procrastination is my friend

1. If you're on my friends list, I want to know 36 things about you. I don't care if we never talk, or if we already know everything about each other. Short and sweet or long and detailed, all is good.
2. Comment here with your answers and repost the questionnaire on your own journal.

01) Are you currently in a serious relationship?

02) What was your dream growing up?

03) What talent do you wish you had?

04) If I bought you a drink what would it be?

05) Favorite vegetable?

06) What was the last book you read?

07) What zodiac sign are you?

08) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.

09) Worst Habit?

10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?

11) What is your favorite sport?

12) Do you have a Pessimistic or Optimistic attitude?

13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?

14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?

15) Tell me one weird fact about you.

16) Do you have any pets?

17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?

18) What was your first impression of me?

19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?

20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?

21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?

22) What color eyes do you have?

23) Ever been arrested?

24) Bottle or can soda?

25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?

26) What's your favorite place to hang out at?

27) Do you believe in ghosts?

28) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?

29) Do you swear a lot?

30) Biggest pet peeve?

31) In one word, how would you describe yourself?

32) Do you believe/appreciate romance?

33) Favorite and least favorite food?

34) Do you believe in God?

35) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?

36) Favorite band(s) of ALL time:

21 is right around the corner!

I am almost 21!!! Only a few more hours to go :)

I finally get to meet my beautiful nephew tomorrow. And all of my wonderful friends and family are coming together for my birthday party in the evening.

And, Zach and I are talking again. We are really going to be friends now.

Happy all around!!

(no subject)

Everyone and everything is okay! :) Mo is out of the danger zone and she will be heading for a little recovery time now. The baby (Will) is happy and healthy (and absolutely beautiful from what I hear)! It will be a while before I meet him but I'm excited nonetheless. The last 12 hours were just REALLY stressful!! I'm glad everything is better now though.

But the good news is that I'm at the beach enjoying what was a what will hopefully continue to be a relaxing vacation. Plus, I just got my grades for summer school and I'm still on deans list!! All A's and B's babay :) That is seriously so satisfying to me. That's really all for now!

(no subject)

My best friend had an emergency C-section today at 36 weeks. She suffered from an extreme case of preeclampsia and lost a lot of blood. She is in critical condition at Rex right now.

And, my brother got arrested today.

Please pray for my family and most importantly, for my friend.

African memories

Since I'm lazy and I don't want to re-write everything about the trip, I'm just going to post the emails I wrote home to family and friends. That way I can have them to look back on later and you guys can read about my trip as well :)

Day One:
We finally caught up on our sleep and had a wonderful day today. We are leaving for the first campsite tomorrow so I wont have internet for a while. We will be going to Gobabeb tomorrow if any of you want to look it up.
Today we went on our first bushwalk at a nearby game reserve in Windhoek. It was so beautiful! Its amazing to drive by and see savannah and grasslands as far as the eye can see. One of the areas we drove through was very well known as a leopard area. Although, it is very rare to see one. Our guide was telling us that people often live there for 20-30 years before they actually see one! On our walk we talked about a bunch of different bird species and also some trees that we saw. We saw some Springbok on the way into the park (members of the antelope family) but they were really far away so the pictures aren't great. BUT, on the way out we saw a huuuuuge Wildebeast RIGHT next to our car. He even stopped and let us take pictures! It was awesome!!!
You wouldn't believe how cute Windhoek is!! It totally took me by surprise how much like most American towns it is. I guess I was expecting that since it was Africa it would be all shanty towns and little villages, but it is not like that at all. Yes, there are some shanty towns but they are on the outskirts and none were very big. I'm sure we will see more of what I was expecting on our journeys tomorrow. Namibia is a very big cattle raising/breeding country, so we will likely see some farms tomorrow too.
After we returned from our bushwalk, we went in to the city to exchange money and shop around. We also got lunch. The food here is very good so far!! You have to be very careful though because the crime can be bad at times. I didn't feel uncomfortable at all but we also did have our whole group with us. One of my roommates bags was lost yesterday on one of the flights and she just got it back today . . . they undid her lock and took a lot of nice things from it: clothes, toiletries, phone, camera, jacket, sandals, etc. She is really bummed out and I can definetly relate because of what happened to me in Costa Rica last year with losing my backpack. Luckily, no one else has had any problems.

