September 28, 2011

Hyena Hunting

For my Secondary English education methods class, we had to write a sample of "memoir" this week. I dashed this description off pretty quickly for it, but I kind of liked remembering these moments, so I figured I'd go ahead and share it with y'all. Again, it's nothing fancy, just some good memories...

Our usual weekend getaway from our home in Addis Ababa was a small volcanic crater lake called Babogaya. We would stay in cabins perched on the slanting hillside that led down to the lake and spend afternoons swimming in the freezing water, which no one actually knew the depth of. Come nightfall, however, the lake turned a little too frightening and so, for entertainment, a group of us kids could usually convince one of our dads to take us “hyena hutning.”

This consisted of us clambering up onto the roof rack of a Landcruiser while the dad took off down unlit, unpaved roads – us clinging to the metal edges for dear life while the mothers all had to look away. We’d charge out into the darknes, looking for the neon glow of hyenas’ eyes, calling for them – not the famed laugh, but rather a “whooooop, whooooop, whoooop” noise that we were used to hearing late at night.

We’d usually catch sight of one or two relatively quickly, sloping along in the field alongside the road and yell until our driver would swerve into the field, aiming his headlights at the animals and chase them down. Often we would just park and watch them – such ungraceful, gangly animals; mangy and pitiful, yet still making you fell a little unsafe and adventurous as you clutched the spare tire atop the car a mere twenty feet away from them.

The best nights were when someone from the nearby village had a dead horse to get rid of, and would drag the carcass out to leave on these rural roads. The hyenas would be in a frenzy then, crowding around, digging in, spilling open the horse’s guts, yapping and fighting each other off. One claims a leg while another darts in and grabs the stomach, running away with it like a trophy. The stench would be powerful but we would be riveted by the animals below us, cleaning the carcass to the bone in the glow of the headlights.

Then, finally, we would turn back, drive to our safe, walled compound and climb into our beds. We would listen for their whooping as we fell asleep, shivering with fear that they might be just outside the door, but knowing we were safe in our beds and they were in their fields.

P.S. Another time I got up close and personal with hyenas.

[picture by me! At Amboseli Game Park, last Christmas in Kenya. Y'all, I usually try and only put pretty pictures on this blog, but sometimes the content will just not allow for that...] 

September 26, 2011


“Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost. Because it's something to do to pass the time until she is old enough to experience the things she writes about.”

Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

I'm currently working on a short story for class on Wednesday. I'm still at the 
beginning, still trying to coax the pieces together in my brains so I can then articulate them 
into some sort ofwritten form. It's hard, y'all. But that's all just part of the process, right?

[image via We Heart It, quote via Whatever, Gatsby]

September 25, 2011

All My Fountains Are In You.

So incredibly grateful for and encouraged by the community I got to enjoy this weekend -- the community that I'm blessed to have a home in all the time. God is so good!

September 23, 2011

Fall Retreat!

This is where I get to spend my weekend:

Rockbridge YoungLife Camp!

So excited for a weekend of hanging out, escaping Cville, and getting to make extra time for Jesus. Not to mention roadtripping there (and stopping at Sonic!), a zipline into the lake, and an epic ping pong tournament. Oh, and just being with my Agape fam:

See you Sunday afternoon!

(pictures by Kathleen Atkinson)

September 22, 2011

Thursday Caroline

Quote Love: “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”- Frederick Buechner

[image via Design is Mine]
Thursdays are not my favorite day. At all. In fact, they are the worst. I start class at 9:30 and have my four classes not-so-conveniently scattered across the whole day until I finish at 9:45pm. UGHH. Can I just say that 7-9:45pm classes on Thursday nights are never a good idea, but especially when that happens to also be the time my Christian fellowship's large group meets? 

As you can probably tell, Thursday Caroline can be kind of grouchy and complainy. But really, she has no right to be. Yes, Thursdays are pretty bad, but all my other days are actually pretty great. Especially Wednesdays. And no classes on Friday, which I need to stop taking for granted. But at this point in time, when it is dinnertime and I know I still have a three hour class ahead of me? It's hard to remember that. 

