Some of my background; I was born late seventies in South Africa, Vereeniging (V-Town for those familiar with the area :-)), went to school in the Orange Freestate and studied in the Transvaal.
After my studies I started my career in the petrochemical industry in South Africa. Four years later I moved to Oil and Gas, (downstream) in Scotland and later upstream to the best company and people I’ve worked for, Gyrodata. I’ve spend a few years working offshore internationally until I got a placement to a location in West Africa.
Ok, so I’ve spend the last 3.5 years in lovely Luanda (that is in Angola, Africa for our American readers). Had some good times but cannot say this is my favourite part in Africa. Life is hard and challenging in this ever-changing environment………but let’s not dwell on negative, it was another great learning curve and experience.
Loosing my little brother in 2008 made me realise life is way to short to sit around and let it pass you by. How is it that we always forget to live while trying to stay alive.
I’m sitting in a friends house, homeless, basically jobless, gave up my internet connection, telkom landline and gym membership…my house is parked outside, a small fraction of my clothes are packed tightly into four shelve cupboard and I only have three pair of shoes. I have traded my two bedroom apartment, part-time job at a famous pathology laboratory and finally finished MSc tesis for an adventure I will one day fondly tell my kids about.
The story starts with a small town city girl who lived a relatively normal suburban life up till I met the handsome fellow above. I grew up on a farm outside Pretoria with a childhood and parents every child would dream of..I went to a normal primary school, rebelled my way through highschool and was then persuaded to study something. A number of rocky varsity years eventually culminated in meeting an individual that showed me how fabulous life should actually be. Since then I have become the person I use to think I could never be..my boundries have shifted from driving to Durban to flying across the atlantic ocean to watch tango shows in old can-can theatres, being chased by roman spiders in botswana and now venturing into Africa without hair dryer. I have seen more places in the last 2.5 years than people see in a lifetime and I feel so lucky to be included in another amazing adventure.
Hope you enjoy the ride as much as we will…
(Mom and Dad went with on Africa trip)
Nick de Clercq (63)….AKA Pa
I started life as an operator with the local power generating company in South Africa. In 1970 I met Lillian and got married in 1975. We had two sons, Marius and Nick, who were the focus of our lives. I became an apprentice at the ripe age of 28 and studied after hours for 21 years with the support of my wife. I qualified as a Mechanical Engineer with a number of additional qualifications and retired as Operations Manager in the oil and gas industry in Mozambique.
The interesting point is that both our sons qualified as Mechanical Engineers. Sadly we lost our youngest son in a car crash in 2008. One year after he finished varsity.
I am a keen outdoor person who loves riding motorbike and do any crazy thing I can think of.
I was fortunate to tour a number of countries in southern African with my wife and two sons. As my family is a very important part of my life we normally travelled alone to improve personal contact and strengthen the bond with the children. I thank God to be this fortunate to do this extensive tour with my son Marius and his gorgeous girlfriend, Debbie.
I was born and bred in the Groot Karoo, Hopetown. During the time that I worked as a secretary in Kimberly I met Nick and we got married in 1975. Our two sons also studied engineering as their father did and it therefore goes without saying that I raised three engineers. In 1995 we began scuba diving and it was then that the Africa-bug bit our family. After quitting my job in 2002 we moved to Mozambique for work and lived a heavenly life there from December 2002 to December 2008. Since then we retired and is currently living in lovely Oudtshoorn.