It was almost a little boring for Dorise and Frank...
No spectacular flights - "only" a bit of Africa. We visited the Himbas in Namibia and had wonderful experiences in Botswana. "Our" school has been completed and our next project is a kindergarden near Cape Town.
2005 was a "persecution year" for Dorise and Frank - lots of tax inspection hassle, it was dreadful.
With the plane being based in South Afica we spent most of our time in Germany with work and golf. Difficult to believe, but we managed to bag several trophies and it was (and is) lots of fun to go travelling with golf clubs in the luggage. Summer 2006 saw us transferring the plane to Germany: Namibia (golf in Swakopmund), directy to Sao Tome, Togo (golf again), Marrakesh (guess what), Malaga (golf), Italy and then into Mönchengladbach, Germany.
Bianca jumped through lots of hoops in the last couple of years. After three years of residency in small animal surgery, she took the surgery board examination in San Diego, California earlier this year. Having passed it, she is now a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons! In May 2006 she received her American veterinary licence and finally got a Greencard, enabling her to practice without restrictions anywhere in the States. Bianca still lives in College Station, Texas, and continues to work at Texas A&M University.
Claudia and Robin were similarly successful. Claudia returned to clinical paediatrics after 3.5 years in research and completed her PhD thesis in her "spare" time (Robin completed his in 2003). In July 2006 both were awarded the "Doctor of Philosophy" from the University of Manchester. The ceremony was wonderful - truly charming, like a scene out of Harry Potter with magnificent gowns and hats! Robin was appointed to his ideal consultant post - he now works 50% clinically as a consultant respiratory physician and 50% as a researcher at the University of Manchester. Both are still happily (and busily) based in Manchester.
Our "little one" Malaika is also on course to success. She will complete her dental studies in 2007 and our patients (and ourselves) are looking forward to her joining the practice. Malaika achieved the 2nd DAN in Judo this year and won a third place in the regional championships of "kata". She also competed in the German National Championships of "kata". Being so busy, flying comes last - however, studies are more important.
At present all of us are celebrating Christmas in Germany together and thinking of you. On December 27th Dorise and Frank will take off to new adventures. We will explore South America: Germany - Senegal - Brazil - Peru - Chile - Patagonia - possibly Antarctica - Falklands - Argentina - Uruguay - Brazil - back to Cape Town. Think of us ... the Atlantic Ocean is vast and the amazon jungle dense.