Here we go!

Month: November, 2012

I don’t get to go out tonight :(

Feeling disappointed!  I was looking forward to going out tonight to have a burger at Hotel Koniambo.  Going out is a big treat!

Rushed back from work, had a shower and put on some clean clothes.  Went to the bus stop and realised that there was no one there.  I was a minute late. I thought maybe I’ll wait, so waited a bit and then another guy came.  He called someone else who said that the bus had already departed!  I know it’s only a small thing, but, it feels big for me Sad smile.  I should leave work earlier.

Feeling hungry, I’ll go to have dinner soon.

This was my lunch.


This is me


I’m laptop wireless is intermittent so I want to buy another.  I just feel like buying something right now.

Une maison est plus lourde qu’un homme

I got back from French class late on Tuesday night (after 9!).  Here’s a bit of my notes:

French Class 2 - Six Novembre_03

Wednesday lunch:


Since Josh arrived, we went out for dinner in Kone.



Got home late, so didn’t have time to write here!

The dogs on site are so relaxed.



So I ate them for lunch



It was a particularly busy afternoon, doing the isolations, and getting the work permit approved.  Managed to get it quicker than last time, but still a couple of things to remember for next time!

After 2.5 weeks here, I finally got my own computer installed, and desk phone, and email!  Now I don’t have to keep borrowing other people’s desk phones!

Going to the Indian kitchen for dinner tonight!

Chinese Tuesday

Went to the Chinese canteen for lunch today with Ray and Liam (who blends in well).




The food was alright!  At first, there were no oranges, so no juicing. But later, after we finished eating… the oranges came out, and then we started juicing!


Freshly squeezed orange juice! Nice!


Later in the office, saw a German colleague with a car magazine, he passed it to me to read,  but I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to look through at pictures, as it’s all in German and there’s so many other things to do.  A new 4 series!


Other good news: I received an email from the strata company. The lift at my apartment is finally fixed.  I emailed them on the 3rd of August 2011 about the lift being out of service, and today, the 6th of November 2012, it is back in service.  More than a year.  Ridiculous!  The fight against the builder is still on!

Going to dinner and then French class now…  See you later!


Monday Nuggets

I had nuggets and pasta for lunch.


After the fine warm day yesterday, it was raining here today.  We had two power outages in the office.

A funny thing happened.  I was coming back to the office from the warehouse, and was passing someone who I have not met before.  We greeted each other, then he said “Adam Loh! You’re finally here on site”.  I was puzzled for a moment and said “Sorry, I don’t think we’ve met”.  Then he said his name and I realised.  He was the name on the paperwork which I signed when I agreed to come here, but have never met him before!  I had my name on the front of my hardhat – that’s how he knew it was me!

This evening, coming home, the sunset was very nice!




It was raining when I went to dinner, so I didn’t bring my phone, so sorry, no dinner photos tonight.  I had a tuna steak with rice and potatoes.  Just imagine!

Only three weeks to go until I’m home for a week Smile  Counting down…

Chinese BBQ

Sunday! Day off!  Slept in this morning until about 6:30am, then relaxed and had breakfast at 7:20am.

Beautiful weather!


After breakfast, went back to my room and relaxed a bit.  Then at 8:30am went to meet Ray and Andrew at the bus stop.

We waited over an hour for our bus, so we played catch with Ray’s tennis ball.  The bus finally came at 9:45, brought us to Voh beach.



We were originally planning to go to Kone (which I’ve been told, doesn’t have very much).  However, we were kindly invited to join today’s BBQ.  It was one of the most wonderful barbeques I’ve been to!  There was a lot of good food, and they had a few barbeques going! Check it out!




Some went fishing, some went swimming.


The prawns were so good.


Within half an hour, Andrew was speaking Chinese and squatting too.


So much food, this is just one of the many.






They were all so friendly and hospitable.  Every area we went, they offered us food and beer.







We played catch with the tennis ball in the water, then a large stick was found, which we used as a baseball bat.

