Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 15 - May 18

Home late makes Mary Kate a sleepy girl.  Also, that job was tiring.  Sunday is just another workday at Schlumberger, so I spent the morning finalizing my job.  Making new prints for the client, and getting things finished from the job.  I left around lunch, and had great plans to finally go see all the wonders of Roma!  ….  But, the other guys from work called up and invited the ladies over for some barbecue and beverages.  It’s was a pretty good time, but I am making it a goal to finally get out and see the city this next weekend!  The first couple days of this week have been pretty uneventful.  We, Nic, Tamara, and I have been calibrating tools at work, and hanging out with Tiffany in the evening.  Nic has been a mooch with stealing our Internet and food, but don’t worry, we’re going to make him make it up to us!  I’ve been running starting this week – got to stay nice and strong to do a good job at work!  I finally spotted a big spider, and darn those things are scary.  It was a good 3 inches across, and I almost walked into the darn thing.  I’m going to be sticking to sidewalks and roads from now on.  No walking in the countryside without daylight!  Life is going okay here.  I’m still missing things about the States a great deal, but I’m getting used to things over here.  Vegemite is never going to be my favorite though! 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 13 - May 14

Well, we left for the job at the crack of dawn – literally, which is about 6 AM, and arrived in Miles for breakfast, where we found out that they are still pulling pipe out of the well.  According to the schedule, this means that we won’t even be ready for logging till at least 2 AM tomorrow.  So this means, I’m sitting in camp, and I’m about to to take a nap! 
Well, we're delayed again.  Looks like it will be around 9 AM on the 14th.  I wish I would have know that before having the worst sleep ever.  :(
Finally, I did a job!!!!  It went terribly smoothly, more so than typical.  Myself and Tim were the co-engineers, and we had 2 operators, Coshy (a nickname) and Josh.  I was fairly nervous, but I'm glad that I did some studying ahead of time.  There's just a lot I have yet to learn with how the data s send to the client.  I can get better at that though.  I saw 2 wallabys and 2 kangaroos!!!  According to Coshy though, nobody really eats them.  What a bummer.  I'm pretty tired, so I'm calling this a night.  :)  Good, good, good feeling today.  I might actually like and be good at this job.  Both at the same time is something I've really been wondering about.

May 9 - May 12

First week of work!  I live about a 20 minute walk, or 5 minute drive/bike ride from work.  (I don’t have the bike yet, but I’m working on it.)  We girls get picked up every morning at 7:50 AM to make it to our morning meeting at 8 AM.  I LOVE working so much closer to work.  None of this 30 minute commute like in Perth.  Right now, space is a little tight, so Tiffany and I share a desk, and with Nic coming in a few days, it’s going to be interesting.  The operators, my boss Sebastian, his boss Rob, and the others all seem like a nice group.  No complaints thus far.  I started working right away on a TLD calibration (yeah radioactive sources!), and unfortunately the darn thing failed.  Sigh.  Not a great start to my career here, but at least it wasn’t my fault.  I started working on a job for Thursday with Tim (which then got pushed back to Friday, this happens all the time), which involved a Sonic Scanner tool – something brand new to me!  I’m basically going to run the job when it happens, and Tim is going to make sure I don’t screw things up.  We got that tool string finally up and running on Wednesday – after some difficulties on my part and on the part of the tool.  (Stupid, stupid different versions of software!) 
The senior engineers are Tim, Danielle, Rahim (nickname Reme), Nic M, and Marcos.  Nic M has whooping cough of all things, and thank goodness he’s off on sick leave.  Tim is leaving and taking another job in June.  All the others seem very chill and nice.  My boss Sebastian is Argentinean and a right nice fellow.  He really wants things to be done by the book, and I’ll try to accommodate that.  New engineers are Tiffany, Callan, Nic, and myself.  There should be a few more coming as they return from school.  Nic lives just a little ways off, and it’s really nice to have a familiar place around here.  Tiffany and Tamara are pretty easy to live with, thus far the only problem has been a dead mouse on the patio.  (Apparently when Queensland flooded, there was a giant mouse migration into houses – no surprise really.  So far, that’s the only one we’ve seen.)  We have a big back yard – not that I think we’ll have time to utilize it.  It’s pretty Spartan at this point, but I’m hoping to liven it up a bit.  I’ve been working 11-12 hours a day, so I haven’t had a lot of time to explore what little there is of Roma.  Tiffany and I went and got some groceries, and I’m about a 20 minute walk from the heart of town.  Not really too bad, the moon and stars light up my path as I walk.  The stars are awesome!  I really wish I had my star chart from home; I’m thinking I need to just go buy one here.  I have felt like crap since I got to Roma – hopefully this is just the travel and time adjustment.  I’ve been sleeping 9-10 hours a night to try to work it off.  I finally got Skype in our house!!!  Granted, this +14 hours from Eastern time is a bit tricky, but I’ll try and hook up with people. 
Overall opinion of Australia thus far is positive.  The people seem relatively nice, Roma is an okay city, and my workplace is stressful and challenging, but people tend to take it easy – as in they’re chill.  Hopefully it stays that way.  My goal this week was to get sleep, eat healthy, and figure out my life at work.  Next week is to go to a non-Schlumberger sponsored event and meet an Australian not associated with Schlumberger!  I might go to a Katie Perry concert in Brisbane, depending on how the girl’s schedule works out – girl’s night out all the way!!  I’m set to go on a job starting Friday morning, so I’ll report back after that.  Its north of Miles, Australia in the bush, and is my very first Wireline job.  Hopefully it goes well.

