June 1st 2008 - Bye Emanuelle

June 1st 2008

Mountain biking and saying farewell to Antoine and Emanuelle

We have now stuck to our fitness routine for two weeks ! New record ! Every day after work we head for the gym and play about 40 minutes worth of squash before finishing off with a few weight exercises. The squash is for fun and the weights because we feel guilty ! Paula is getting quite good at squash, so I have to watch myself.

Above you see the Offshore yard getting ready to put a ship in the water. They build the ships on land, then transfer them to a barge which can be filled with water so that it slowly sinks down and allow the ship to float away. The water is then pumped out of the barge again and it is ready for the next ship. This is not a normal way of doing things, but it works !

We had great plans for a bowling evening last week, but we were only three people interested, so we decided to stay in for a good meal and some wine instead. As Stewart was leaving a few days later, it also served as a nice last meal with him. He was supposed to be going to Nigeria for his next rotation, but out of the blue he was told that he would be sent back to Korea for one last round. So it wasn't "goodbye" but "auf wiederseehen".

Friday was the day we had all waited for ... the opening of the swimming pool in the old compound. Unfortunately the pool is still a bit too cold for adults who pretend to know what they are doing (the kids don't seem to mind), so we just leaned back and enjoyed the barbeque instead. Saturday Paula got a haircut in preparation for the sweltering heat which awaits us the next three months. I went for a ride in the mountains with Ingo, who works on our project as the designers superintendent, and Geoff. It was a hot day and I was suffering a bit (!?) - for some reason, even though I had had a runny nose all week (allergy), now all of a sudden my mouth was dry as sandpaper ! There are some very steep climbs around here and from time to time you really regret not having stayed by the poolside instead of suffering in the hills! Ingo didn't seem to mind - on one of the climbs he even once even came back down to see what we were up to .. humiliating!

Ingo is used to a bit different riding than what we do here, and he managed to fall twice on the uphill stretch ! I think he did it on purpose so we wouldn't feel too bad ! He was not so cocky on the downhill part of the ride. It takes a little getting used to if you haven't tried it before.

Saturday evening we went to Antoine and Emanuelle's farewell party at the Turkish restaurant. They had booked the whole restaurant and decorated it nicely. We had a great evening with fantastic food, wine and shisha ! We will be sad to see them leave. But then again ... they will probably come back !

Below you can see a slideshow with photos from the mountain and the party.