Farewells, Welcomes and More this Rotation

Wednesday 11 February to Friday 13 March 2015

travellingross rating = 8.5/10

Following 6 relaxing nights in Tobago, I got back to Suriname for the longest rotation yet…

  1. Night 1 on site was farewell party for Matt. Great night as always and people came down from construction camp to celebrate with him at the purple heart exploration camp bar.
  2. Valentine’s day. I told myself I would not go to the bar. But my arm is rubbery and easily twisted. It was Saturday night after all. And I dropped my phone as I got it out of my pocket to show a photo.  Dropped on the top right corner smashing the screen. Devo central. I use my phone for everything in life. Luckily one of the mining engineers had an adapter where I could plug a mouse into the phone and use a curser to navigate around the broken screen. I did this for weeks until my new phone arrived from the USA care of my life saver Ryan.
  3. Melissa started. A colleague and friend since we worked together at Boddington and fresh out of New Zealand. I recruited her to join me in the jungle. After 2 days of exhausting travel to the other side of Earth, I’ve rarely seen someone so pleased to see me as she rolled late into camp at 820pm 16 Feb. Great showing her around and having a fellow Aussie to chat to and someone who instantly knows my work style, method and temperament.
  4. Another expat employee in my group started. His first time out of the USA. Dedicated to erosion and sediment control. Getting new starters mobilised and settled requires a lot of organisation and a fresh thought process for me to share my expat learnings with first timers. Both are coming back for second rotation so I must be doing something right!
  5. Madison’s birthday. Great times. But the construction camp bar is terrible compared to the exploration camp bar. Explo camp might have water/electricity/internet outages all the time, but damn we have the best bar.
  6. Biggest concrete pour to date (400m3)
  7. 1st ore movement in pit
  8. Executives visit. There are not many people I would stay in for. But the top boss for environment and social is one such person. So I extended a week to be at site for the 2 day 10 person delegation from Denver. A couple of tough questions and I gave a couple presentations. But went well and I got positive feedback, mostly related to how relieved Denver is that I am here. They trust me and have confidence in my abilities.

Needless to say I was brain drained at the end of this 32 day rotation. Productive, enjoyable and much better than the last one. The sun is setting later so I have time for walks after work which is nice to break up the days. Longer rotation means shorter break. But I will take days in lieu next break. For now I have 12 days in central America.