So what has everyone been doing?...
Updated 22 March 2006...
This has to be a record... 2 long years since I have updated the news on this website...no guarrantee I will do any better in the future, but who knows??? (I'm sure no one reads this anyway! - let me know if you do...)
It has been an eventful 2 years - hectic as always...
February 2005 was a BIG month for the Mwila family - we had Fred's parent's visiting for a month from Zambia.
This was a once in a life time opportunity, not only for us but for the Zambian community in New Zealand who struggle on in New Zealand without the support of their elders back home.
Fred's parents were made welcome by Zambians up and down the country who adopted them as their own honorary "parents" for the time they were in New Zealand.
They left behind lots of advice and good-humour before they departed at the end of the month.
It was an epic journey for 2 elderly Africans who were taken well out of their comfort zone in a strange - and sometimes cold - land far from home.
Their willingness to venture into the unknown was appreciated by all.
June 2005 our big project of 2004-2005 was completed: we finally finished the "granny flat"* in our back yard (*In other countries called as a "guest house").
This project took 9+ months...while builders did much of the work, painting and landscaping was left to Fred and myself. Fred read lots of books and transformed himself into something of an expert on decks, patios and retaining walls. Imogen got to work digging and planting flower and vegetable gardens. The end result was a backyard to be proud of:
We rented the flat out to a young woman and her 4 year old daughter and so far it is working out very well.
As for how the family here is doing:
Fred sr is still working at "Unisys" New Zealand.
Imogen is still working part time and trying to keep the household together; growing a few vegetables; playing the recorder, ( Click here for a sound clip );
learning the Irish whistle and the French horn in her spare time as well as up-dating this website every year or 2...
Fred and Imogen have both just taken up "tramping", (outside of New Zealand, otherwise known as "hiking").
We responded to an ad in the local paper, advertising a local "tramping club" and signed up for their "bushcraft" course, which involved 2 overnight tramps. We are now hooked and looking forward to doing lots of tramping into old age and beyond...
Emily is about to depart for the US in just over a week - going to perform with a school choir in San Fransisco and Disneyland California.
She did pretty well in school last year, coming 1st in 10th year Japanese and music. This year she is in the top English and science classes, as well as taking singing and trombone lessons; performing in 5 choral groups and a wind band and debating in the debating club.
She also belongs to rowing group which rows up to 3 times a week over the summer.
Fred jr (11yrs) has just started at a new school for year 7. He has become a sports addict and does well at rugby, long jump and long distance running.
Chinyanta (9yrs) is now in year 5. He's also a natural sportsman and good all-rounder at schoolwork. Both he and Fred are also keen artists, (you can see some of their earlier drawings on the "art" page).
Nadia (8yrs) has been inspired by her parents and taken up tramping as well - she and Imogen went on their own to the top of a local mountain. The tramp involved hiking 8km up-hill to the summit, which Nadia managed no trouble at all, (photos on the photo page - shortly if their not there already).
Nadia is also doing well at school and is especially famous for always getting 100% in spelling.
Katuta (4yrs) will be starting primary school in a few weeks. Katuta is a jumping fanatic and loves jumping up stairs, jumping on the trampoline and generally jumping anywhere that's likely to impress people. He's a man of few words, but manages to show off without talking.