Tag Archives: Power Failures

My Week of Hell – Luanda!!

I haven’t updated this in a while and I suppose it comes down to the last week I was there. My week of Hell. The last week of my last tour of duty was hell! Absolute Hell! And I’ll explain why.

We had 3 project guys arrive on the Sunday before I left, along with our new engineer, PG. Another Zimbo. He seemed really cool, and pretty chilled too.

Water Truck

A water truck, delivery water to “The Hole!!” Basically the reservoir. This is across the road from us.

Things started going wrong from the minute they arrived. I hadn’t prepared their rooms as well as I should have I will admit, not that there was much to prepare. Their Aircons weren’t working, purely because things in Angola take sooo long to organise, they had been on order for about 3 weeks, and I hadn’t put the Moz Nets up. That was purely because BP didn’t have, so I hadn’t gotten around to getting them. So, I landed up giving the one guy mine, cause I wasn’t using mine anymore. I just sleep with the fan on now, and don’t worry about the mozzies, as they don’t seem to bother me much. I also went out purchased 3 fans for the rooms they were in. Do you know how hard it was to get fans? We landed up going to one of the local markets with the driver and Warren and his Girlfriend, Raquel, who is Angolan,so she knows the lingo and the deal. Thank goodness.

The one project engineer had an absolute sense of humour failure as it was, and was not at all pleased with the situation. I don’t blame him now that I think about it. He just hadn’t been prepped enough about the set-up.That and the fact that the aircon and nets weren’t up. The others climbed onto the bandwagon from there.

Well, things went from bad to worse that week. I had bought a gas stove/electric oven unit for the guys, as we were cooking off 2 useless hotplates and they were crap. So it was a long time coming. That set us back a fair sum, but was worth it. It was delivered on the Monday, but I then found out it didn’t come with a plug, and we didn’t have sufficient cables to connect it up. The aircon guys arrived on Monday night and hooked up the aircons. Thank God!

Monday afternoon we found out the water had run out. The driver called the water guy and he tried to organise delivery. At 17h30 I found out that ther was no water still, and the guy couldn’t deliver. He didn’t have, so I called another guy and he said he would deliver later that night. Well, at 22h he still hadn’t delivered, and we realised that we weren’t getting any water that evening.

Tuesday: The next morning I headed off to Sonnills base early, with only having had a bottled water quick shower. Mental. Tuesday morning the water was at least delivered, in the late afternoon. Tuesday night the power in the house blew. The generator was on, but the main circuit kept tripping. We obviously didn’t have candles – who needs candles when you have the biggest generator in the world? Well, we did apparently. The wiring was getting hot, and then the whole main circuit breaker would trip, wiping out the entire house, both upstairs and downstairs. This must be due to excess load on the circuits! Crazy.

Wednesday, was more house power issues, then the guys laid into me about the house and how bad everything was, and I suppose they needed an outlet, so it was me, as I represented the company. What pissed me off though was teh lack of support I was getting from the Project Manager. He was supposed to be handling his guys, and he was on their side. Just a bit unfair. I took it personally,as I hate to disappoint in everything I do, and I then landed up just hating it, and wanting to get the f#ck out! REALLY BADLY!

Thursday: The water went down again, but this time there tank was full, so what was the issue? I landed up stripping the water pump. YES, ME, STRIPPING A WATER PUMP! It had been making a weird noise on Tuesday when the water ran out. The guys had left the pump running, there was obviously no auto cut-out for it, so it just ran and ran the whole time. I think it had stuffed something inside. So, I stripped it and found the issue. The impeller had broken off inside, so the pump was spinning and running, but the impeller wasn’t sucking water up! Thank goodness I did, as the guys could only make it that afternoon. At least now they could come with a spare, as opposed to only checking the problem then. They only actually arrived that evening with the new one! More bottled water showers. Happyness all round!! NOT! Then, still that morning, Jeje, the idiot driver, went and locked the keys in the car, whilst it was on in the driveway. Don’t ask, I just don’t know!! So we had to wait 3 hours for a spare key to arrive. I was so tempted to just break the window and tell him to pay for it!

Talk about the House from Hell!!! Everything that could go wrong pretty much was!!

I left the next day, on my way back to Cape Town, very much contemplating telling DD it wasn’t going to work. I actually didn’t have time to run the house to that level whilst still trying to keep a customer that was being very finicky and full of sh!t about small things happy! They would have to understand, it was the customer, or the house. I was the moer in. I was tired, exhausted, and pissed off. I had been crapped on, had worked my arse off to keep the guys in the house happy, had done my best, even stripped a pump to keep things going, and all I got was a “We’re definitely going to be taking this up with management in Cape Town” line! Well, they could go to hell for all I was concerned. It had been along tour, and I needed a break more than anyone else!

I arrived at the airport, having not organised protocol, as old Camilo was useless, and didn’t do much for us. But, guess who I bumped into at the airport??? Camilo. He was a little surprised that I wasn’t using them, maybe feeling a bit guilty about forgetting about me when I arrived a month earlier, and suddenly helped me through for free. Wow, well that was great.

The flight home was a little long, but it was a pleasure to land at Cape Town international, and not worry. I hit oblivion immediately, and met Dave there.

Great to be home! For 2 weeks!!!! 🙂



Easy Going Guy 😉