May 6 - May 8

Travel days!  Well, I flew from the following route: Cincinnati, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Brisbane, Roma.  It took about 31 hours, and I completely missed Saturday.  L  Nice flights all together, but I’d pass on Los Angeles International Airport any day.  What a mess.  I spent about 6 hours in the Brisbane Airport, and just so future travelers know, the international and domestic terminals are separated by a 10 minute bus ride.  There were some very unhappy people in line with me that missed their flights.  The flight to Roma is in a tiny plane with propellers, two seats either side of the aisle.  Queensland is beautiful from the air.  Lots of rolling hills and some nice lakes around Brisbane from the looks of it.  I can’t wait to get back and actually have some time to look around.  Tiffany (I may have talked about before.  I met her in my first 2 classes in Abu Dhabi, and she was in a cased hole school the same time I was in my open hole school in Abu Dhabi.  She was born in Hong Kong, and raised for most of her life in Maryland.  Very, very nice girl.), picked me up at the airport with Tom, the electrical and instrumentation guy in Roma.  And what did I do right away??  I went to work.  Oh well, at least I’m getting used to it right away.  Spent a couple hours there, and then headed out to dinner with some co-workers.  There is ONE main street in Roma.  Okay, maybe there are two, but let me tell you, it’s a small place.  Two supermarkets (I’d really only call one a real supermarket), at last count 3 bottle shops (liquor and beer, hooray!), a McDonalds, a KFC, a mini-Target, at least 2 churches, a hospital, an airport, and a lots of cows/emus/kangaroos.  Thus far, I have only seen the cows, but hopefully I’ll meet up with a kangaroo soon.  Small town living this is.  The house I’m living in is pretty nice – brand new.  I live with Tiffany and Tamara, a ‘pre-school’ Russian girl.  She leaves for school in June sometimes, and she gets to go to Tyumen, Russia.  Jealous!  I have a room to myself, and share a bathroom again.  I crashed pretty hard after such a long journey.  Home sweet bed.  J

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

End of School-May 6

Well, it's been awhile since you've heard from me, and sorry for that.  The end of school was a doozy.  In brief, I passed school on April 20th!  Got the diploma and everything.  :)  I wouldn't say that everything I did was worth all the pain and lack of sleep, but I got it done.  After spending a lovely evening with my class (I'm going to miss them so badly :( ) I hoped on a plane with Nic and Jess to Cairo, Egypt!  Woohoo, I'm going to see the pyramids!!  We arrived without trouble, figured out how to get visas ($15 US in the airport, super easy), and met Omar's friends Mohamed and B-something.  We headed to our hotel in Zamelek (a neighborhood), and cruised over to the Pyramids of Giza!!!!!  Awesome, awesome, awesome.  We had a tour guide for the very first part, where he explained the pyramids a bit.  We went into the burial plot for the architect of the pyramids, hieroglyphics everywhere!  Then Nic and I got on horses, and Jess got on a camel, and we made our way all around the 3 big pyramids, the 6 little pyramids, and the Sphinx.  It really is like a desert our there, and we had a great time.  Afterwards we went and had a really nice traditional Egyptian dinner with Mohamed at a place nearby our hotel.  We went back to our hotel later, where our friend from school Omar was waiting for us.  After dressing up, we headed out to a club where we did some dancing!  It was Easter weekend, which the Egyptians get a 3 day weekend for, so everything was packed!  Since the Egyptians we were with don't drink, we went and smoked hooka and had coffees at a really swanky coffee shop.  We finally got back to bed around 5 AM, and then we were up again at 10 AM to check out of the hotel.  I love the Nile River in the morning; so peaceful!  We were going to try to go to the Egyptian National Museum, but come to find out that it's still closed from all the rioting that happened during the revolution.  Instead we went to Tahir Square, and since it was Friday, we got to see some very peaceful protests.  We headed out to the Citdatel, which is where the city of Cairo was centered for a long time.  Lots of mosques, and a big tall fortress on a hill, with a great view of modern day Cairo in the background!  Finally we headed out to a VERY nice restaurant right on the Nile where we had dinner.  A great way to end our time in Egypt.  We headed out to the airport, and flew home.  Just in time for Easter!  I spent 2 weeks in the USA visiting family and friends.  :)  I sure didn't get to everybody, so I guess I'll just have to make a trip home soon!  On May 6th I finally started my trip back to Australia.  Only 31 hours to go!