I have been in Tengiz Kazakhstan for about 2-1/2 weeks, have 17 days to go (traveling home on August 4th). I took an internal transfer with Chevron because 1) was bored with my previous job in the Refinery, 2) could not get promoted staying in the Richmond Refinery, and 3) Karen and I decided that since I work ~ 60 hours week I might as well work a few more hours, and then get a break from work. This position is what is called a 28 / 28 rotation where you work for 28 days straight and then are off for the same amount. You have to travel on your off time – essentially will be off 25 days straight with no work responsibility.
Attached are copies of emails I sent my family over the last two weeks. I have added a few photos to the last document – these are NOT vacation pictures. I am still adjusting to both Kazakhstan and a rotation type job (work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day except Sunday where we work 6). The prize is getting to spend the time at home for 3+ weeks at a time (six times per year) without any work responsibilities. This first rotation (or hitch) required me to spend 5 weeks in Kazakhstan – in the future each rotation is 4 weeks. I will be home in Orinda for most of August, heading back here on August 30th (takes two days to get here).
I am unable to Skype but have spoken with Karen and the kids every day by phone, usually twice a day. Tengiz time is 12 hours different from West Coast daylight savings time. So when I am eating dinner I check in with them while they are getting out of bed; and before I go to work I try to catch them while they are sitting down to dinner.
If you want to see where I am physically located try google maps – enter TCOV (Tengizchevroil Village Kazakhstan). TCOV is where people working here used to live and work – we now live in Shanyrak Village (SV) which is just north of TCOV. If you look north of TCOV you will see SV, round silver buildings with red spokes. The red spokes are the living quarters – the silver domes are the common areas. Our offices are still in TCOV – I have a “corner” office with a view of train tracks. The actual oil processing facilities (where all the money is made) are about 20 kilometers south of SV (follow the yellow road south).
This just in – Karen broke her foot Friday night – if anyone would like to check in on her and the family it would be greatly appreciated. When I spoke to her this Sunday morning (her Saturday evening) she was in good spirits – I believe it was the pain medicine kicking in.
Drop me a note – would love to hear from you.
Attached to this email were three documents: these documents were copy/pasted to create the next three postings.