Another 6 Weeks – this one went quick!

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Feb 20, 2014

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Flag of Ghana  , Eastern Region,
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

And so another rotation comes to an end. Typing this on the shuttle bus to Accra on my phone and reflecting on a swing that has left me feeling the freshest I've felt at the end of six weeks for a long time. Sure, my patience is low and my tolerance for things not going to plan is thin. But I'm positive and mentally right. It's hard to explain unless u work here, but week six for most is a breaking point. Maybe I'm good cause the project is coming to a conclusion or not much time with my office mate or I've given up haha.

Still no gold poured at site. I joked that Boddington was the never ending construction story. Well this one is the longest cliff hanger ever. We've been milling ore for over a month with ups and downs but still no gold. No doubt it will come as I fly out. Oh well, I've seen what I wanted to see and that is first cyanide tailings. As an enviro that is far more interesting to me than a glistening gold bar. With that first tails, focus shifted in my work scope and I was enthused to work on different challenges and learn new operational practices.

The threat of redundancy hangs over most working in the gold industry and my company is no different as it tries to accommodate shareholder concerns about cost blowouts in a lower gold price market by downsizing across the business. Some close colleagues have left as a consequence. But I evolved my thinking of this threat to an opportunity and would welcome a payout if it came and the prospect to start 2014 differently. I still have no confirmation that my contract/assignment will be extended beyond end of December. Either way for me next year will be different so it has limited impact what company name is on my shirt. This realisation has helped with my more positive outlook this rotation. I also moved office a couple weeks ago and a simple change like that in this constant routine of wake up>work>eat>sleep, is a welcome variation.

I enjoyed watching AFL finals action. There are two new Aussies working in processing team who subscribed to a streaming service and we muscled out the Americans and their NFL crap to watch the finals in the wet mess Fri and Sat night. Although I had to watch with a Carlton and Hawks supporter, it was still enjoyable. I set my alarm for four am to watch the grand final but after only two hrs sleep following some farewells, I couldn't keep my eyes open and woke up to the Hawks receiving their premiership medals. Shame as I hoped to see Freo in that shot. Other than that, it was a relatively unsocial swing with no Sunday day trips or activities. Just lots of farewells as the construction contractor ramped down. And revelling in the change of Australian government and showing off my photos and stories from my last break. People are very interested in African breaks cause of our shared location. Other breaks not so much.

My refund for the balloon trip and one night damaged camp came thru. I've submitted insurance claim for the remainder and now the eternal wait. As much as I thought it wouldn't or wanted, planning this Germany and Sicily break consumed a lot of my downtime. 3 international breaks in a row is a lot of planning and choice (I don't like choice); I'm very much looking forward to next one which will be home and obviously much less planning. Oktoberfest was easy to arrange as I've booked a short tour so I have instant friends. Berlin became a struggle, and Sicily is confusing and largely unplanned. I'll be quite happy to just stay in one hotel the whole time but I really want to see this offshore volcano called Stromboli and making those arrangements is tough so will ask around when I get there. Jen, an Aussie metallurgist working here just for commissioning, is going to Oktoberfest as well so we will meet and drive together to Berlin and I found a very nice central vacation rental (vacant apartment that is rented out) so I get a break from the hotel lifestyle. Other than the cold weather, I'm looking forward to this break as it ticks a few places that have been on my list for a while. As always, I just want to get there.
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Jesse on


Are you going to compile your 101 travel blogs into a book one day. You do have a knack for writing, and I think people would find it interesting. Take care...Jesse

travellingross on

Oh thanks Jesse. Maybe one day in my memoirs. I actually have 2 books made up of my blogs. Nice touch that the website offers.

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