Sunday, April 18, 2010

two weeks into pointe-noire

Oh man, I just need to get back to blogging and what's going on and what I've been up to. I'e now been in Pointe-Noire for a bit more than two weeks and it's been as expected as anything could be expected so far. What that really means is that since I first started working back when I was in New Mexico, my expectations of a place and people have been pretty fluid. With each new location, I've known more about what things are supposed to be like and what people, equipment, systems we should have in place, but that's well balanced by the realities of a limited supply world. Sorry all, this is no Sim City world where you can just raze entire blocks at a time and rebuild in whatever image you see fit.

I've been moderately busy since I arrived. It has been a blend of the usual new location processes as I am getting up to speed with the overall situation at work, getting slowly familiar with the city, and getting physically adjusted to the new environment. All three have been significantly different than in any of my previous moves.

Work is weird. That was my protracted initial reaction, but that's not an accurate statement or sentiment. It is simply different in almost all areas. Schedule, job roles, field operations, equipment, business processes, etc. However, in the end, the only meaningful long-term business quesiton is if there is enough activity to sustain what we are doing here? I would say yes, though my understanding of the larger picture is still developing. If anything, there is a great deal of potential here ut so many obstacles in the way for developing both the industry and the country.

Pointe-Noire is the largest single city I have ever lived in though Silicon Valley connectedness is larger in a sprawling sort of way. To assuage certain concerns, I'll say right now that the security situation is good. Movement is unrestricted though it comes with the caveat that there are some neighborhoods to avoid at night and that travelling alone is not recommended. Nonetheless, I walk by myself at night (mostly to get dinner since I'm in a hotel for now), and don't get harassed much except near this one club where some ladies of the night ply their wares. For the most part, my typical walking posture probably helps a great deal which is to walk fast and not smile. There are a lot of expats here, almost all in the oil and gas industry so people generally know what your business is and what that means.

My physical adjustment has taken longer this time around than ever before and is still ongoing. Maybe it's the hotel living and/or the anti-malarial medicine I have been taking, but it's been a long adjustment. My clock is finally synched up with both the local time and the slightly earlier work hours. (I'm not historically a morning person, so this is a bit of a change for me). I've also made an adjustment with my room at night so combined with getting used to the time change, I've been sleeping much better and waking up feeling moderately refreshed. The last thing is to figure out why it feels like I perpetually have something in my eyes. I've been waking up feeling like there's been something in my eyes most mornings. Maybe eye drops are all I need, but this has also been getting slowly better so like with so much perhaps time will tell.

More to come, hopefully not three weeks from now.

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