So feel free to keep on reminding me :]

September 21, 2011

Please Notice (Thought Of The Day)

Currently Reading: Sense and Sensibility
Looking Forward To: Fall Retreat!

[via Pinterest]

P.S. Who's glad ModFam is back?? (And I haven't seen the new Glee yet. Is it good?)

September 19, 2011

I Like Temporary Tattoos.

Recently, I paid 50 cents for a temporary tattoo out of one of those small vending machines just inside the doorway at a Mexican restaurant. (Actually, I only paid half of it because all I had was a quarter so my friend Brecklyn supplied the other half. She is a good friend.) The tattoo was about 2" by 3" and featured a menacing doberman, a clock, and a giant eight ball and read "Beware of Dawg." You better believe I put that thing on my body.

If only I had known that there are actually really amazing temporary tattoos out there. And there are. Check out this selection from

So cool, right? (...Late birthday present to myeslf, perhaps?)

September 17, 2011

I Want

...To have a personalized rubber stamp like these, and to use it on everything I own, and for everyone to write real letters again and send them snail mail.

P.S. If you write me a letter, I'll write one back. I promise.

September 13, 2011

A Glimpse

Currently Listening To: Modern Love, Matt Nathanson (especially this one)

Apple picking with a group of beautiful friends

Burgers on the grill with our next-door neighbors

The kind of babysitting where you get paid to watch TV

Picnics on the Lawn and wine-tasting and turning twenty-one years old

Hour-and-a-half phone conversations with the bff while grocery shopping

...A good couple of days.

September 10, 2011

Style & 100 Years

So cool.

P.S. notice how the man leaves in the 1940s because of the war!

September 9, 2011

Things I Heart: Maps.

Quote Love: “They came to sit and dangle their feet off the edge of the world and after awhile they forgot everything but the good and true things they would do someday. " - Brian Andreas

There is just something about maps that is so appealing. Maybe it's the thrill of exploration captured on a piece of paper, or the familiar shapes of places that are actually completely foreign, or literally having the worlds at your fingertips. Either way, I just like them. A lot. Currently, my $6 Wal-Mart world map is dominating the wall space above my bed. But someday, when I have infinite wall space (and an infinite budget), these are some of the things I would be more than happy to have hanging up around me:


Amazing. [source]

 love the arrangement! [source]

...and love love love the colors of these frames [source]

Chalkboard! Don't get me started on how much I love 'em. [source]

That heart is in the right place. [source]

 Paris! [source]

September 6, 2011

Sometimes It's Necessary.

Currently Listening To: Thing About Us, Steve Moakler
Six Days Til: my birthday!

I'm about to go buy coffee simply because it is rainy outside and I have homework to do. What do you think -- justified?

[image via Pinterest]

September 4, 2011

Teach Me How to Bhangra

 Once upon a time, a group of girls who were still just at the beginning of their friendship went to Indian cultural dinner thing and fell in love with Bhangra. (It could only help that after bhangra-ing they rode the trolley downtown to a concert and rounded out the night at the Tea Bazaar, which made them feel super cool. I mean, they were only first years, can you blame them?)

Today, those girls live together. And, inspired by a viewing of Bride & Prejudice this weekend, they revisited this former love. And spent the next morning learning to bhangra.

I mean, after experiencing this:

...How could you not? 
Thank goodness for Youtube:

As you can see, things were getting serious in The Hangout Room:

(Confession: I may have missed our first touchdown at yesterday's football game because I was demonstrating these moves to a friend. No regrets.)

You should probably try it. Just saying.

September 2, 2011

Instagram Envy

I have no desire to own a smart phone, but I sometimes (often) get a little jealous of people's Instagram pictures. 


I just like them. (Along with millions of Americans who made the app go viral.) (So I'm not that original. Oh well.) It's like instant pseudo-artsiness, which, as we all know, is what I strive for.

I'm just waiting for the day when someone figures out how to put Instagram on my poor little not-at-all-smart lawn-mowered phone. Just let me know.

P.S. My day, which has already consisted of a Crozet lunch with eight lovelies, is about to involve Bride & Prejudice, making some banana bread, and art galleries. Perfect Friday? Probably.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...