This is written by Neil, so references to "I", "me" or "my" mean yours truly.
In March Roger shaved his hair for charity -- an event called the World's Greatest Shave benefiting the Leukemia Foundation in Australia. He raised over $3,000. Many of my friends around the world contributed generously to Roger's fundraising, so he thanks you very much.
Further news about Roger is that he will be an exchange student at McGill University in Montreal for a semester in the first half of 2015. He'll start in the extreme cold of winter and move into the more comfortable spring and summer months. He was very excited when he called with the news and it will no doubt be a great experience.
Rex continued school in Bangkok -- he's now in his senior year. The start of the school year was difficult as his girlfriend, who is one year older, went away to (Penn State) college in the US. Rex was lonely without her which resulted in reduced enthusiasm for things in general and falling grades at school. It's not a good time to drop off in results so I hope he is now back on track.
Another piece of news about Rex is he (finally) had his braces removed. They were put on in Sydney 3-4 years ago. The change of location to Bangkok seemed to delay the process; but all's well that ends well.
I've been sick of my appearance for a while now but this year I decided to do something about it. I wanted to go back to my pre-marriage weight as I put on 1kg per year for the first 17 years of my marriage. I started in February and I finally met my goal in November -- 17kg lighter. (That's 37lbs if you're not familiar with the metric system.)
I didn't exercise or make big changes in my diet, I simply ate less. I figured I have a sedentary lifestyle; I sit behind a desk most of the day and only exercise once a week with 1 hour on the squash court. (I am terrible; I don't worry about winning the games, just run as much as I can.) I was eating more than I should and when I cut back I lost weight. The troubling thing is I had to lose 12kg before I could feel a difference. Next year I plan to do some exercises to increase my core strength.
Things with Kung are going well. In April she moved to a rented house in the outskirts of Bangkok; she chose the area for proximity to a high school she selected for her son, who relocated from upcountry to Bangkok. I went there four times this year -- in Feb, Apr, Jul & Dec. Assuming Rex goes to college in the US I am likely to go only twice in 2015. As far as PNG is concerned life in Port Moresby continues to be challenging.
You can see these photos and some more here. Overall the biggest news this year is the return to my "old" weight after 22 years.
Best wishes to you and your family in 2015.
All the best … Neil