So I must admit something… sometimes weeks go by and I think to myself, ‘Man… I can’t think of anything significant that we’ve done this past week. What the hell am I going to write about?’ I mean, you want to be entertaining, right? I can only show so many baby photos…
Luckily, this is the product of a slow, sleep-deprived mind, and one distracted. It has been a fairly tumultuous time over the past month. The floor dropped out of the oil prices a few months back. Since then, work slowed. Some projects were cut entirely. Colleagues were let go. Ex-pats we were friends with went home. Cost cutting efforts were put in place. Putin, the Kremlin Gremlin, meanwhile is doing his best to bring excitement to the region where our project is located. Tough times… the last time I saw something like this previously was in the downturn of 2009. Still, we are luckier than some.
It was amongst this back drop, Libby and I took the risk and put ourselves out there for an opportunity to advance. The downside of the choice is that we have to leave the safe harbor of the project that brought us over here, and hope for the funding of the new project comes through soon. Otherwise, we could be going home soon ourselves. We have assurances that it’s coming any day now, and there’s nothing to worry about. However, it’s been a sword of Damocles hanging over our head. It colors the decisions we’re making and plans we’re making for the immediate future. Our work is tied to projects… when they come in… when they finish… how big are they… which continent it’s on. Our dependency on project is one of the downsides of life as an engineer, and one of the major differences between our work lives and most other careers. These differences are even more amplified as an ex-pat, because not only is there uncertainty over your job, but where you’ll be living next month isn’t certain. For the last few weeks, living under this pressure is what we’ve been dealing with.
However, cool things continue to happen for us. Libby finished her Interior Design education. She has her certification! I’m so very proud of her! It’s been a lot of work to get to this point, but it’s reinvigorated her desire to put herself out there and pursue interior design further. She’s even attending a professional workshop in a couple of weeks to help continue her education. While she was in London turning in her last project, she enjoyed some celebratory Tex-Mex with a friend.
Meanwhile, Duke is growing like a weed! There’s been so many changes and firsts for him lately, it’s so exciting. Let me go through some of the highlights:
He’s taking his first swimming lessons:
He’s started to crawl now:
He’s becoming a lot more mobile now, so we had to put up a play yard, or as grandma likes to call it, ‘baby jail’.
He’s added 4 new teeth (hence, why we don’t sleep much…). There’s so much changing with him, and big things, too! It’s hard to keep up with all that is happening with him.
So still we persist… Everyone is doing well. Libby is smarter now… it’s official. Derek is advancing his career and loving the arrival of spring golf season, and Duke is more of a joy every day.
We hope you’re well, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!
Derek and Libby and Duke