Monday, January 20, 2014

On the Road Again

I am traveling for work again. Just a two-day stop in San Jose, Costa Rica. I forgot to create my maps in advance this time though! I am falling down on the job.

Tidbits thus far:

  • Remember in Amman when I said the first restaurant we came to was a Buffalo Wild Wings? Well, a knock-off BeeDubs? There is literally a Hooters next to my hotel here. Not a knock off. We passed all things America on the way in from the airport. Wendy's, McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, Applebees, etc.
  • Tea with milk = cup of warm milk and tea bag.
  • Arctic plunge on its way to the Midwest. Eating breakfast outside in sunny 70s here.
More later.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Year in Review

This past year Sara spent an entire year as a grown up again. It had been a while. And Cale started the last year of his graduate degree.

We started the new year with our New Year's buddies, Josh and Charlotte. This year there was almost, so very close, another Rodenberg to join the fun. But not yet. We would have to wait for February.

It's not entirely clear that anything happened to the family Reeves in February.

March, for Sara, is Women's History Month. As usual, Sara was at the Luncheon and the Leadership Development event. They are put on by the Bloomington Commission for the Status of Women. Sara has been the volunteer secretary for the past three or four years.

Teresa had a birthday

And this happened.

In May, Cale officially became a college graduate and celebrated appropriately.

In preparation for what was going to be a very busy summer for Sara, we took an early vacation and headed down to NOLA. It was our first long-distance trip on the Goldwing.

We headed south for the change in temperature, as all we really want to do for vacation is sit outside and read. However, the real draw to New Orleans was the Clutch show.

On the way back north, we stopped off at the crossroads.

May ended with a big milestone for the family Reeves. Our 10th wedding anniversary. Talk about feeling old. We celebrated by bringing together friends from all over the world for a camp-out and picnic at the place it all started, Brown County State Park.

June was the beginning of the Working Summer that Never Ended. Over at Sara's work, the Institute for International Business, we welcomed the students from the first of three summer programs we hosted.

This was the Global Business Institute (GBI), a joint program with The Coca-Cola Company and the US Department of State. Almost 100 students from eight countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Near Asia joined us on campus for just more than three weeks.

Cale kept himself busy too, working as a research assistant for a faculty member at SPEA. If you need a lit review done, he is your man.

Somewhere we found the time to celebrate the Grandparents Carusillo's 60th wedding anniversary.

Luckily Sara wasn't working on the GBI project full time, as she was preparing for the group of Europeans that were arriving in...

The Global Social Entrepreneurship Institute (GSEI), also in collaboration with the US Department of State, brought 20 undergraduates from 13 European countries to campus for a month.

Halfway through July, our next program began: Business is Global (BIG). BIG is a two-week program for US high school students. We introduced them to three less-commonly-taught languages (Portuguese, Arabic, and Swahili) and international business.

Despite working more than 150 hours of overtime in the month of July (not that Sara was counting or anything...or getting paid overtime...that's what you get for being salary), we still found some time for fun, including celebrating Mom's birthday.

Cale, Sara, and Sara's boss took the GSEI students to Washington, DC.

Cale headed back to Bloomington after the GSEIers headed home, but the boss and Sara remained in DC for several more days to attend the USAID Education Summit.

Cale and Sara then headed to northern Indiana to celebrate a very Fish-Kipfer wedding reception.

Fish-Kipfer Wedding by Sara Reeves on
Fish-Kipfer Wedding by Sara Reeves

Sara was back in DC for another conference.

And of course, we headed out to Sacramento for the most hipster wedding of all!

Cale started the first semester of his final year of graduate school at SPEA. In addition to such fun classes as Applied Math, he was taking his capstone class as well. Quite possibly the smallest capstone on record, there were only four students in the class.

Finally, in October a chance to rest. Well, except for this...

but also this...

It was so very fall.

And this happened over the course of 10 days.