I'm excited for the DESERT tomorrow, I'm sure it will take my breath away!!

First Week:
So we are finishing up our first week now and I am absolutely in LOVE with Namibia. We just spent four days in the Namib desert at the Gobabeb Research and Training Center which was AMAZING. We were surrounded by sand dunes, gravel plains, and the Kuiseb River bed. We spent most of our time conducting field studies but we had a lot of fun as well. One of the worst days was on Friday when we stayed outside for 8 hours in the blazing hot sun collecting data for some temperature and humidity analysis we had to do. My friend Morgan and I walked up to the top of the sand dunes at 2pm in the afternoon in 111 degree sand!!!!! We about burned our poor feet off getting up there. (For those of you in brazil, thats about 44 degrees C). But, we did get some pretty interesting data collected and we got to see first hand just how well adapted these animals have to be for the extreme temperature fluctuations that happen throughout the day. Its really fascinating actually.
The more fun parts involved touring the research center and meeting all the interns from all over the world - so much fun! The head intern was like a second guide for us because he knew so much information. He is a post-grad student here from Grinnell College in Iowa and he was just an encyclopedia of interesting information. For instance, we went on a scorpion tour one night and right after that he was telling us all about snakes and spiders- then he went into geology and then we talked about constellations. . . it was never ending.  We also got to learn about all the different projects that the interns were working out. One of the guys was doing a really interesting project with Hydrology where he was trying to grow important desert plants in water. So far it was unsuccessful but I learned a lot from that discussion with him.
We also got to meet some of the local people called topnaars. We went to their village yesterday and got to learn about their very successful organic garden (in the middle of the desert thats an amazing accomplishment!!). They also answered our questions about their way of life and we learned a little bit of their language which is fulled of clicks and all these really interesting sounds. 
The highlights by far were yesterday in the evening. First of all, our teacher dropped us all off alone on the gravel plains right before sunset about 100m apart from each other. We got to sit there by ourselves and enjoy the sunset free from everyone else and with our own thoughts just to reflect on our time so far and enjoy all the sounds and sights around us. It was absolutely beautiful and I'm so glad he did that for us. It was such a unique and wonderful experience. THEN, last night all the girls and I (we are 7 in all) and a researcher from Spain, plus a bunch of interns hiked up to the top of the dunes with just our sleeping bags and stayed the night up there. We seriously had the time of our lives, it is one of those things I'm sure I will never forget.  Right after we got up there and set all of our stuff up, one of the girls screamed out "SNAKE!" and sure enough we looked down and there was a sidewinder literally 5 feet from us!!!! It was just calmly making its way towards our stuff (most likely we disturbed it setting our stuff down). So we got lots of pictures and videos and eventually some of the girls we were with brought it to the other side of the dunes. That is so rare to see and it left us all so excited (and a little freaked out in some cases) so we stayed up talking and trading stories until 2 in the morning or something like that. Then we were woken up by a beautiful sunrise at 6am and it was just breathtaking. The desert sky is so clear and it is really just something special to see.      
Now we are in a beach town called Swakopmund taking a break until Tuesday when we leave for our next destination which is Etosha National Park. We will be stopping along the way to stay one day each at the Brandberg and Hobatere campsites before we enter the park.

Last 2 Weeks:
We are finally back in the capital city of Windhoek. We just returned from our last stop at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, which was interesting to say the least. I was not impressed with the organization for various reasons, which I'll have to explain later, but we did get to stay in a pretty awesome old Namibian farm house which totally rocked! I went in to the bathroom once we got there and opened the toilet to find the world's largest gecko looking back at me. Needless to say, I didn't use that bathroom. hahaha.
Before that we stayed at Etosha National Park, which was absolutely amazing. Just on our way into the park we saw giraffes, elephants, a lion, zebras, a spotted hyena, and all kinds of birds. The most beautiful bird I've ever seen is found here: a lilac breasted roller. I am normally not a bird person but I got really excited everytime we came across one of those. They are beautiful! We also got a behind the scenes look at how the park works, how its managed, etc. We also learned about the different projects and internships that were currently going on there. A huge water hole was right by our camp site where we could walk down at any time and see all kinds of antelope, zebras, giraffes, black rhinos, elephants, etc. Plus, there were hourdes of jackals all around the campsites trying to weasel their way into some food every chance they got. That was a definetly a very cool experience.
We stayed at two other parks in the days before Etosha. One was Brandberg (which is a mountain range here). We got to hike and see the White Lady painting there. The next day we stayed at Hobatere which had a nice sized water hole that we frequented during a few kudus during our stay. Those were just pretty much in-between days where we could relax a little.