There were coconut trees all along and they managed to get a few down.



It was a very relaxing place.



We waited for the bus to come, and when it finally did come, it broke down for a while.

Some waited inside


Some waited outside


Eventually, it got going, and we came back.  I’ve got videos which I’ll show once I find a good way to do so.

I think I got sunburnt, but had a really good time and happy to eat, meet and enjoy with so many friendly people!

Went the to bar last night

After dinner (below), went to the bar to watch a performance.  They were pretty good!


Had lentils, chicken, rice and vegetables for dinner.  It tasted good! The food on weekends is an improvement.  Of course, I had icecream after this!


Didn’t recognise most of the songs (in French), but they did play Johnny B. Goode and Blue Suede Shoes.

The interesting thing about this bar is that they don’t sell beer, but they do sell shandy and icecreams.  I don’t like beer, so it’s okay for me Smile

Today, we’re going to the beach in Voh.  Wondering whether to bring my snorkel or not…



My alarm woke me up this morning, and I turned it off, and slept more.  Then suddenly jumped out of bed and realised that I slept 37 minutes past my alarm!  Got ready, had breakfast, and still managed to get to work on time though Smile

It was a warm day, and the weather was fine!

On the way to breakfast:


Walking past the heli-pad.


Went out to the site, went through daily safety task instructions and then was confined space sentry again.  Every-time someone entered or exited the confined space, I took their identification card and recorded their time in and out.  The rest of the time, I stayed outside the access door watching.


After this, I was very hungry, so went for lunch.  Rice, vegetables and sausage.


and then… ICECREAM!

Chocolate and coconut.


The icecream-guardlady was very generous today.  She let us use bowls instead of small cups and she would serve a lot!



I had so much chocolate icecream I almost had enough!  It was so good! I’m going to have more at dinner… very soon!

After lunch, went back to work, managed to get a lockbox from a kind person and then went to the workshop to get some locks.  At first, the equipment locks I collected were from a box marked “do not take”.  When I got back to the office, realised why – they each had an individual key.  So had to go back again and get equipment locks which had the same key.  Went out to field and helped do the isolation.

Had to do more confined space ‘spotting’.  I enjoy it!20121103_143505

I saw someone working in a comfortable position: the squat.


Something interesting happened.  The power running the ventilation fan to the confined space was turned off, and at the power supply, a guy was speaking in Chinese, making hand signs.  We could not understand so someone was called to interpret over the phone.  Turns out that they had finished with the power supply and were going to move it somewhere else.  Good thing was that another power supply was reachable with a few extension cables.

Went back to the office and filled some isolation sheets and marking drawings.  Everyone left at 5, but I stayed on to finish it.  Before leaving, I dropped by to see Ray, but he’s super busy  – his Friday and Saturdays are very intense!




See the smoke?  I think that’s coming from the bush-bar.  Since there’s no alcohol allowed on site, there’s a bar right outside site on Saturday evening and Sunday.

Friday RIBS and Orange Juice!

I had my confined space training this morning, then in the afternoon, put my learning into practice as a sentry (watchman) while people were inside the fan casing for alignment.  This is a big fan, so big that they needed to scaffold inside and two guys to rotate it!  I was told that the fan motor is 3 megawatt.  So it can really suck.

The way I understand it (please correct if wrong!), is that the fan alignment basically involves installing alignment tools (a laser) on the shaft, setting it to a position, and then rotating the fan by hand to another position to check the position then repeating and adjusting.

As the watchman, I was to never enter the confined space, but stay outside it, keeping in communication with the people inside, recording when they go in and out, and also prepared to call the emergency rescue team if required, amongst other responsibilities.  I found it comfortable sitting on my clipboard while watching them inside, but time went really slowly.  I was probably out there for about 2 hours, but it felt really long, because I was just sitting there, but remembering that I had responsibility for those inside.

Here’s the gas monitor telling me that the atmosphere outside is safe.


