities I heard on TV were located) and the conversations with my father inspired me to fly away. And as I was very good in Math and Physics, had really liked the computer classes during high school, and heard and read a lot about the “job of the future” and “developers always find a job”, I decided to go for Computer Science. It should not only be Computer Science, one of the most difficult courses to get into at that time in Brazil, but it should be in a very good and public University, otherwise I wouldn’t be happy enough. I always liked facing challenges.

The little girl grow up and, at the end, maybe not the way my father dreamed of, turned to be computer scientist. I think he was happy to see me there getting my diploma. I could give him this joy. My mom, a hard working and strong woman, taught me to always do my best. Not the good enough. The best. At least the best I can. I have been trying that.

And here I am. Independent? Yes. Well succeed? Hmm, I think the meaning of being successful changed a little bit in those years. I guess still trying to be, or maybe I already am… I don’t do everything I like but I like everything I do. Can I afford my trips? Mostly Yes! Of course some times I have a little help because some are work trips paid by someone else and to places I never thought of visiting, but all of them gave me good friends, nice moments, a lot of culture and beautiful pictures.  I still have thousands of places where I would love to go.

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Board game WAR

What is your favorite place in the world?

Difficult question. The best place in the world is where you can be with the ones you love. But I love to travel as mentioned before, and some times I can’t be with them. My favorite trips are to places where I can be close to the sea. If it’s warm, like Brazil, Cancun and the fantastic Côte D’Azur, better, I enjoy it more, but there are amazing places with sea view also in cold areas. I had the privilege of being born in a country with thousands of km of beautiful beaches (which I only visit during holidays or vacations unfortunately) and was also lucky with the projects I worked on outside my country because they were all in places close to the sea. I learned that sea view is wonderful anywhere, even below zero Celsius…

I also love Italy and all its culture, landscape, language and cuisine and have been there less than enough IMO. I could put all these pieces together when I selected a place to study Italian: I went to Riviera dei Fiori, in Liguria, during Summer . Roma, Milano, Verona, Bologna and the splendid Toscana are some of the places I visited and loved. And had a pleasure that I never imagined I could have when I dreamed of visiting Italy: I worked close to Venice in a SAP project for 5 months.

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Liguria, Italy

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Tuscany, Italy (this is one of the pictures I took there that I like most)

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Santa Catarina, one of my favorite places in Brazil.

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Beautiful Denmark

I recently found a t-shirt that describes myself:

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What was the most fun project you ever participated in and why?

I had a lot of fun in many of my projects. I made good friends in all of them, some of my current best friends came from them. Of course some times we have hard moments and things could be easier, but at the end we learn a lot and laugh a lot. Maybe one of the most important was my first SAP project after my ABAP Academy, an SAP implementation in a Bank that lasted a year, because there I learned most of the things I know by now about SAP and how to be a consultant, and my ABAP team was so united and happy working together that we keep this close and dear friendship until today, almost 15 years later. That was the first project where I had to work 24hs non-stop during preparation for go-live because I was responsible for the interfaces that run at night, including IDoc interfaces not standard that I had to develop when not so many people knew what IDocs were all about. Had many other challenges and hard working moments after that.

I would like to Blog it Forward to my Brazilian colleagues and active SCN contributors, passionate SCN members, who helped me to understand the Mentors program, introduced me to the SAP Inside Track events and pushed me to contribute more to the SAP community:

Marlo Simon

Marcelo Ramos

And also to SAP Mentor Tony de Thomasis who, besides all his contribution in SCN, provides great value to Universities.

I would like to ask them:

Fun fact about you

What was your dream job as a kid?

Did you have someone who inspired you in your professional life?

Please follow the Blog It Forward Chain in order to be updated when Marlo, Marcelo, Tony and other members of the community blog it forward.

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26 Comments

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  1. xMoshe Naveh (Old Acct)

    Thanks a lot for posting this blog. We have a lot in common. Especially the love for traveling. I had the chance to travel for almost two years 9 years ago. What I enjoyed the most was getting to know the people in each place, even more then the views. This is why in each place I tried to find a job. I was a Busboy,Cashier,Camp counselor, Towel boy and a Farmer:). In Brazil I only traveled but had some very unique experiences. My local friend even took me to a Rastafarian hidden village:).

    Welcome to the BIF family and thanks again for posting such a sincere blog and beautiful pictures.

    Moshe

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    1. Raquel Pereira da Cunha Post author

      Hi Moshe,

      thanks for starting the chain, I am really enjoying getting some special info about the SCN members, things we usually don’t have time to say. As you, I also like getting to know the different people of each place, and learn with their way of living and their points of view. Mario Quintana, a Brazilian writer, once said “Viajar é trocar a roupa da alma” (not sure if it’s correct, but I found this  translaton “Travelling is the soul changing clothes”).

      Raquel

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  2. Tim Guest

    It looks like you spent a lot of time on this post and it is well worth it. Very interesting and some wonderful pictures. I have been to Cancun / Cozumel for Diving and it is one of the best places I have been to, hopefully I will return!

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    1. Raquel Pereira da Cunha Post author

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I spent a lot of time… I wrote it during my 2 flights (Leave and Return) to my hometown, and finished at home last night. Somehow I felt the need to write it. It brought me back many good feelings that I wanted to share. I really enjoyed it.

