Although I did get to spend one night at home, I am back in Houston now and packing up to head to work. I tried...I really did. But the work I am doing now, a big chunk of which is due on Monday morning at 9am, requires a lot of manual work. I have to map the data out on paper (large pages hung on the wall works best), make a lot of notes on a whiteboard, link everything together with post-its and colored markers, then translate all of that brain fodder into my computer. I realized this morning that as things are now, that entire process is just not possible from home.
I broached the topic carefully with Leo this morning thinking I would have to work around to letting him know that I needed to come back to town, but I shouldn't have worried. No grumbling, no complaining, he just helped me pack up and load up, then drove me back to Houston. He didn't stay long as he has a whole lot of things he needs to be doing back home. Although I miss him immensely when he's not around, I totally appreciate the fact that he understands how I need time, and room, to work out really difficult problems and he is always willing to give that to me. Leo is definitely THE BEST!
While I'm waiting for my cell phone to charge just a bit more, I guess I can share some of the Nigeria discussion that went on Friday.
Things seem to be on target for July 1 for Leo to start, but could be delayed a bit as other activities take place and the other players get into place. We learned that the travel arrangements will be made for him and that a typical trip will involve a flight from Houston to Amsterdam, then on to Lagos, Nigeria. From there, Leo will be picked up by the security folks and escorted to his hotel for the night. The next morning, he will be packed off to Escravos in a small plane along with the others who are making "shift change" at the same time as him.
Once in the compound, we think he will be staying in a hotel-type room and we are hoping he will have internet access from there so we can chat when he gets off in the evenings. Things like laundry and food will be taken care of for him, and he should have some free time for reading, studying, and relaxing. After his 28 days of work, the process will be reversed and I will be eagerly waiting for him to come back to me in Houston. If the process really does come off as planned, we both think this will be a relatively easy job for him over the next couple of years.
Leo is still holding out hope that I will be going with him sometime this year, but then, he always is the more optimistic one. It seems that although my resume and list of accomplishments are impressive enough to get notice, it is the fact of my femaleness that seems to be causing the hesitation. There are no other females on the team. [Sigh]. That's not such a big deal for me as it would definitely NOT be the first time for me to be in that situation. As a matter of fact, it has been the situation I've found myself in most often for many of my roles over the past 30 years. But, until the powers-that-be get a warm fuzzy feeling about it, it looks like I will be biding my time waiting here at home.
I'm guessing my cell phone should be charged up enough to serve me for a bit, so I'm going to pack up now and head downtown. If you see my husband, tell him I said "hey" and send my love, will you? Thanks so much!