For those who don't know us, we are Australians and both of us are now computer programmers living in Alexandria, Virginia (America).
Here is the more detailed version:
I (Peter) was born in England but lived in Australia most of my life and most of that time was in Sydney. I did a Mechanical Engineering degree and got steady jobs but by 1991, the recession "we had to have" was forcing my employer to lay-off staff. I was worried so I got the first job I could and that was as a technical writer producing operation and maintenance manuals for machinery. Eventually, I was to get back to being an engineer but in 1998 when the US government would not let me work, I did a course in Internet Development. I then had a job for over three years with Premier Data Services but was laid off in March 2003.
Lan was born in Vietnam into a big family. A very big family. She is the oldest of 11 children! There was a war on and in 1975 Saigon fell to the communists. Times were hard, so in 1981 she risked her life by getting on a tiny boat with 35 others and they drifted into the South China Sea. Fortunately, they were picked up by a ship and taken to a camp in Singapore before the Australian government brought her Sydney.
She spoke no English when she arrived but worked at two jobs and studied, sending money and food packages home. In 1983 she bought a townhouse and became an Australian citizen. She completed her Data Processing Certificate and later, the Bachelor of Business degree majoring in Computing. She is a clever girl but it was 95% hard work that got her through.
In 1989, I bought the townhouse next door to Lan and we got to know each other. We became friends. We got married in 1991.
There are only two rules in our household:
- The wife is ALWAYS right.
- If the wife is wrong, refer to rule 1.
We bought a house and lived there during 1994 but then Lan was offered a job in America and we arrived in March 1995. Everything since then is detailed in our newletters - see Coming to America.