      Cancun and Cozumel are wonderful, I also want to return. Try to stay at Playa del Carmen next time (if you haven’t yet), it’s great.

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  3. Tammy Powlas

    Raquel,

    Very nice blog and great pictures…and I have to admit I love Madonna, Flash Dance, and Dirty Dancing (I won’t count how many times I’ve watched that).  If Dirty Dancing is on, I will stop everything and watch that, no matter what.

    Your story of your parents is very touching too. 

    I look forward to meeting you soon.

    Tammy

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    1. Raquel Pereira da Cunha Post author

      Hi Tammy,

      so good to know that we have things in common. I had so much fun with those movies and they were so inspiring for me.

      I had the need to mention my parents because they are very important for me and have influenced a lot on what I am today.

      It was not so easy to write this blog because I am very shy, specially regarding my private life. It was another challenge I decided to face.

      Hope to meet you in LV!

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  4. Susan Keohan

    Hi Raquel,

    You are so multi-talented!  Love the Brasilians coming out with all their stories, so we can learn more about your country and culture. 
    Of course, you are not alone with loving Flashdance, Dirty Dancing, Footloose.  Maybe we should start a ‘Nobody puts SCNer’s in a Corner’ movement!

    Excellent choices for Blogging it forward to, as well. 
    Cheers,
    Sue

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    1. Raquel Pereira da Cunha Post author

      Hi Susan,

      thank you so much for your comments. And I am happy I’m not alone 🙂

      We Brazilians should share more our stories, our culture, we have so many things to say, to teach. We are not only Samba, Carnaval, Soccer, Pelé, Ronaldo, Rio, violence.. I would be glad to share a little bit more about my country with you if we have a chance.

      Maybe my choices for Blog it Forward can help me on that! Let’s wait for their posts.

      Cheers!

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  5. Tom Cenens

    Hi Raquel

    Great “blog it forward” post and love the pictures.

    Love the fact that you are into gaming. I have some really nice IOS games that are based on board games (risk is one of them and it’s a good one to play player vs player on iPad).

    Does it mean we can expect to see a dance video for the SCNotty awards then 😎 🙂 ?

    Looking forward to meet up at SAP TechED Madrid.

    Best regards

    Tom

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  6. Alexandra Carvalho

    Hi Raquel,

    Loved your blog!

    We share some passions: dancing (it’s in my genes too!) and travelling. I have the travel bug and never stop thinking where I will go next.

    Hope to meet you one day 🙂

    Best regards,

    Alexandra

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  7. Gali Kling Schneider

    A beautiful post Raquel and a touching tribute to your father.

    I too love dancing, family, the beach and traveling! I’d like to add another warm, beach destination to your travel list – Israel!

    Looking forward to meeting you in Vegas.

    Gali

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  8. Jansi Rani Murugesan

    Hi Raquel,

    Wonderful sharing………..  it is great that you achieved your father’s dream!!!

    It is inspirational  that you worked 24hours nonstop in your first assignment!! Indeed, Great work!!

    Regards,

    Jansi

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  9. Suseelan Hari

    Hi Raquel,

    Very nice place and Brazil is my favorite place to visit. Keep up the good work!

    Nice blog and I am able to see how much you are interested in traveling.

    Marvelous Blog! 🙂

    Regards,

    Hari Suseelan

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  10. Robin van het Hof

    Wonderful blog!

    For some strange reason, today your blog showed up in the ‘new SAP mentor content’ blurp on SCN home and although it was written years ago, I’m fortunate I now had the opportunity to read it.

    Bottomline: I’ve never ever been to Brasil, but thanks to the love that shows when you wrote about your travelling makes me want to visit it even more 🙂

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    1. Raquel Pereira da Cunha Post author

      Thank you Robin!

      You should visit Brazil for sure. There are amazing places here, specially if you like warm weather. At the moment it’s Winter but Sun is shining every day and temperatures are around 26C in São Paulo, 30C in my hometown. 😛

      I love travelling. I use to say I am addicted to travel.

      “To travel is to live” – Hans Christian Andersen

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  11. Peter Flury

    Very nice blog!

    Do not miss Switzerland. There are a lot of possibilities (culture, art, mountains, languages, jobs etc)

    Regards Peter

    PS. Tenho certeza que você vai se divertir e curtir

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    1. Raquel Pereira da Cunha Post author

      Thanks Peter.

      Switzerland is in my list. It’s such a beautiful place. I have friends living there and would like to visit them. I am sure I’ll enjoy it very much.

      Obrigada 🙂

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  12. Matt Fraser

    Just like Robin said, odd that a few-years-old post suddenly shows up, but I’m glad it did, as it was a pleasure to read.

    Travel. Visiting many places, meeting people very different from those you already know. Learning about different cultures. Seeing beautiful sights (I agree, beautiful coastlines often show up in cold places, too! Think Brittany in France, Fiordland in New Zealand, and of course the Pacific Northwest in the US and Canada, among many others…). Not enough people do this, and I think it’s one of the most important as well as enjoyable things we can do.

    Thanks, Raquel.

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