Jan 23, 2011

Camp Life

My current situation is that I am in PNG, my laptop computer (which has my LIFE on it) has a fried power cord, and I'm sweating trying to survive the week, with all of the work on my plate, if I cannot find a replacement. In other words, I'm in deep trouble.

So, my answer to the problem? At the moment...ignore it!

I am in Moro right now at the Oil Search Limited (OSL) camp. For those of you who have never experienced this business of working in the oil and gas industry, in the field, I can tell you (and so can Leo!) that it is quite interesting, occasionally fun, rewarding work, but never ever glamorous. For example, Leo and I are sitting across the desk from each other, sharing a field office, a very dusty and dirty field office. We occasionally have to yell at each other because the Vertol and Chinook helicopters, located just outside our building, can be deafening. Three times a day, starting at 6am, there are Dash-8 planes landing just out front. Occasionally there are Hueys (helicopters), Twin Otters (planes), and even the monstrous and amazingly loud Hercules C-130 on occasion.

At meal times, we slog over (this is the rainy season) to the mess hall, along with the rest of the camp inhabitants, to eat. Note: The meals are typically delicious affairs with plenty of choices! After our work is complete, at the end of the day, another slog gets us back to our rooms for a much-needed shower and much-anticipated sleep.

Married couples are not often housed here and are certainly not planned for. So, Leo is in the G barracks while I am in B. The rooms are tiny affairs with a bed, desk, wardrobe, and corner sink. Oh, there is also an aircon, which is needed in the daytime, as well as blankets, which are needed at night. The rooms are old, dingy, plain, and ugly, but also comfortable, cleaned daily, and meet our requirements. Bathrooms are typically shared between two rooms, although some of the quarters only have access to a shared bathroom down the hall. They consist of a shower, with hot water (my favourite!) and a toilet.

The rooms are lined up side-by-side and across from another bank of rooms with an open, but covered, walkway between them. Each room has an aircon, a window to the outside (with curtains that, inevitably don't actually reach all the way across the window), a door to the shower area, and a door to the walkway. The walkway door typically has a screened section that you can open in order to get some flow-through ventilation.

My work schedule has me up at 4:15 in order to get to breakfast by 5:00. This allows me to get to the office and get ready for the daily Safety/Communication meeting at 6:00. This meeting is almost always conducted in pidgin, except for my part, and Leo's part, which must be translated. The meeting always starts with a prayer, something typical at meetings among nationals in this country. It's actually quite a cool tradition.

After the meeting, every day is different; always different. Finishing up at the end of the day usually occurs around 7pm for Leo, but I'm a bit of a night owl, so I typically go later (although that means I sometimes have to sleep in and skip breakfast). Last night, for example, I finished up at 11:30pm. The good thing is that the walk from the office to the mess hall or the barracks takes about 5 minutes. The bad thing is that it was pouring down when I headed 'home' last night so the 5 minute walk left me drenched. (Yes, I had an umbrella.)


  1. you and leo sound stressed you need to do the mommy daddy dance asap

  2. Ha! No opportunities for that at Moro. Still, a lot of it is "good stress". We are making headway, having an impact, helping move the company forward in certain areas, and getting to know some wonderful people along the way. Hardship, stress, and a heck of a lot of fun!