Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cerf's Up in Samoa

Vint Cerf was accorded VIP status by the Samoan Government. This also meant he got a VIP car and a security escort, which was interesting. As well as priority access on and off the plane and access to the VIP lounge, etc. etc. As his "chaperone" and sidekick during his stay I was also offered the same priviledges which I found quite amusing. I and the welcome party (which happened to include Miss Samoa) got access to the tarmac so we could get to him as soon as he got out of the plane. We were expecting him to be one of the first off the plane, but this wasn't so and there was a bit of worry in the welcome party whether he was on the plane or not. I had been in touch with him as he sat at various airports en route so knew he would be in it somewhere. Then I got a glimpse of a 3-piece suit and pointed him out to Miss Samoa (and she got really excited) and the rest of the welcome party. It was good to see him again and welcomed him to Samoa followed by a scramble to get hold of his baggage claim ticket and passport so this could be priority cleared by the OrgCom whilst he enjoyed the company of Miss Samoa and the traditional dancers. In the VIP lounge was also the Czech Ambassador who was on a courtesy call to Samoa. Turns out he had an IT background and immediately recognised Vint which basically led to an intense photo session (with a video cam thrown in for good measure). After all this (and picking up Vint's bags) we headed off toward Apia and Aggie Grey's Hotel where we both were staying. En route I briefed him on what was planned for the 3 days he was in Samoa. At Aggie Grey's Hotel, he got the presidential suite, which was quite nice. I ended up spending another 3 hours in a meeting with all the excitement and in-depth discussions, we forgot the main topic - world domination!

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