This was an excellant event for me. It was the first time Wichert Akkerman (another former Debian Project Leader) and I had met face to face, and it was fun getting to know him a bit. Our hosts went out of their way to make us feel welcome. And it was gratifying to see so many Debian logos. Even the city of Porto Alegre has issued a "Porto Alegre GNU/Linux" installer CD that is based on Debian, with help from the debian-rs group! Good food, good friends, good times!
The really special thing for me about this conference, though, was the high level of energy and enthusiasm of everyone involved in the event. The Software Livre movement in Brazil is about more than just technology, they hope to bring about social change including increasing the standard of living of the poor, while preserving their native identity. With over 4300 total participants in the event, and strong participation from the governments ranging from the city of Porto Alegre to the nation of Brazil... I will be watching closely to see what the Brazilians think of next!