Saturday, January 19, 2008
A Historical Background ....
Just for the record, I've been working for my current employer for over 30 years. My first field trip away from home was to a dusty little town in Wyoming - BIG PINEY, WY!! I recall the population at the time of my visit (Spring 1978) was less than 1,000. My first international trip was to Saudi Arabia in December 1979. That trip lasted six (6) weeks and I spent most of the time in Abqaiq, about a one hour drive south of Dhahran, headquarters of the Arabian American Oil Company - also known as ARAMCO (now officially called Saudi Aramco following the nationalization by the Saudi government in the mid-80's). Aside from the various projects that took me all over Texas, California, and Louisiana (primarily New Orleans), the next big venture overseas for me came in 1983 when I was able to make about four trips to Oslo, Norway and one to Germany (still called 'West Germany'). There were a few more trips to Saudi Arabia in the mid-80's but my big 'break' came in 1989 when I ventured all the way over to Jakarta, Indonesia to give a paper at the Indonesia Petroleum Association meeting in October, 1989. I managed to couple a visit to Singapore which has since become my favorite Asian city (next to Bali!!).
Throughout the 1990's I made over one dozen (ca. 12 - 20) separate trips to Dhahran (located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia). I also made my first trips to Sumatra (Indonesia) where I worked various assignments for our affiliate CALTEX.
In 1998 I finally got up the courage to actually work overseas on a full-time basis and I began a "rotational" assignment (28 days on and 28 days off) in Angola (West Africa) in September, 1998. That lasted until January, 2001. In June, 2001, I began a residential assignment in Kuwait which lasted until the end of 2003. Although I relocated back to the good 'ol USA in January, 2004, I am frequently called upon by customers to help them with their field operations. As a result, I still venture overseas (Indonesia and Kuwait mostly and occasionally to England and Scotland - Edinburgh being my favorite European city .... besides London).
While in Angola, I became addicted to digital photography and since then I take a LOT of digital pictures while on a field assignment. Not all of the pictures I take are job related, however. I try to photograph as many interesting people, places and events as I possibly can. I will share as many of these pictures with you as time permits. The picture I leave you above with this posting is of the Burj Al Arab - one of the nicest hotels in Dubai - if not the world!! I almost forgot to mention the fact the Dubai is my favorite Middle Eastern city. A truly great place in which to spend a lay-over while enroute to one's next location.
One thought I' like to share with all my fellow world travelers .... travelling around the world makes me appreciate what I often take for granted back home