2014 was a very interesting year for us. During the year we flew to New Zealand for a Nauru reunion at Waitangi, we visited Tasmania for a couple times as usual, spent a month with my parents in Brazil and the big one for the year was an assignment I started for Rio Tinto in their Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.
In the home front it was the usual activities with the family and friends . Some of the highlights of the year were:
Commemorated my 65th birthday with a family reunion in Brisbane.
An assignment with Cement Australia in their plant at Gladstone where two friends from Mozambique and Angola work. The usual wining and dining took place.
A short visit to Russel Island in our Moreton Bay
We camped at Peel Island with Erica, her family and some of her friends
My cycling activities continue with the usual trips around Brisbane
Attended a conference in Sydney on railway issues
Xmas this year was in Tasmania where we spent a couple of weeks with Rita and family
In the next sections you can see in more detail the main activities for the year. Just select the quarter you want to visit in the navigation bar at the top. From each quarter's section you can also view a selection of photos related to each quarter..
The main activity during this quarter was our annual visit to Brazil to spend some quality time with my parents.
During my visit to Pontal do Sul where my parents live I used the opportunity to visit Curitiba, Guarujá, Matinhos, São Paulo and Ilha do Mel.
Curitiba is one of my preferred cities in Brazil. It is a very well organised city and not very big. We have family and friends living there and we always have good times. In particular my cousin Carla always have a fantastic program lined up showing nice places in the city that are not in the touristic brochures.
In São Paulo we have Filomena´s family and some good old friends from Angola. This time we were not able to organise a big reunion, but spent some time with the Oliveira family reminiscing about the olden days in Angola and talking about our present lives.
Zé Tó as we used to call him when we were kids, lived near my grandmother Beatriz in Silva Porto (now Kuito) and, although younger than me, he was one of the rascals that with me roamed the city streets during the holidays.
It was also the year of my 65th birthday and Rita and family came from Tasmania to help celebrating the occasion.
Click here to view Quarter I photos
The highlight of this quarter was our trip to New Zealand to attend the Nauru reunion.
The reunion took place in Waitangi, where the British signed the treaty of the same name ending the Maori Wars. We stayed in the Waitangi hotel and had a ball with over 50 ex-Nauruan’s expatriates relieving all the adventures and mischief we experienced on the island. Most of the people we had not seen since we left Nauru, for over 30 years ago and recognising some was a challenging experience.
We did some sightseeing around the north part of New Zealand. We visited Russel (or Kororareka as it was known in 1830s), the first capital of New Zealand and participated in a Maori welcoming ceremony where I was appointed Chief of the white men tribe.
I had to accept the welcoming and respond on behalf of my tribe. I made a big impression when I addressed the Maori Chief in Ganguela language (the language of the people from Cuando Cubango in Angola where I lived).
From the reunion we drove to Auckland were we stayed with our friends the Cassidy’s. The Cassidy’s were one the best friends on Nauru and we kept in touch all this time.
In Brisbane I participated on a 50 km bike ride called Brissie to Bay to raise funds to fight MS a debilitating illness affecting many people in Australia and in the World. Our team was composed by my friend German and I (the Oldies) and Bruno and Rodrigo (the Thoroughbreds). As usual the Oldies soldiered on all the race while the Thoroughbreds had punctures and one had to abandon the race.
We really enjoyed meeting Graça and Jorge from Portugal. Jorge is a Professor in one of the Portuguese Universities and was here lecturing. We showed them around and had a lovely trip to Byron Bay where we spent the day sightseeing.
We had our usual trips to Peel Island to spend some time diving and just enjoying the sea and the sun. We had a visit from Rita and her girls and had a great time with them. I took the girls on a train trip to the city and a visit to the museum.
One weekend we decided to go to Russel Island in the Moreton Bay and spent the day traveling around the place.
Click here to view Quarter II photos
Quarter III was a relatively quiet one.
We had a quick visit to Tasmania to celebrate the 8th birthday of Isabella and had a visit from Rita and the girls.
I also attended a conference in Sydney about trains and used the opportunity to spend some time with our friends Margaret and Jaco.
Erica organised a camping expedition in Peel Island with some friends. We spend the weekend camping there and enjoyed to usual beach activities.
Miguel had is first big gig with his school brass band honouring our allies from Papua New Guinea during the Battle of Australia, during the Second World War.
Click here to view Quarter III photos
A very busy end of the year for us. I started my assignment in Mongolia and had two trips of three weeks each to Oyu Tolgoi, a mine in the Gobi desert.
You can see in more detail my impressions about Mongolia and the Mongols following this link :
This year the Xmas celebrations were in Tasmania with Rita and her and Jamie's family. Erica and the family travelled also to Tasmania and we spent Xmas together.
The celebrations were tainted with an accident that Isabella suffered when riding the new bike that she got as a Xmas present. She crashed against a fence and broke an arm.
Click here to view Quarter IV photos