Most of the labor is done by men and women who are grouped together and known as TCNs (Third Country Nationals).
Most of these people come from the Phillipines, India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. There are also many local Iraqis that
are hired each day to work on the camps. They work under the direction and leadership of the KBR expats. They
are incredibly hard working, earn so much less than we do, don't have many of the creature comforts in their camps that we
do, and never complain. The economy in their home countries is so poor they are just grateful for the work. One
of the coolest things I've seen as we all work together is watching the expats, who are their labor foremans, make sure they
are treated well and have what they need that they can't get for themselves. While we get three paid ten day vacations
a year, these folks sign a two year contract which includes NO vacation time. And, if they get ill more than three times
they are told they'll be sent home. So many of them work when they are ill, or have injuries for fear they'll lose their
jobs. They are not KBR employees, but rather are contracted by other companies that then have agreements with KBR.
I've met some really special people among them and they, by example, have taught me much about gratefulness for the little
|Meet Leroy...Johnnie's Sidekick
|Leroy is From Sri Lanka
|Leroy Calling Home to Speak to His Family
Leroy isn't his given name. He chose it because (as he tells it) his real name is difficult to pronounce and
he likes 'Leroy'. He has a wife and two daughters at home in Sri Lanka and grew rice. It wasn't enough to
sustain him and give his family what they wanted so he's been working in the middle east for several years now. Before
Iraq he was in Saudi Arabia. He speaks three languages, and can read and write English. Having been away from
them for so long, he obviously misses them a great deal. I asked him why he extended his time over here and his answer
was that this was the only way his daughters had a chance of going to medical school. He said he'll work as long as
it takes to put them through school and help them realize their dreams.