Sara was off on more action and adventure for work. This time an eight-day tour of four countries in the Middle East and North Africa. And it only involved one futile emergency drive to Chicago the day before her flight since the Algerian embassy waited until the last minute to return her passport.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you feel about it), Cale stayed in Bloomington tackling his capstone project analyzing hourly energy demand data from buildings on campus in order to create a retrofit prioritization plan.

Cale submitted his first batch of PhD program applications.

Sara could no longer stand Flickr's hideous new look and made the move to 500px.

We celebrated Solstice with Cale's mom and Milton.

Solstice 2013 by Sara Reeves on
Solstice 2013 by Sara Reeves

And then it was time for a Very Carusillo Christmas.

A Very Carusillo Christmas 2013 by Sara Reeves on
A Very Carusillo Christmas 2013 by Sara Reeves

Here's to 2014, when Cale will graduate with his masters, the summer will be just as crazy for Sara, and Cale will embark on becoming a doctor.

- Sara

Friday, November 22, 2013


While we were being led by our guide/hostage in Algeria, the boss pointed out a beautiful view ahead of us.


Our guide/hostage tried to explain to us what we were seeing. However, we couldn't understand the word she was using. She started to draw in the air with her fingers, so I handed her my note pad.

And then, we immediately knew what it was.


Of course, doesn't that drawing just scream cemetery?

Of course, she had been saying a word that sounded a lot like cemetery all along: cimetière. We just couldn't make the connection.


The pictures from my work travels are finally up on the flickr.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Return Trip: Leg Three Complete


Return Trip: Leg Two Complete



  • Moroccans all have very stylish glasses. Let me rephrase that, all Moroccans that wear glasses (and it seems to be so many) have very stylish ones.
  • You can smoke anywhere. And people will.
  • So it’s very common to walk down a street and see rows of guys all siting in a straight line (backs to the building, faces to the street) at little tables with little coffees (probably smoking a cigarette). It stood out to me because in the US, it is more common for people sitting together to sit facing each other, one across the table. However, here they are all sitting next each other staring out at the street.
  • Why is it so hard to get on a bus and then move out of the entry way so that others can get on? The students on campus fail to do this all the time. They step on the bus and then stop, right there in the entry way, making it impossible for others to get on and forcing them to push through to the empty spaces beyond. When we were boarding the bus in the Casa airport (in the pouring rain) one of the passengers did this. He stepped on the bus and planted his feet and his luggage right there in the middle. Trapping everyone else out in the rain as they tried to squeeze in around him to the copious amounts of empty space on the bus. For christ’s sake, move!
  • When the boss and I arrived in Tunis, we immediately got in line for the only bank to be seen to change our money. I immediately took note. We were clearly the wrong gender for this line. Ahead of us were 10-15 men. On either side sat women in head scarves (and one fully covered woman in all black), clearly waiting for the men.
  • Did I mention you could smoke anywhere? At the dinner in Tunis, the waiter (who clearly hated us) stood off to the side smoking a cigarette that he would reluctantly set aside to serve the table when required.
  • Speaking of things that are so very French, the guys in North Africa are very European. Scarves, fitted pants, fancy shoes, etc. 
  • I was going to lose my mind over the queuing. As much as I understand in theory the difference between American queuing culture and queuing cultures elsewhere, it doesn't make it easier for me to adapt. I swear every time I was in any sort of semblance of a line, someone was going to just walk right in front of me. First, I was able to rationalize it based on what I am calling the MENA Merge. Just as the lines painted on the roads are completely meaningless, so are the lines in a queue, everyone just sort of merges together rather naturally, fitting themselves into any available space until forced to narrow down to one behind the other in a more American queue. However, even in the clearly separate, distinct, far from each other, no merging going on lines at customs in the Tunis airport, I still had a woman step in front of me. TWICE! After she cut me in line, she seemed decide she wanted to be in another line. Cut into that line. Then decided she wanted to be back on my line and cut me again! It makes me irrationally angry. I am still going to get where I am going. It has not affected me in anyway, other than to make my blood boil of course.