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As some of you will know and others may have guessed, in 2011, I accepted a contract position to be the resident Drilling and Completion manager for a Canadian company operating in Turkey after a 25 year career of working as a consultant to similar operations primarily in Canada, but elsewhere too. I have worked in 6 different countries on 4 different continents. I put my life in Canada on hold, and dragged my wife and three children nearly halfway around the world to live in a rented house on the Saros Bay in western Turkey. I haven't been too open about my situation due to security concerns and a low level of paranoia, but times are changing... It has been an interesting and challenging position both personally and professionally.
On the personal side, we have had the chance to bond together as a family just before the chicks leave the nest. Something we did not previously have, as I have always travelled extensively for work averaging 250+ days a year away from home over a 30 year career. We have also had a chance to live in a different modern day culture among the ruins of at least 4 empires spanning several thousand years. The challenge comes from the sacrifice of living halfway around the world from friends, family, and nearly everything else that was familiar. As a result of this isolation, I think we are a tighter knit family now than most, but we have had so many fundamentally different experiences, we find it hard to fit in anywhere, even at home. Thank heaven for BBS's like GT. This board, along with a couple others coupled with avid following of select youtube channels has helped me preserve my sanity or what passes for it in my case.

On the professional side, I was the sole Canadian employee resident in Turkey (and the only D&C guy in the whole company) working in the Turkish Branch of the Canadian parent with a staff of about 20 native Turks of assorted skill sets (many unskilled) and over my time here, wore many hats, some of which were very familiar, others not so familiar. Working with the contractors within the country is like working at home but turning the clock back 40 years or more in technology. In spite of this, we managed to make some significant natural gas discoveries in a relatively unexplored area, but to get the gas to market requires money. Lots of money. Some time ago, the company I work for went looking for investment. They found a few candidates, but the best candidate liked what they saw, so they essentially bought the company. http://www.marsaenergy.com/press-rel...r_Approval.pdf

The company supplying the capital (Condor) had a full staff going into this, so they have decided not to extend my position here. As a result, we are in the throes of scrambling around packing up our temporary life here and making arrangements to head home. If things go as planned, we will be back in our rural home in the Alberta Parklands by mid March. Exactly what the future holds, we don't know, but we will continue to push on the doors we see and make the most of what comes along. In the meantime, I have a backlog of GT and other projects that will keep me occupied.
 

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Glad your coming home ! Hope all goes well in the transition. Oil n gas is changing a lot here as well.
 

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Well Cam, something tells me this change isn't something you view as a bad thing. I've a feeling you were yearning for home, or at least a while back at home. Look at it this way....you now can make it for my plow day in April! :smilewink:

Looks like beautiful land in the Parklands. Are mountains near (visible from) your home?
 

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Well Cam, something tells me this change isn't something you view as a bad thing. I've a feeling you were yearning for home, or at least a while back at home. Look at it this way....you now can make it for my plow day in April! :smilewink:
Looks like beautiful land in the Parklands. Are mountains near (visible from) your home?
The house we live in is on the eastern slope of a large ridge (which covers an oil field that has been active since the 60's, so no mountain view from the house). From the top of the ridge behind the house, you can clearly see the snow capped mountains on a clear day. Our rental property is nestled into the foothills of the Rockies. Sadly, no mountain view off it either.

Kentucky is a long way to drag a machine from central Alberta. OTOH, I may have the time.....
 

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Wow...I cannot imagine your experiences! Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to some of your catch-up GT work!
I could tell stories, and even share some pictures... Maybe later on this weekend.

I don't tell many. Most people who haven't travelled much just refuse to believe them.

Just as an example, it is very common to see one of the older farmers driving his tractor wearing a flat top hat and a sport coat or blazer. One old boy dresses that way to ride his donkey. ...and he rides side-saddle!

I've seen 75 cc scooters with trailers, horse carts loaded with wood on the 4 lane autobahn, and convoys of up to 50 tanks, APCs, and mobile guns on the same 4 lane.
 

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Welcome home camdigger! The patch, as I am sure you are aware, has bottomed out here, but you were wanting a break from work anyway, right? :D Enjoy getting back in the groove here and playing at home again. You could even start a thread about things that happen in the patch that no one would ever suspect could be true. I have a nephew who worked in Saudi and Syria; brought back tales only someone with your experience would believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome home camdigger! The patch, as I am sure you are aware, has bottomed out here, but you were wanting a break from work anyway, right? :D Enjoy getting back in the groove here and playing at home again. You could even start a thread about things that happen in the patch that no one would ever suspect could be true. I have a nephew who worked in Saudi and Syria; brought back tales only someone with your experience would believe.
Thanks for the welcome.

Just another note.... rope and wire is not sold by length in the hardware stores here. It is sold by weight. Any idea what a kilo of mechanic's wire looks like???!?
 

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Good luck getting back at home! Looking forward to some fun reading!
 

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Welcome back to Canada. I myself, am not a traveler, I have lived and worked in PEI all my life. Only have been off the island about as many times you can count on both hands. Amazing how people are different. Your song, should be, I've Been Every Where, by Hank Snow.

Enjoy your stay, Noel
 
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Welcome back to Canada. I myself, am not a traveler, I have lived and worked in PEI all my life. Only have been off the island about as many times you can count on both hands. Amazing how people are different.

Noel
On our trips to PEI, I learned there are natives who have never been to the opposite end of PEI.

During our 7 visits to PEI, we logged over 10,000 MILES on your Island paradise. ....Those red dirt roads are beautiful, but messy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My Garmin GPS sent me on a couple of wild goose chases on my last tour around Western Turkey. I just got back from a 2 week "orientation tour" with a guy from the new co. I drove through a couple of large cities (one of which was Smyrna from the new testament, BTW) and it took a dump and sent us into the ancient city neighborhoods on a trip across town in mid afternoon.

Lead me to a long practice session of using my full blue collar vocabulary even with a guest in the car... I bought a GPS because I don't speak enough Turkish to feel comfortable asking pedestrians and other drivers for directions. Unlike Turks. Not uncommon for a Turkish taxi driver to accept the fare and then, at some point, phone a friend or ask a pedestrian for directions. One morning, we spent 10 minutes driving in circles around the neighborhood and asking nearly every pedestrian we saw and waving down several other drivers for directions to the vendor's office we were going to.
 
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