Tuesday, February 10, 2015

We Dig Dig Dig Dig Dig Dig In Our Mine The Whole Day Through

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves isn't one of my favorite Disney movies. I am going to generously describe the heroine as "insipid" and leave it at that. But the film does have a few snappy tunes, among them the first half of Heigh Ho. Oh, you didn't know the beginning was a completely different (and superior) song? Before all of that boring whistling, the dwarves sing about working in their mine. To wit:

We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig
In our mine the whole day through
To dig dig dig dig dig dig dig
Is what we like to do

It ain't no trick to get rich quick
If you dig dig dig with a shovel or a pick
In a mine! In a mine! In a mine! In a mine!
Where a million diamonds shine!

We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig
From early morn till night
We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig up
Everything in sight

We dig up diamonds by the score
A thousand rubies, sometimes more
But we don't know what we dig them for
We dig dig dig a-dig dig.

Back in the day, preschool-Stylish immediately took to this song, and we both learned the words. Don't ask me why, but we used to sing it in the car as we drove around on errands. This was long before Erik got into mining, so I am going to claim that we were prescient. Perhaps this was the clairvoyant version of, "if you can't beat'em, join 'em."

But Erik did finally a) discover and b) fall in love with mining, thus our current sojourn in PNG.

Last week, Erik suggested we go visit the mine on the weekend. He had to secure all sorts of official permissions (safety first), but he was dying to show it off to the girls and me.

"I've got it all arranged," he said. "We can go Saturday afternoon."
"Isn't that the annual cricket game? I thought you were down as an alternate.
"Oh, is that right?" he said cooly, fooling no one. "Too bad - it's all set up."
I can understand the dodge; I think even Indy has more cricketing experience than he does. And don't tell any of my Australian friends, but I was far keener on seeing the mine than watching the batsmen and bowlers. Although I would make an exception for this:
The only cricket worth watching is superhero cricket.
Saturday came, and we piled into the car. We had hardly pulled onto the main road before Erik began pointing out the sites. "This area is called so-and-so. We expect to be digging there in Year X. And the interesting thing over here is..."

We paused on-site to pick up some hard hats and vests, and we were off.
I get to show the mine to my girls. I am so excited!
First stop: the pit, and a brief lesson in the geology of the region. The kids listened politely, but they were mainly waiting for the good stuff: seeing the enormous trucks.

Here is my advice to you. Do not drive your Honda Civic into a mine site and hope to end up anything but flat. Not only won't you be seen, you also won't be felt when the trucks roll right over you. The only way anyone will know you were there will be when someone notices the micron-thin piece of steel that was once your car sitting on the road.

Seeing the equipment up close made me newly appreciative of the 4m flag sticking out the top of Erik's utility vehicle.
Can you see us?
Standing in a face shovel...
...and we're tiny.
Dancing on the teeth.
Time to go up and take a look at the cab.

All the while, Erik kept up a constant patter about what the equipment was for, what happened in that part of the mine, and who we were about to meet next. You would think he was a volunteer tour guide, he was so enthusiastic. I haven't included any photos of the plant, but don't think that we skipped that. No, sir. We couldn't drive more than a few feet without Erik stopping to explain exactly what was going on inside each Large Metal Structure in front of us. I'm pretty sure I could have a passed a process exam based on what I heard that afternoon.

Barely up to the hub cap.
As we drove home, Erik asked: "So, girls, what job would you like to do at the mine?"
"Drive the trucks," they chorused.
"But I am going to be a mechanical engineer when I grow up," Indy added.

Maybe they'll just drive as a summer job, then.


Anonymous said...

Way cool. I am so jealous.
Love Grannie

Anonymous said...

Can I sell them some springs?

Nicolas Turcotte said...