Well, after a long flight from Johannesburg via Doha the South Africans made it to Uppsala. I'm attending this event thanks to EGI_InSPIRE, along with two colleagues (Andrew and Timothy) from my home town, Cape Town. These fine colleagues are responsible for the core services of SAGrid at the University of Cape Town, which also hosts two computing sites, one of which is dedicated to the ALICE experiment at CERN's LHC.
As usual on a Monday morning, there is a lot to catch up on, with requests for support over the weekend left unattended due to the long flight, and having cold fingers is making it just that much harder to work ! However, we are by now catching up with old friends from CERN, e-NMR, EGEE, etc and preparing for the opening plenary which is to start in a few minutes. Last year, 2009, was the year of infrastructure in South Africa, with SAGrid developing a stable base of operations on which to support wide and varied user communities. We have worked very hard with GILDA to train a well-equiped national operations team, which can not only deploy and manage its own sites in South Africa, but train further site experts themselves, without the need for external support. This year, 2010, is the year of the users. During EGEE-UF5, we hope to find the technical coordinators of VO's which we're interested in in South Africa (especially in the Earth Sciences, BioMed, Computational Chemistry and Astrophysics domains) and discuss the deployment of these on our infrastructure. There is clearly much to do !