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Live Youth to the Fullest, Chase the Dream in Africa – essays by NMS overseas resident employee Alex

2021.07.23

On March 10, 2021, after I had just finished second new coronavirus vaccination, I flew to South Africa again by plane, and left China for another overseas trip. This is our NMS employee’s responsibility and our commitment to our customers.

South Africa project K is an important overseas project of NMS in recent years, especially in South Africa. NMS equipment arrived at the project site at the end of 2019. On February 6, 2020, as a member of overseas market business unit of NMS, several colleagues and I said goodbye to our family and resolutely came to South Africa. Because of the epidemic, many functional colleagues were unable to the site. In addition to providing technical support for the project, I also took on many tasks such as coordination, after-sales guidance, repair and maintenance. From the initial equipment installation and commissioning to the formal operation stage of the project, except for the short reunion with my family in the Spring Festival of 2021, I have been here for more than a dozen months.

In the short period from March to now, we have experienced a lot of stories, including the on-site shutdown caused by improper operation of equipment by local staff before training, the relevant requirements of onsite safety protection measures and environmental protection, and a property theft incident in May, even a gunfight between the local law breakers and the security of K project. Fortunately, no one was injured in the conflict. Recently, the epidemic situation in South Africa was still deteriorating. The government implemented a high-level blockade policy, but the number of cases was still rising, and the infection mortality rate had even reached about 5% to 10%.

Home letter, April

Arrival in the project site →  on duty the 1st first → off duty

Every day was busy at the site. Got up before dawn in the morning. Made a video call with family and saw the lovely kid after washing. Then started to prepare daily work plan, and communicated closely with colleagues in China. After finishing this, I started the intense onsite work all day immediately, wearing heavy PPE clothes and helmet, climbing up and down, guiding the workers in different operations to solve problems. Soon, my whole body was wet with sweat, but I could not wipe it on my face with dirty gloves. In order to prevent COVID-19, I dared not to take the mask off. I just had a piece of bread or an apple for lunch, and returned to work after a short rest.

After the busy day, I went back to my poor dormitory at night, washed away the dust and sweat, and made a dinner by myself. Every day when I have dinner, I can enjoy a moment of tranquility. At this time, my family and colleagues in China basically fall asleep. I read the domestic news and checked if it was rainy or sunny in my hometown today; Then, I washed the dishes and pots, the clothes that have been piled up for a few days, sorted out the problems to be dealt with tomorrow, then went to bed and got ready for the sunrise of the new day.

Sometimes I had insomnia, tossing and turning. Looking back the moments over the past year in South Africa project K, it just like a movie in my mind. There were worries when encountering difficulties and problems, regrets and guilt about family and work, and joy of progress and success in each stage of the project.

Project site

Although the sudden COVID-19 pushed the whole world to the pause, the project could not be delayed and the project had to be constructed on time. In the second half of 2020, the epidemic situation in South Africa had begun to improve significantly while it was the most terrible in South Africa. Limited by the local medical conditions, we tried our best to protect ourselves. The headquarters in China also sent us enough masks, medicines and other materials. In the poor living conditions of the mining area, my colleagues and I cooked and cut hair by ourselves. Our daily life was so hard.

The new cases in the mining area also appeared from time to time. We had been isolated several times, during which we could not work normally, and the conditions of isolation were very limited.

After many times nucleic acid tests, the isolation was removed, and on the premise of doing a good job in epidemic prevention and control, everyone immediately devoted themselves to the work day and night, industriously. Through our unremitting efforts, we overcame many difficulties, and good news came back to China such as the project equipment installation was successfully completed, the cold & hot commissioning was successful, and so on. All the sweat and tears in the process were experiences in adversity. Simultaneously, it also represented the firm step that going globally of NMS, NMS employees adhering to the philosophy of “professional leading, integrity first”, and the embodiment of responsibility for customers.

Home letter, June

Postscript:

Last June, a new born cute little baby just would not have thought that the first time he met his father was through the mobile phone screen. Because at this time, his father was isolated in Africa thousands of miles away. He couldn’t take step out of the room, although he received blessings from his family, colleagues and customers constantly. On this happy day, his face was full of guilt as well as an irrepressible smile. Everything was to ensure the smooth operation of NMS overseas customer’s projects as soon as possible.

You can’t have your cake and eat it. Although there were regrets, the greater feeling was pride. With our efforts, the successful test run of NMS overseas proved Chinese brand again and NMS fully showed its international competitiveness. It was also NMS’s commitment, overseas employees could stand loneliness and pressure, and won customer’s appreciation and respect. All kinds of difficulties had tempered the best quality of NMS people: persistence and dedication.

Introduction of South Africa Project K:

June 2021

South Africa project K completed the hot commissioning successfully and put into operation;

Feb. 2020

NMS overseas staff stayed at project site for technical support;

Nov. 2019

The 2nd batch of NMS equipment delivered to South Africa project site;

Aug. 2019

The 1st batch of NMS equipment delivered to South Africa project site;

May 2019

The customer came to NMS for electrical equipment acceptance and did acceptance before delivery in July;

2018

NMS signed the contract with South Africa project K customer. NMS undertook the EPS project. The cooperation included engineering design, equipment supply, installation and commissioning.

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