Staying in touch
Although we have kept in touch with our e-mail
some time since we wrote a formal "Christmas message". So this
is a catch-up message covering the last three years of
1997 got off to a rough start for Alan and
colleagues. A record snowfall collapsed the roof of their
office, breaking the overhead sprinklers which soaked
everything in the building. The entire team of 100 had to work
eight months in cramped temporary quarters. The good
news is that most people got a better office than the one
In January 1997 Alan ran an advertisement in a South
newspaper looking for Dave Smith, one of his two closest
childhood friends. In Cape Town a retired friend of Alan's father
responded to the ad, and Alan was able to phone Dave. The same
day, Alan searched the Internet and discovered his other
childhood friend Martin Brett in Auckland, New Zealand.
This was the three friends' first contact in 30 years!
They now regularly exchange e-mail.
We immediately began planning to visit Africa
1997. Through an amazing series of events we were able to spend
six weeks retracing Alan's childhood through half the
length of Africa. The full story, with some selected photos, is
now posted on our family web page at http://alka.chattaway.com/africa/.
The photos are thumbnails - click on any photo to see a
larger version. If you would like to read it but don't
have access to the World-Wide Web, let us know and we will e-mail
you the text.
Kathy continued to play piano for the
and began a youth group there. Peter continued to work as
a journalist. Monica left for a year in Eire to
study the Celtic harp. Paul continued working for the
electronics firm, and expanded his computer consulting.
Michelle graduated from high school and studied at
McGill University in Montreal.
1998 saw Alan assigned to the role of Year 2000
specialist. He travelled across the USA and Europe visiting
all the offices of his division to spread the message that all
the software they develop must be ready for the new
Kathy studied piano. Peter not only
journalism but also taught it at a local university.
Monica returned from Eire with her Celtic harp and began
working at the public library. Paul joined an engineering
firm as their computer and network specialist. Michelle
returned from Montreal and continued her music studies closer to
1999 was Alan's year to travel. He made so many
Georgia (USA) that he has favourite restaurants
there. He continued working on Year 2000 preparations for several
Kathy used Alan's frequent flyer points to
dad in Europe. She spent 9 weeks there visiting relatives
and friends in Germany, Finland, Poland and
Spain. She took hours of video, hundreds of
photos, and many pages of daily journal which she
e-mailed to us several times each week. After her return,
she used the computer to assemble everything into a 100-page
book containing 400 photos, many of them candids taken
from the videos. Peter and Paul moved to an
apartment in Vancouver. Monica joined a Celtic band, the
Streels, who are currently recording their first CD.
Michelle joined the music program at Douglas
College and the choir at St. John's Church,
2000 - what will it hold? Only one Person
but the good news is that the same Person has told us,
more than 25 times in the Old Testament and 20
times in the New Testament, "fear not". We're trusting
Him for Y2K!