Home is a changing concept in my world. This is not a new concept, home has changed fairly frequently my entire life. My family would move every few years to a new house, or for a new job position Dad had taken. It was interesting to watch each person in the family adapt to the change. My brother would slam on the brakes and get very upset. Mom would work really hard and focus on getting everything taken care of. Dad would continue his work routine as if nothing was changing until the last minute. Mawmaw would do whatever she could to help or stay out of the way. I was excited. I always wanted to try something new, meet new people, go on a new adventure. This is part of the reason why I chose to work for a large contracting company in a position where I would move frequently. Yesterday was one such move.
I have been working in Lewiston Idaho on a modular deconstruction project. Modular construction is a fairly new technology in the oil business. It’s like building an oil refinery with lego building blocks. The plant is split into several hundred building block chunks. These chunks are often build overseas (these came from Korea) since labor costs are so much cheaper there. The modules are then shipped to their final location and set on top of each other using cranes. The modules I was working on were shipped from Korea to the Port of Lewiston Idaho. They were supposed to be loaded onto trucks and driven across Idaho and Montana and into Canada. The people of Idaho and Montana do not want these mega loads on their roads. There have been lots of political activity protesting the mega loads so the required road permits were not issued. Now the owner company hired my company to make the module smaller so they can get other permits to take them down the road.
This job was supposed to be finished in early June but some wildlife interactions, protestors, and a dramatic change in project scope extended the project to the end of July. When a project is over, my company tells you where your next assignment is going to be. Mine is going to be in Australia.We are opening a district office in Perth, Western Australia and are working on a project in the outback. I am going to be a piping field engineer and am beyond excited about the possibilities!
As excited as I am about moving, my family had similar reactions as they did when I was little. Mom said O My Goodness a hundred times and then set to work making sure I had thought about absolutely everything related to this move. My dad said cool, asked some questions, and went back to working. My brother asked me to ship him a kangaroo.
Now you can’t just hop on a plane and leave for another country for a year. My company first sent me to Lenexa, Kansas to help plan the project for a month or two. This was my move yesterday.
When I moved to Lewiston I drove my car from Texas and was able to pack everything I need. With Australia on the horizon, I sold my car in Lewiston and had to pack everything I need for Kansas in my suitcases. So yesterday, I had four suitcases and a backpack as I boarded the plane at 5am bound for Kansas City. It was difficult to handle all my stuff and I am newly determined to get rid of even more items before leaving the country. It is a little complicated since I have four wardrobes I need; one is business casual for the office; one is construction site with long sleeves; one is construction site with short sleeves; and one is the rest of my life.
So today I go into the Kiewit Australia office for the first time. I will be working noon to 9pm Monday through Thursday and 8am to 5pm on Fridays. This is so we can communicate with the people already in Perth. There’s a 14 hour time difference. I am excited and a little apprehensive; just like my true first day of work out of college but more exciting. I am on my way to a position of a lifetime only 8 months out of college!