Sunday, 9 December 2007

Mumbai - Hyderabad - Rajemumdry - Kakinada - Destination Unknown

It’s been a rather interesting interlude since the last post. Remember me ranting about Indonesia, rig exposure, Nigerian passport, and offshore clearance for India? Well, the good news is that the Indian offshore clearance came through a few days ago which means I can get my rig exposure on any Indian offshore rig. For me, this is the best options as opposed to Indonesia where my passport IS a problem and China where the temperature is currently -14 deg Celsius. I am African, born on the equator, I hate to think what -14 will do to my system.
So, two days ago, my manager asked me to accompany some senior guys to our base in a place called Kakinada. I have heard so much about this place from other colleagues. Its like, no one wants to come here for one, getting here involves taking a flight to Hyderabad and then a light propeller craft to Rajemumdry. Secondly, the job here is grueling, you stay up till 3 am testing tools and you cannot return to Mumbai until the tool passes or you drop dead….whichever one happens first. So, I got up yesterday (Saturday) 3am for the 6am flight to Hyderabad from Mumbai. We finally made it to Rejemundry around 10.30am. Then there was the 1hr + drive to Kakinada itself.
(light aircraft, and the skies of Hyderabad)

(the approach to Rajemundry.. i managed to catch a shadow of our aircraft!)
Kakinada for me is like something you see in one of those olden day Indian movies. Animals pulling carts loaded with grass, pulling people, and what not. The good thing about Kakinada which I noticed from the get go is that the roads are 100 times better than Mumbai and you practically don’t see any slums or people living in shacks by the roadside. The air was also definitely much cleaner. Arriving at the base was quite exciting. It’s like a massive area occupying about 6 times the size of the base in Mumbai. Rumor has it that we may be moving to Kakinada. I hope my training is done in India when this happens. I really don’t fancy moving here despite all the things I mentioned earlier. For me, it will be like going back in time to the Stone Age.
We went straight to work. We were at the base till 1.30am on Sunday. The tool did pass but for some reason I don’t know, the guys say we will have to repeat the test sequence agtain. Na dem know.. Efikos

(Rajemundry Airport and some very interesting things i saw during the drive)
We then proceeded to the “hotel cozy” which would be our lodgings for the next few days. Do not be fooled by the name. I probably would not have been able to close my eyes if I hadn’t been so dog tired. When we got to the hotel, all the lights were already out. They weren’t expecting anymore guests at 1.30am. In the reception areas, I could see human forms in the dark sleeping on the hotel sofas! This was so funny. Like only in India where there is so much homelessness. As we approached reception, we saw a figure jump up from behind the reception desk. The receptionist had been sleeping on the floor! Man.. I burst out laughing. They only had three rooms available for four of us. Two of our guys had to share a room. Being the only female.. I got my own room.. the perks of being a girl in this male dominated business!
(the not so cosy 'hotel cosy)
Also, another good thing which happed to me yesterday was that my manager has arranged for me to go to the rig on Tuesday! Yay! The only non-cool thing is that the helicopter leaves from Rajemumdry airport which I just an hour drive from Kakinada and so he has asked me to stay in Kakinada until Tuesday. I will not be going back to Mumbai. This does not sit particularly well with me since I only brought underwear and clothing for only two days. I will have to go and find somewhere to acquire more stuff. Maybe later today. Its quite remarkable how quickly things change. Last post, I was so down, this post, am happy.. kind of. I will be living rough over the next couple of weeks.

This morning, I was up for 10.30am. Currently at the base and we have started testing again. If I thought this job was all about sitting in the office doing nothing.. this trip is starting to change my perception.

Hope you loved the pics.


Lee said...

I'm so proud of you.. You documented and photoblogged your experiences and cities you visited.
I also admire your spirit! You become more successful and proud of yourself when you take risks and achieve your objectives! Go ahead gurl!

Tolantino said...

@ Lee

They do say that pictures are worth a thousand words.. May the Lord continue to give me the strength to push on.. and watch out for more pics! :-)