Welcome to my mad life!

See my artworks in my professional artist site: http://www.artatheart.com.au/ and the blog is at http://artatheartoz.blogspot.com/. To check out my upcoming eBook on Art Success, go to http://www.artsuccess.info/ (it's a blog too). To see my life as a CAD Consultant and AutoCAD programmer/trainer, go to http://www.cadsource.com.au/ and the blog, with heaps of tips and tricks, is at http://cadsourceinternational.blogspot.com/. To try out our favourite food allergy recipes that are actually quite delicious, visit http://www.eatwellanyway.com/. Enjoy!


mad busy funster professional artist painter teacher author technologist mathematician CAD consultant entrepreneur investor gluten-free animal-loving nature-loving joy&serenity-seeking Ironman triathlete

Monday, October 11, 2010

Things About Me that Might Surprise You #1

I used to work in the mining industry training people in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and mine sites in remote locations all around Australia. I taught drafters, surveyors and engineers how to use AutoCAD, a computer aided design (CAD) software package that allows people to draw engineering drawings on a computer instead of on a drawing board.

I speak a little Bahasa Indonesia (the Indonesian language) and gave classes speaking in Indonesian every day at the Irian Jaya Freeport Gold Mine at 13,000 feet above sea level. The mine employed 15,000 men, and perhaps a dozen women, none of them in the mine itself. Needless to say everywhere I went I had a security escort and the men's toilet had to be cleared of miners before the guest female (me) could use it.  Of course there was no wearing perfume, makeup, or any clothing that showed too much skin or the shape of any female lumpy bits. My outfit was khaki baggy clothes, steel-capped boots, and hardhat.

Irian Jaya is on the Eastern-most island of the Indonesian archipelago, along with PNG. Going into the remote jungle there is honestly like stepping back in time hundreds of years…

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Here is a photo of me in the highlands with the chief of the local tribe. He had to wipe his nose and pick it vigorously before fitting his bone for the photo. His "koteka" gourd for his, shall we say, modesty? is a common appearance in tribes there.


I trained with the most splitting headache imaginable every day, because we had to get up at 4am every morning at 7,000 ft above sea level and drive up to the base of the cable car that took us up to 13,000 ft where the mine engineering offices were. Travelling these extreme altitude differences causes the headache, and can be quite dangerous. I used to count the steps on the 3 flights of stairs up into the office because it was absolutely exhausting to go up them when the oxygen was so low.

Here's a photo of me wearing my NON-catwalk outfit, and my gracious trainees.


I trained workers in Porgera Gold Mine in the highlands of PNG a week before a massive riot ended up in people being hurt, raped and buildings and vehicles trashed. The next job the drafters had with their new AutoCAD skills was to design and build a machine gun tower to protect the compound from the rioters.

I haven't worked in these sort of places for many years, and have only since learnt to my dismay the awful environmental impact that some of these mines have on the environment and villagers around them.

In Porgera many of the natives chew the narcotic betel nut, you can tell because their teeth and lips are all bright red. The most important corporate rule in PNG is that if you have an accident with your car and you hit a piccaninny or a pig, then the company flies you straight out of the country the very same day (truly!). Those are the two most valuable things to the tribes. ("Piccaninny" means child)

I am always thankful to the senior engineer who demanded all the workers remove their pin-up posters from around the walls before the honoured trainer guest came. This was not always the case at many Australian mine sites I went to… and there is no amount of swearing you can shock me with after the blue language that I have heard every day at these places!

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