(Thank goodness my computer remembers my wordpress password for me, because I certainly didn’t…)
When I left for for the South Pacific I got all sorts of questions about what exactly the HELL I was doing moving to a third world country–and I carefully skirted most of them, or kept my answers vague at best. I had my reasons…and here they are.
Mr. Engineer was offered a position here in Papua New Guinea on what’s currently (and probably always will be) the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the world. Massively awesome career opportunity. Huge financial incentive. Shitty living conditions, but for two people who didn’t own a house and could walk away form the US (logistically) pretty easily, it seemed like a no-brainer. We packed up in March with absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into, save for the fact that it would certainly be an adventure. I walked away knowing I wouldn’t have a job here, but that it wasn’t impossible to get one. I was aware, though, that I could be making a major career-limiting decision for myself–but it seemed fair. It was a huge opportunity for him, which translates to a huge opportunity for us. Me not working wasn’t a money issue–it was a self-fulfillment one. He and I both agreed I wasn’t ready to be a house wife (term, people. not married) and we’d pursue getting me a job on the project as best we were able.
Somewhere around 5 minutes after our flight into Port Moresby landed, we started the campaign to let anyone with ears know that I was eager to get to work in any capacity possible. My background is in marketing/avertising/PR, and shortly after we arrived I snagged an interview with the public affairs department. I put together a solid writing sample, had a great interview…and then it went nowhere. To say I was frustrated, certain my career was over, and seriously wondering if coming here was smart…well those are all understatements.
Mr. Engineer was tireless in slipping my name/resume/interest into any conversation he could though, and one fine day we caught wind that a position was becoming available that I might be able to do. I had no prior experience, no qualifications other than being smart enough to learn it…but our friends who told us about it thought I had a good shot.
One resume submission, an interview, and running into the director of the department (way beyond tipsy…both of us) one Friday night at the Yacht Club and shamelessly professing my dedication to learn ANYTHING later, I had a job.
I spent 5 weeks working in Brisbane (directly following our vacation to New Zealand, which deserves copious gushing on account of how AMAZING it was) and then jetted off to Houston for training. Seven weeks later I was back in Port Moresby, working my tail off and spending most of my day buried in spreadsheets, charts and graphs. I certainly felt out of my depth at the outset, but I’m getting my head around it. (If you’re curious, I do something very un-sexy that centers around reporting all the safety statistics for the project. I honestly wondered if I wouldn’t be bored with it, but it’s surprisingly quite fascinating.)
So I hope you’ll level with me and understand I never wanted to write an “I’m miserable and bored and it’s because it’s MY OWN DAMN FAULT” post when I was in the transitory period of finding a job here. It was really, really hard for me. I can’t appropriately convey how many tears were cried because having nothing to do in a place where you have none of your standard comforts, friends, or family is just hard. And I’d never experienced anything like it.
So now I (happily!) work somewhere around 11-12 hours a day, most Saturdays…and it’s the best possible thing in the world right now. (It also means I never comment on your blog, for which I am sorry. I catch up about once a week. So many new things! Page is married! Heather is in DC again?! SR is back from Alaska! Jeri is a grad student now! Aron has a new job! Krista runs an INSANE number of miles!)
See how I just name-dropped there?
So that’s that. Now you know all the business. I pinky swear I won’t have forgotten my password again before I blog next.
(And wordpress/my internet connection is being a wang today so I can’t upload pictures. I know words are boring. My apologies.)