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BRINGING UP BABY. Laetitia was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 1966. Her brother Philip followed suit almost 2 years later in the town of Springs in what was then known as the Transvaal Province - it's now called Gauteng. He did not do this by himself - the family moved there at the end of '66, so he had the full weight of their support and assistance with the medical bills. Her Dad ran a law practice but decided to become an Academic and started a long career as Dean of Law at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape Province. This was quite a distinguished institution, listing amongst its former students our former President Nelson Mandela. Laetitia's Mom also worked at the University and retired along with her husband in 1994, the year that Mandela became President. These events were apparently not related...  LAE CLEANS UP!
FAMILY MATTERS. Too true. You can see some more about Laetitia's family here.
SCHOOL'S OUT. Though her teenage years were based in the small but historical Eastern Cape town of Fort Beaufort, she spent most of her academic career and her initial working life in the University city of Grahamstown. She finished High School at Victoria Girls' High there at the end of 1984 but not before spending a lot of time travelling Europe with her family and even went to high school at Gymnasium St. Ursula in Freiburg, Germany, for the best part of 1982.  AT 17 WITH HER GRAN IN FORT BEAUFORT
LAETITIA'S GRAD PIC MAKING THE GRAD. She entered the Translation and Linguistics Department at Rhodes University in 1985 and met me at the beginning of the following year. This was not enough of a distraction to prevent her from getting her first degree in 1987 (she's now got 3, the swot). After graduating, she signed up for another course, this time at the Department of Librarianship, and got an H.Dip. Lib. under her belt by the end of the year. What does all this mean? Simply that she's a qualified Translator, a qualified Librarian AND a qualified English Second Language teacher. Phew.
TRAVELS. As '88 drew to a close, she headed off for another spell in Europe. I was along for the ride for about three months, so we saw Paris, London, and the Black Forest together, but all good ends come to a thing and she stuck around while I headed back to S.A to resume my studies in late February 1989.


PHIL DU PLESSIS Her brother, Phil, also went to Rhodes from 1988 until 1988, after which he did his Postgraduate Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Fort Hare. After graduating, he maintained a presence there as a tutor and graduate assistant, then spent some time in Europe and the Middle East. He went back to South Africa just before Christmas, 1991, after losing about 10kg in Israel (this involved matters dietary and was NOT the result of stepping on anything explosive). He moved around the Eastern Cape Province doing various things until getting to Cape Town, where he married Laetitia's very good friend, Joanne, and started working as a payroll consultant for one of South Africa's biggest banks, First National. The pair of them have since emigrated to the UK and have been living in London since June 2002.
IN FREIBURG, XMAS 1988 ON TOP OF THE WORLD. Laetitia came back to S.A in mid-1989 and looked for her first 'real' job, but it had to be in Grahamstown (where I was still studying). She struck it lucky and started working at South Africa's only library for the blind. Being gainfully employed, she took the opportunity to stick around until the end of 1990, despite the fact that we'd split up (and subsequently made up) after she got the job. She headed back to Europe, Italy this time, just before my '91 academic year started. We would only see each other again 13 months later. In February, 1992, I met up with her in Rome as planned and a ceremony followed...
SINCE THEN. Laetitia's worked at one of South Africa's biggest insurance companies, SANLAM, as well as at the library of the Border Technikon, between East London and the regional capital of the Eastern Cape province, Bisho. She's also taught at a couple of language schools in Cape Town, including Inlingua, before heading off to further her academic career in the Far East. BORDER TECHNIKON LIBRARY


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