T-minus 7 weeks



As anyone older than 20 knows, the universe has a way of dealing the hands of life the way it pleases, regardless of which game the players thought they were playing. The idea to move to Indonesia came about last October or November when Todd learned that things on the hill at former Homestake Mine would soon change, causing his job to be gradually whittled down. Todd called a former coworker from Homestake, whom he admires a great deal and who now works for Freeport McMoran’s Grasberg mine on Papua Video: Ground Rules Grasberg Mine.

This buddy said, in a sense, to come for a visit, because they were ready to add personnel.

All my life, I have wanted to live overseas. The Pacific was simply not the sea that I had envisioned. But by February we were on a whirlwind trip from Rapid City, South Dakota, via Dallas/Ft. Worth, LAX, Hong Kong, Denpasar Bali, to Timika Papua. There is only one flight from Bali to Timika, and it’s at 1:50 am. So not a lot of sleep occurred. The last leg was from Timika airport 7,000 feet up the mountain to Tembagapura by Mi-171, a Russian military-style helicopter that seats 28 passengers. After thirty-three hours in the air plus layovers, one of eight hours, we landed in Tembagapura and beheld lush green mountains and waterfalls towering among the clouds.

In spite of not having slept in a bed for three days, we were immediately on the go, being shown the towns that make up the mine community by our new friend Rama, and treated to dinner at the Lupa Lelah Club. The second day, Todd toured the mine and I walked about the town of Tempagapura with Robin, a Mobridge girl. An acquaintance from Spearfish whose husband also works for the mine also showed up for lunch with “the girls.” I’d say, “what a small world,” except that it took two days to get to the other side!

After background checks, thorough physicals, many vaccinations and doubts that this would really happen, it’s now sevens weeks out from our departure date of July 14, 2016. Emotions are running rampant. One hour I think we must be daft, and the next I am reveling in our good fortune to receive such a rare opportunity. I am trying to break the news gradually to my mom who is in the nursing home in town, so reminded her again today of our plans. Her response was delight about the fact that I can go visit her distant cousin in Australia! What a relief.

We can bring 1,000 pounds by air, and put “a reasonable” amount in a container to send by sea.

It’s time to start making and checking off lists.


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