Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 Year in Review

2012 has proven to be a little more exciting than 2011, generating some fodder for the blog. Here's how it all went down.

We celebrated Abby and Mike's joint 30th birthdays with the shirt that will live in infamy. The WWODBD? shirt is hands down our most popular. What would Old Dirty Bastard do?

Abby and Mike's Joint 30th

Cale finally finished building his Triumph.

The Triumph

And took it for its first ride.

First Ride on the Triumph

In February, we saw the Hackensaw Boys play again, and were sorely disappointed.

Hackensaw Boys

 We had last seen them in Orlando, five years ago:

Hackensaw Boys

They were very good then. Not so much anymore.

More importantly, there was Sprom! SPEA Dean's annual winter dinner, also known as the SPEA prom, includes dinner, dancing and fancy clothes. I even danced. Crystal and I danced a polka.

March brought another fancy dress opportunity, the SPEA Auction and Gala.

I volunteered to man a photobooth, setting up my camera in a corner with a backdrop and some props. In the end, the committee raised more than $15,000 in scholarship money.

Cale delivered his undergraduate honors thesis presentation: The Spread of National Self-Determination: Are recent events leading to the creation of South Sudan anomalous?

Cale Presents His Honors Thesis

Early in 2011, I joined a group of three other master's students and two SPEA faculty (Dr. Thomson and Dr. Wakhungu) in a project to develop a new SPEA study abroad program, ACCT International. Sarah P., Sarah Jene, Ruth, and I were honored for our efforts at the SPEA awards ceremony in April.

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Things started to get a little more interesting in May. For example, I GRADUATED! Though I didn't attend the graduation ceremony. Sounded like a bunch of boring to me. Instead, I stayed home to prepare for the celebration we hosted for our friends and families at our house.

Master's Graduation Party

Just after celebrating Crystal and AJ's 30th birthdays...

AJ & Crystal's 30ths

...Cale and I headed to Kenya.

Amsterdam to Nairobi

I spent the summer in Kenya as the Student Leader for the ACCT International program. Cale, we learned, was a trailing spouse.

We saw the Kakamega forest.

Kakamega Forest

Set plastic on fire.


Met with a future Nobel Prize winner.

Dr. Joe Mamlin's House at AMPATH

Danced with giant puppets that taught us about family planning, or HIV/AIDS prevention, or...something...we are not sure.


Cale surprised me with a burrito party for our anniversary.

Ninth Anniversary Burrito Party

But we spent our actual anniversary on a ferry to Mbita.


Where we visited a local school.

Village Experience School

If you thought May was busy, just wait for June.

We met President Obama's step-grandmother.

Mama Sarah Obama

We hosted a professional development workshop (day 1 and day 2).

Professional Development Workshop

Cale had an interesting experience having a suit made. And I was convinced I had malaria...which turned out not to be true.

 We had a cross-cultural experience teaching the Mumias Sugar football team flip-cup.

Post-Game Dance Party

A bunch of terrorists ruined our plans to travel to Mombasa. So we went to Mbakalo instead and were befuddled by a greenhouse. Along the way, we filmed the joy of riding a motorcycle in Kenya.


Finally, at the end of the month, we brought all the interns back to Mumias for a mid-internship retreat. It takes a village to raise a child, and it took all of ACCT International to cut Dani's hair.

Haircuts and styles at Pam's

Cale and I put our Peace Corps experience to work and put on our very best 4th of July celebration for the interns in Mumias.

Fourth of July

The big deal in July, though, was our trip to the Masaai Mara, where the Great Migration was just beginning.

As ACCT International was wrapping up, we took the interns to Lake Nakuru...

and Lake Baringo...

and, finally, at long last, the baby elephants I promised.

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Orphan Elephant Nursery

And then it was time to leave Kenya. Cale left 14 hours before me, and thanks to a Delta disaster, was still waiting in the Detroit airport when I arrived there. Five hours after touchdown in Indianapolis, I was at Teresa's bachelorette party.

Before we could celebrate my sister's wedding, we needed to celebrate Rob and April's wedding.

I began my job search while still in Kenya and had been very discouraged after months of nothing. Then, after an interview I thought I had bombed, I got a phone call with a job offer while trying on dresses for Teresa's wedding in the Macy's dressing room. "Hey....can I call you back? I am sort of naked right now."

Cale started his final year of undergraduate, that just so happened to be his first year of grad school too.

Then, at the end of the month, on Cale's birthday, we flew to the Bahamas for...

... a Very Chosillo Wedding.

I started my new job at the Kelley Institute for International Business.

We continued to go to Joe's and hang out with Cale's motorcycle gang, the Foul Plugs, on Fridays.

And to head over to The Atlas Bar for Happy Pig brunch and board games on Sundays.

As far as I can tell, literally nothing happened in October. Well, except, of course, this:

November brought Thanksgiving with Cale's family.

Thanksgiving 2012

We mourned an end of an era, with the very last Happy Pig brunch.

Cale's hair continued to grow more and more awesome, likely correlated to his awesome grades in his first year of grad school. We cannot say the hair causes the grades (correlation ≠ causation), but we can wonder.

The ACCT interns reunited.

ACCT International Holiday Get Together

And Christmas came for the Carusillos.

Decorating the Christmas Tree

We'll finish the month heading to Portland to visit our New Years buddies, the Rodenbergs

Tune in for 2013, when Sara leads her first summer program for high school students, and Cale (hopefully) heads to Washington for an internship. We hope to squeeze in a long distance motorcycle trip and some international travel as well.

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