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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: Matt601 on June 03, 2018, 01:06:08 AM

Title: Home away from home.
Post by: Matt601 on June 03, 2018, 01:06:08 AM
Home away from home. Weíre offshore Dubai about 2 miles from Iran waters.

Title: Re: Home away from home.
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 03, 2018, 06:53:06 AM

   Don't know how often you get into town. There is/was a great Indian cafe, Bombay Dining, I used to frequent when passing through there on way to and from Afghaniland. I got medivacced and spent several weeks there recovering from gall bladder removal and kidney surgery and used to love to go visit the docks. I had a great time watching the various cargoes come off those old wooden ships. One guy saw me watching and invited me on board and introduced me to the captain and crew (About 6 I think). Great people but a little nervous when I found they were all Iranian. They invited me to come visit but I told them probably not going to happen. :( :( They understood. Its a shame politics get in the way sometimes.

   Stay safe. 
Title: Re: Home away from home.
Post by: Matt601 on June 03, 2018, 07:24:36 AM
I have worked all over the world the working man just wants to feed his family and make a liven. I think itís 25 countyís I worked in. We are all the same all over the world. It is really sad I worked in Iran for a year flying out of Dubai to a little island there then to the rig. I worked in Vietnam for 2 years love working there you would think they not like Americans but they do.

I donít get to spend much time onshore when I get my feet on land Iím ready to get back to Mississippi.
Title: Re: Home away from home.
Post by: samandothers on June 03, 2018, 07:31:44 AM
Thereís no place like home!
Title: Re: Home away from home.
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 04, 2018, 12:12:24 PM

  I know the feeling. I just made a list and see I worked in at least 13 different countries. Most unusual was Cameroon, Guinea (Conarky), Mongolia, Haiti, Iraq & Afghanistan. We visited at least 19 other countries. Most unique was probably Central African Republic, Lesotho & Swaziland (Little countries totally surrounded by the country of S. Africa) and spent time in airports in at least 10 other countries going and coming. That includes 5 continents - just missed Australia and Antarctica so far.

   I probably overlooked a couple of countries we were in. My wife vacationed in several I missed and she missed several I worked in where she could not attend due to on-going wars and unrest. We got caught in a Coups attempt in Cameroon in 2008 while vacationing there. All countries had some beautiful and some ugly features.

   I went to Brazil for a 2 week private vacation on the Amazon while recovering from surgery in Dubai (Medivacced from Afghanistan) but the officials there held me in the airport and sent me out of the country on the return flight as I did not have the visa (Planned to get it on arrival but found it was required ahead of time - misinformation I had gotten). Airline was supposed to have caught that and held me in Holland or Dubai but missed it. Brazilian officials were courteous but firm.

   I loved the more remote areas and interfacing with the local peoples and tribes just making a living from what they had to work with in their area. 

   Working overseas allowed me to visit many other countries and the tax incentives encouraged me to see other places (Physical presence test for income taxes - 330 rule). My photographer wife loved it and still wants to travel to the rest of the places we haven't been. Take advantage of the travel while you can.
Title: Re: Home away from home.
Post by: Matt601 on June 04, 2018, 10:27:24 PM
I hear you the tax thing is the best!!!

I worked in central Africa republic Chad Cameroon the old Sudan Saudi Singapore just to name a few.i loved working on the land rigs in Africa can see a lot of sites!
Title: Re: Home away from home.
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 04, 2018, 11:10:16 PM

   I was the last guy from our company leaving the COTCO project in Cameroon. I stayed on to train a local crew. We still had few folks on the TOTCO side still up in Chad. My local boss was a Chad representative. Chad sent him down to keep an eye on their interests and Cameroon supposedly had a rep up in Chad doing the same thing.

   My wife would come during the summers as it was relatively stable. We would go to a different local village every Sunday including hiring a boat to go visit the fishing villages in the mangroves along mouth of the Wouri River. While there and again in 2008 we vacationed all over the entire country. I loved it and still keep in contact with some of my old workers there that we handed the project over to. My number two is now the chief of his village. Cameroon was a great cross section of Africa containing everything from tropical jungle on the equator to the the savannah to the semi-desert up on the Chad border. On my days off I'd visit areas none of my (or other) Caucasian co-workers went to. The crab sorcerer (witch doctor) in Rhumsiki told my wife's fortune and said we'd have 4 grandchildren, which we now do although we had given up then got the miracle 18 month old grandson. 

   All over Africa there are still active superstitions that are often neat to see and experience. Some are not. Even my college educated guide in 2008 believed local bandits could take traditional medicine to become invisible so the Gendarmes could not catch them. Stay safe and take every opportunity to interface with and learn about the unique cultures.
Title: Re: Home away from home.
Post by: Matt601 on June 05, 2018, 01:38:56 AM
I was on rig 341,342 and 291 back in 2007 to 2008 one of my hands was chief of his village. Hall my guys was from his village so he keep them straight lol. We drilled a lot of wells over ther itís sad they didnít turn out good the water separate was just too thin and they would water out fast. I think itís all shut down now. I worked in Congo and loved it Angola was crazy but they was still at war withthere self when I was there back in 2005.

One thing I always tell anyone if you want to complain about the USA go to Africa your see just how blessed we are.
Title: Re: Home away from home.
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 05, 2018, 09:56:47 AM
   Yeah, my kids came to Saudi the summer they turned 15 & 17. Had to be real protective of our daughter as at 15 she was prime marriage age. Dad asked my son how many camels he was offered for his sister and he said he was only offered one skinny goat. It was an eye opener to both of them the conditions the people and animals lived in. 

   Our daughter later, as an adult, vacationed with us in S. Africa and Ethiopia. She works in a children's hospital and loves kids and it hurt her to see the Hammar tribe wedding where the women relatives and girls get beat/caned bloody and kids with their rheumy eyes and such. They'd want to come touch her skin and hair and she would never refuse but you could see her cringe a bit as her alcohol wipes were back in her lost luggage. In one village in the Omo valley area we picked up a local guide who took in and raised throw away kids families had abandoned. On a tour of the local market one of the kids came up to talk to her and pointed to the man who had big dreadlocks and said "See the man with the hair? He was my friend now he is my brother." As we left my daughter told me "You have to give him a really big tip." - which I did.

   I loved the kids with their big smiles and excited attitudes. Seems they all wanted a pen even though most did not go to school. We took little gifts like pencils, yo-yos, mirrors for the women, whistles, balloons (Poor choice), etc. You have never seen such a happy kid till you give a 6 y/o African kid a plastic frog out of a Happy Meal.

   We did private tours with our own guide and went to the most remote places and interfaced with the people on their home turf and had a blast. The biggest hit was when my photographer wife learned to bring a portable picture printer and printed and gave the people a picture. For many it was the first picture they ever had and family pictures that were treasured forever. We had many mob scenes after that where others wanted one too and our local guides told us it was going to be hard on the next tourist taking a picture as they were going to want one too. We got invited into their homes instead of just driving past their villages.