About Us - Who we Are
A little more about us, your hosts during your visit to Els on the Web...
I grew up in Steytlerville, a small Karoo town about 180 km from Port Elizabeth. It is on the map, but you'll have to slow down as you approach it, or you may go right through the town without realizing it (just kidding). I spent all my school years in Steytlerville at good ol' "Hoërskool Carel du Toit" and graduated in 1984.
After school I started studying electronic engineering at the Port Elizabeth technikon. Because P.E. didn't have much work for engineering students, I went to Technikon OFS in Bloemfontein the following year.
After 6 months I found work in Johannesburg, and worked there for Johannesburg Computer Holdings for a year before starting a job at the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corp). During this time I started dating Esmé, who also worked at the SABC.
In 1988 I started a (forced) 2-year stint in the service of "P.W. & Sons" (the Army) in Heidelberg. After kissing P.W. goodbye, Esmé & I moved to Port Elizabeth in 1990 and got married later that year. Here I worked for Airtime, a division of the SABC, on one of their outside broadcast facilities until we moved to the US in 1996.
In the US I started a new career as a computer programmer, working for several companies over the years. I currently run my own company, specializing in website development and marketing, as well .NET programming services.
My parents still farm in the Steytlerville district, and I have a sister living in Somerset East and another who lives in Graaff-Reinet.
Esmé was born and grew up in Edenvale (Johannesburg). She loved sports in school, and did very well in tennis and "korfbal" (who knows what that is in English?). She also spent a lot of time on their family farm, "Klein Menasse", near Aroab in Namibia.
After school (1983) she went to RAU to study for a teacher's diploma. After RAU she lectured at Damelin College and then she went on to the SABC where she worked as a production secretary for the TV program "Graffiti".
As I mentioned above, Esmé moved with me to Port Elizabeth in 1990, and we got married that year.
In P.E. she had a great time working at the regional office of Nissan. In June 1994 she gave birth to Johnny and her new life as a mom started... She continued working at Nissan until 1996 when we moved to the US.
About a year after we came to the US, Esmé started working for Continental Airlines as an Airport Sales Agent. She left Continental after Michael was born. Today she's a fulltime Mom and volunteer for the kids' activities.
Esmé's parents still live in Edenvale, and her brother lives in Pretoria.
Johnny was born in Port Elizabeth in 1994. He doesn't remember much about life in South Africa because he was only 2 when we left. During subsequent vacations to South Africa he has been learning a lot more about South Africa. He also got to know his cousins quite well!
While we lived in San Francisco (San Mateo), he went to the Foster City Preschool where his biggest pal was E.J. Morrow. He also became big friends with Pat & Roy Marsh, an elderly couple who lived in our apartment building.
After we came to Texas, Johnny went to Yello Corner in Cedar Park for a year. Then, in 2000 he started 1st Grade at Lago Vista Elementary School, where Mrs Holleyman was his favorite teacher.
Johnny has a 3rd Degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He loves swimming and will be swimming on a local swim team this year.
Michael was born in Austin in 1999, so he's the first full-blooded Texan in the Els family.
When he was small, he was a handful... endless energy and strong as a bull! He started walking at 8½ months, and could climb onto (and jump off) a variety of things before his first birthday.
Michael loves playing, swimming and video games! He has a 1st Degree black belt in Taekwondo.
Michael also loves going to visit in South Africa where he can play with his cousins, who he misses a lot.
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