Apr 3, 2010

Trip to Kutubu: Part 2

When I checked in, I was given two items: a key, labeled "D9", and a bar of soap. The man I was traveling with, the person who contracted me, had a room in the building next to the mess hall. My building was located in another areas across the site. Down sidewalks, between buildings, past the pool room, through the gym, up stairs at 3 locations, and I found myself in a "building" created from tying temporary office structures together. Image 1: D Building.

Although my room was cramped, old, and worn, it was quite comfortable and always breezy. The door had a section that popped open into the hallway and allowed cool breezes to pass through. I had a bed, desk, lockers, and sink in my room. I shared an adjoining bathroom with the next (unoccupied) cell over. And best of all? I had LOTS of HOT WATER all to myself! In spite of its resemblance to a room at county lockup (don't ask how I know that!), I found my quarters to be quite comfortable and decided I could handle that set-up long-term if necessary. And with all the activities occurring here, I won't be surprised to find that it is necessary on occasion.Image 2: My room, D9.

The site was most often covered by a foggy mist, and we had light showers every evening. By the time I got settled in enough to have a look around, I was amazed at the beauty that could be found all around. Not all of the rooms were like mine, reserved for the 'worker bees'. There were also some very nice buildings with rooms angled to take advantage of the scenic vistas. I assumed these to be reserved for Oil Search higher-ups and VIPs. Image 3: Scenic vistas from the Ridge.

Staying on the Ridge was nice and comfortable. The offices were scattered throughout the site, so the people I passed on my way to mess might be coming from work, from the gym, or from their rooms, at any particular time. It was quite definitely a 'camp' atmosphere. My only excitement came when I was forewarned by a friend that a 'muster' [we would call it an 'emergency drill'] was scheduled for 7am, the time when we were to be picked up. He warned me that this was to be a longer-than-normal scenario, and that we should try to get out of camp before the alarm sounded. Although I tried to call my ride and let him know, I had no luck getting through. About 10 minutes before 7, my companion and I decided to hop on the bus instead in the hopes of getting out of the camp. The bus was loaded, we were all signed in and buckled down, the driver put the bus in gear and let off of the brake...then the alarm sounded. It took a full 2 minutes of debate in the bus, with most wanting the driver to haul for the gate, before reason convinced us to disembark and join the muster. 45 minutes later, when the drill's 'casualty' had been located and evacuated to the emergency facility, those of us who had been standing in line in the gym for the muster were finally released to go. Typical emergency drill, in my opinion.

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