I was brought to the Chinese restaurant for lunch today, as they were serving ribs.  We tried our best to beat the rush (busloads of Chinese).

On the bus, I saw Ray holding something… yes, a JUICER!  You will see why later…





After eating the ribs, the juicing began!



The cup of orange juice at the end was very rewarding. I didn’t have a juicer, so I need most of my juicing by hand, with a fork.


Many stares by the tables around, and Chinese aren’t shy of staring.  I think they wanted to drink some too.

The weather today was warm, but really  beautiful.  Even with the industrial site in the foreground, the natural background is very pleasant.


Finished late tonight, so had a late dinner.  Two pieces of duck, two halves of a tomato, two halves of an eggplant, two pieces of bread, and rice.


It’s been quiet around site today, since it was a public holiday yesterday, many took today off as a long weekend.

It’s Saturday tomorrow… ICECREAM!

The key to your life is safe in my box


The equipment is locked-out and tagged-out.  It is de-energised for your safety while you work on it.  The keys to unlock the isolation are locked safely in this box.  The box is locked by you (the person working on the equipment), as well as the person who made the isolation, and me, the requester and witness of the isolation.  You are safe. Unless someone cuts all the locks and energises the equipment!

Today, is a public holiday (All Saints Day), but we all still worked.  I’m trying to time things right – I know what time I need to get to the office, and how long I need to have breakfast and get ready in the morning, so I know what time I need to wake up by.  One thing that is variable, is the bus!  This morning, after breakfast, went to the bus stop with enough time to spare to get to the office on time… but I didn’t get on the directe ligne.  So it brought me on a scenic tour before dropping me off, and I was no longer ‘on-time’.

This morning, I continued P&ID conformity checks.  It took me a while to find the equipment, but thankfully, there were friendly and helpful people around, showing me the areas.  It’s like a maze of platforms and stairs.  I got lost trying to find my way down to the ground.  I had to ask someone how to get to the ground.  Sometimes, I’m following a pipe, and see that it goes to the level below.  I take the stairs down, and no, it goes to the wrong level.  Or I see an area I want to get to.  It’s not very straightforward, but I think that once I’ve got some experience, I can get to where I need to get to.

For lunch, I had fish, broccoli, potatoes, rice, and bread.  The broccoli was very soft, and the fish was very dry.  I didn’t finish all the rice and fish.  The bread is good, as usual!  I like having fish, but apparently, the chicken today was good.  So good that I saw someone have a second helping (having a second helping is rare here, mainly because they give you too much to begin with, and then you don’t want anymore anyway).


After lunch, there was a job starting.  The scaffolding wasn’t finished yet, and the alignment team were waiting.  I was wearing the dark wear-over safety glasses, they are tinted like sunglasses, so makes it comfortable to see outside.  I forgot that I had these on, until someone pointed out that I shouldn’t be wearing these inside this area.  So I changed to the clear safety glasses and he said “Now I can see your eyes, they are small!”.

This is a photo of the entrance to a confined space.  The yellow ducting provides ventilation.  I’ll learn more about confined spaces tomorrow when I have my training: espace confiné.



This is the bus ride back to camp.  It’s a very bumpy ride.  The water truck travels along here, spraying the road to minimise dust – since asbestos is in the ground here.  I never imagined that these buses were designed to handle such terrain!20121101_174508

When I got back, I saw the sun setting, so took a few photos to share.


I think a barber lives opposite from me.  It’s the second time I’ve seen him giving someone a haircut outside his room.  At least I know where I can go if I need a haircut!

Everyone here shakes hands when they see each other for the first time in the day.  Sometimes I forget to shake people’s hands.  I hope I’m not being cultural insensitive and offensive.  I forget, and when I remember, I think it might be too late.  As they say “better never, than late”.


Hamburger, veggies and rice for dinner.  I couldn’t finish the rice!  Ate too much again.  I forgot that everyone else was going to the Chinese diner.