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REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR 2001

Frank and Cynthia Robben

 

We enjoy keeping in touch with friends – some reply, some drift away, we lose some addresses. It is with pleasure that we receive a letter or email from people we know. We often feel guilty for not responding more quickly (or perhaps at all), so please forgive us.

 

In January of 2001 we purchased a house near downtown Honolulu, not far from Maria’s school - a nice place on the slope of Punchbowl, which is a smaller volcanic cone that has the National Cemetery of the Pacific in the crater and is an historic site. I can hike up the mountain behind us to get a nice view of both the city and ocean, and then there are the interesting memorial structures in the crater commemorating the wars of the Pacific. Our house is pleasant and we have room for visitors.

 

We also purchased a small apartment building as an investment, located near Waikiki on a busy intersection. The stock market had dropped some before I cashed in my retirement, but dropped considerably more afterwards.  We are pleased with the building and the work of running and maintaining it, and it provides much of the necessary $ to live.

 

Maria is now 14, a sophomore at Sacred Hearts Academy and as those of you who know her a very active young lady who is interested in many things. It is a pleasure to see how her ideas and personality develop. She apparently is not going to have a phase of teen-age rebellion – a more rational approach seems to suit her better. We are prepared to send her off to some University upon graduation. In school she is most active in speech and debate – there are several different kinds of competition, which are well developed here in Honolulu - and she is good at presenting herself and thinking on her feet in front of an audience.

 

Cynthia stays busy as mother, housewife and social arranger. We have become a part of the local Sri Lankan community, consisting of about 20 to 30 families, and that is very pleasant. Nice people. She is working part time at a juice bar in a nearby health club, and takes care of the gardening at both our apartment building and our house. We also have been attending the local Unitarian Church.

 

Adrian, 20, has returned from California and is living with us, working at a fast food place and planning on going to Community College here. Dalreen, 23, is also living with us, works for Robert’s Tours on their dinner catamaran as a hostess and is attending the local Community College. Anthony, 25, visited in January with his girlfriend Andrea.

 

We stayed in Honolulu during the summer, nothing eventful except that Maria and I took a diving course and became certified. We have been out a few times diving, but the reefs and sea life here in Honolulu are not that great. Cynthia and I spent a few days on the Big Island (as Hawaii, the largest island here is called) visiting an old sailing friend and one of my high school classmates. Beautiful and interesting there, and I enjoyed snorkeling and seeing the beautiful reef and fish in Kealakekua Bay.

 

In October I took the opportunity to join a friend on her yacht in Tonga and spent 5 weeks there sailing around the lovely islands of Vav’au and Ha’api, finishing in the capital Tongatapu. I had sailed in Tonga previously, in 1992 and 1998 and it was most interesting to see the changes in this beautiful place. Many more yachts now, increased prices, more tourists. I had a great time and look forward to going back again. I dream of sailing again, in the South Pacific, wandering among the beautiful places.

 

For Christmas we returned to Dixon, California and stayed with my mother Lillian (93) and stepfather Irvin (95). A photo of them with Frank and Cynthia is attached. We had a great dinner; I polished the old silverware, cooked the turkey and carved it while Cynthia took care of the rest. A pleasant joint effort. We had 13, my daughter Katie, husband Tom and three grandchildren Björn, Anders and Linnea, my daughter Pippi, and Cynthia’s son Anthony and his girlfriend Andrea. A photo of some of us seated at the dinner table is attached.

 

Mom and Irvin are OK but they have slowed down substantially. It was wonderful to be able to have Christmas with them, a little like the “old days” when I was young, we lived on the farm and there was a large extended family gathering.

 

We are doing well and enjoying life (that is hard not to do in Hawaii). Best wishes for 2002, may you write, and may you visit us here in beautiful Honolulu!

 

Frank & Cynthia Robben

826A Prospect St

Honolulu, HI 96813

Tel: 808-521-3436

 

Eml: Frank:       frobben@kialoa2.com

Cynthia:            crobben@kialoa2.com

Maria:               mia@kialoa2.com