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Fátima Lopes: the world in the palm of her hand
 

We met her when finalizing her 48 years of service. Fátima Lopes, co-worker in TAP IT, where the secretary currently the direction of the department, has entered the service almost at dawn. The transition from work colleagues will have to be complete. Even so, it is with good layout and total availability that presents herself in our interview. The curious look of Fatima, a vividness and simplicity, has no age. Colleagues know it holds a contagious energy and a spirit that does not acknowledge obstacles. Just barriers to overcome. And this is the story of Fátima Lopes, for whom travel and work are the best anti depressants of the world.

Fátima-Lopes1.jpg 

Fátima Lopes

 

The dream of a little girl

Fatima was born in Lisbon, with the word travel included in the DNA. Even in primary school, knew Portugal from south to west. Among the gentlemen, her father was one of the few who possessed car and once who also worked on TAP, the small Fatima then begins to feed the dream of being host of board, name given at the time of the current profession of flight attendant. Managed to influence more five colleagues and decided to learn languages to better serve the function. This would be, however, the entrance door on TAP. Always at the forefront, Fátima Lopes was already married for 18 years and, as such, had no access to the profession that only accept unmarried girls. In the face of this first barrier, decides to take a course at IBM and has to enter in the Company as rig-verifier, on 1 April 1969. It seemed lie, but it was the truth of a life. It was then in a very primitive way, in that the programs were introduced in older machines via cards, which were previously drilled the data of programming. When the opening of the service computerized reservation, load-control and check-in of TAP - TAPMATIC - is announced, Fatima challenge once more and competes to the position of programmer, in 1974. "The entire TAP was running for it. The access to the function of a programmer was very difficult. I read the books from IBM for a recorder and, while the dinner, listening to my own voice to go memorizing the material", she recalls. She thought of it and did it better. She was accepted as a programmer, function that played during almost the whole of her professional career in TAP.

The whole world to know

The dream of being hostess has not been fulfilled, but TAP would give wings to your second dream. "TAP to me represents much, because allowed me to transform the desire to travel into reality". There are 107 countries and countless dates that violate in memory of Fatima, a conversation of an hour that easily become an interview for months, with subsequent book. In a burst, Fatima highlights her latest trip, the Republic of Marshall Islands in the Pacific, as one of the most important in your life. This is the country most distant from Portugal, which is intended to be the first to disappear from the map with the rise of the water level of the sea and where the time difference compared to our country is 14 hours. "Have a wonderful people, people without ambitions and so everything goes well. There is no robbery, the door is always open." Indonesia is the motto for an endless list of stories. Fatima saw everything and tried everything. In Vanuatu, in Oceania, was at the top of the crater of the volcano Yasur in full eruption. In Solomon Islands, visited Tetepare, deserted island for more than 150 years, where she lived without electricity and without drinking water, with only the company of pavement, the guide and the boatman that transported. On the island of Borneo, even in pre-internet, shared house, clothes and food with the Iban tribe. In Central America, was bitten by the ant-of-fire, whose treatment was unknown by all, and slept in one of the city's most dangerous in the world, in Nicaragua. Did the Desert of Namibia, Botswana and Zambia of van. In the latter country, to escape the tourist back to Victoria Falls, who already knew, adventured alone through the jungle, in pursuit of a group of butterflies. Found a snake Naja, which can only be realized through the whining acute alertness of same. Not wanting to overcome it or turn it back, knocked out of reverse, leaving the reptile in its process of heating on a small tarmac path. In Sri Lanka was obliged to bribe an elephant transporter, which prevented the traffic on a highway until it was properly fed. In Uganda, in full impenetrable forests of Bwindi, fled in haste from a gorilla that dealt two punches a tree, bored with the human presence. However, the case more unusual is, perhaps, the Philippines. Fatima sailed to the country, more than 40 years ago, with the purpose of being operated to a cyst on the lung by local healers, known to perform surgical interventions without another instrument besides the hands and the power of the mind. "The doctor that I followed him here at the TAP doctor was surprised and gave me a bottle with a solution of formalin and alcohol, where should I bring the cyst that was removed from the lung. And this was the detail that led the healer to get angry and almost refused to treat me, i were not have thrown the bottle into the garbage in front of her." The healer forgot, however, to say that it should be x-rayed to exit from the Philippines. It was thus that Fatima realized the scam. "I went to the hospital, two steps away from the hotel, and when i got the X-Ray, there it was in my lungs. I returned to the hotel did the suitcase, went to the reception, I checked-out and flew out of the country before i got my neck chocked".

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One of Fátima Lopes' passports

 

The simplicity in the art of traveling

Fátima was perfecting her art over the almost 50 years of regular trips. Simplicity is the key word. Usually travel almost always without hold luggage, "what is almost unthinkable, currently, for the young," jokes Fátima. This "lightness" and the years TAP has already earn him several times, place on flights booked. "I carry three changes of clothing: one for washing, another to wear and the other for whatever comes. Do not take shampoo, or soap and until I have travelled without a hairbrush. There are everywhere," says Fátima. Always carries a pair of boots, a pair of slippers and tries to dress up always in the same way that the inhabitants of the countries you visit. According to her experience, do not resembling a tourist can bring many advantages to travellers. Flee, whenever you can, from guided tours and tour packages. "I don't like to travel with schedules pre-established. I love watching the sun rise." Fatima also does not recommend the repetition of destinations, something which has already made and that made the goal of visiting every country in the world. For those who have no monetary possibilities or little time to travel, Fatima suggests that, at least, two countries from every continent, to have an idea of how the world as a whole. Luxuries? Also lived. But she says, again, that is the simplicity that lets you know the truth. "When you travel with stewardships, there's nothing to see. The luxury hotels with taps of gold, are equal in all countries that have money. If you do not know the people, that is what good travel?". The passion that Fatima has to travel is equal to what you have on TAP, your starting point for the world. Even if you are wrapping up a cycle, this door will never be closed. "When it comes out of the TAP does not go from her arms shaking, but with open arms, as I continue to work in the field of tourism," says Fátima Lopes, who will now have more time to take care of your project to guest accommodation, located in a building that she inherited from her grandfather, in Alfama. To tourists, talks about wonders of TAP and encourages them to travel with the company. Many of them, italian, dutch and even canadians traveling in Europe, already don't renounce of TAP in their movements. Fatima does not know what will be her next trip, but what is certain is that she will not stop. In her "see you later" to the company, Fatima recalls as "absolutely unforgettable" the farewell party made by colleagues. "Love is a word small, for my feeling to all who have accompanied me throughout my 48 years at TAP and that marked my story. One of the features that made me was the chair of aircraft, which is already in my house. When the legs can no longer travel, i'll be sitting in it dreamming."

 

  • Uyuni Salar, Bolivia
  • Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • Manuha Temple, Myanmar
  • Tasmanian devils
  • Tetepare, Solomon Islands
  • Trans siberian, Russia
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yasur Volcano, Vanuatu
  • Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway
  • Baga Gazar, Mongolia
  • Bayanzag, Mongolia
  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  • Bhutan
  • Santa Cruz Cemetery, Dili
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Ogii Camp, Mongolia
  • Ramelau Hill, East Timor
  • Girl from Munda, Soloman Islands
  • Kiritimati, Republic of Kiribati
  • Faroe Islands
  • Iceland
  • Fátima Lopes sitting on her aircraft chair
  • Greenland
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

This article has been automatically translated. For additional information, please contact us

 

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