And now I am just relaxing with friends and taking it easy before the long flight home! This has been such a great trip and I'm so grateful to have had this wonderful experience. I have loads of wonderful memories to take home with me from this trip, many of which I'm sure I will never forget! Plus, I've met some pretty amazing people too. This was a great trip and I will definetly be making my way back to the wonderful continent of Africa in the near future!

Namibia is . . .

stunning, wonderful, surprising, interesting and I'm almost hesistant to say the best country I've ever visited (seriously, its that stinkin cool).

I don't have tons of time to update but I'll try to do a quick list of what we've done so far (which is a shit ton considering I've only been gone a week):
- explored the capital city of Windhoek and tried a german meat pie YUMMM!
- spent 4 days in the desert at the Gobabeb Research and Training Center. this place is incredibly stunning and I'm honestly hoping to get an internship or complete my practicum there. the interns we met were all amazing and we became such good friends with all of them.
- i've seen scorpions, all kinds of spiders, and even a sidewinder!!
- hiked up the sanddunes in midday when the sand was 111 degrees F!!!! (44 degrees C).
- spent a night on the sand dune with 13 other people having the time of my life
- went on a seal and dolphin cruise and got to pet a cape fur seal!
- met a village of topnaar people and learned all about their organic gardening project. also about their way of life and some of their language (which consists of many different interesting click sounds)
- took a tour of a game reserve and saw a wildebeast literally 5 feet away
- saw mountain zebra, springbok, oryx, and a huuuuge baboon family
- visited a prospective copper mine and learned about the endemic welwitchia plants that grow here
- visited a famous schist site called Homeb
- watched the sun go down from the highest peak of a sand dune
- spent an hour by myself on the gravel plains before and after dark enjoying all the sounds around me and just taking it all in

We are taking a break in between activities right now in a town called Swakopmund which is on the coast of Namibia. Its very pretty and still has very much of a german influence. Its been a huge weather change coming here though because we left the heat of the desert and entered the cold and fog of the cost (its winter here now). So, that was a little shocking. But, we are leaving tomorrow for Etosha National Park (SOOOOO EXCITED FOR THIS) and we will stop two nights along the way to camp out and even hike the highest mountain in Namibia. It will be awhile before I can update again but at least I got most of it on here! Its almost impossible to put into words how amazing this trip is. I feel to lucky to be here and experiencing this with the people in this group! Anyways, I hope everyone is doing well. I'm off to find a snack and get some laundry done. Ciao :)


so, i'm back from the amazon once again! it was an amazing trip and i'm actually kind of sad to be back home so soon. but, oh well, life goes on. there's only 8 more weeks left of the semester! whew, time sure does fly. im going to be registering very soon for my summer and fall semesters. anyways, i met a lot of amazing people on the trip and i'm happy to have shared the experience with them. it was pretty much the same itinerary as the last time i went in 2007 but of course it was different just because it was a different time period and different people, etc. there are a shit ton of pictures on facebook (and many more to come) already.

in the meantime, i've been trying to fix my flights to south africa for the past few days because south african airways is fucking retarded and keeps changing my flights every time i turn around. as of right now, i am arriving 3 hours later than i was originally supposed to at my final destination. which means i will miss the shuttle that is being provided and have to find my own transportation. also, they moved my flight from johannesburg to the US back TWO DAYS!! not one day, TWO FUCKING DAYS. that is just utter and complete bullshit because even if i could stay an extra day in namibia, i will now have to spend an extra day in johannesburg as well. fucking stupid. oh well, at this point i'm waiting to hear back from my teacher about what i should do. i guess if worst comes to worst i will just go to johannesburg on june 4th and spend a few days touring around until i leave on the 6th. the other thing that really sucks is that my flight in the US will be totally fucked up after that and ill have to pay something like $450 just to get on the right flight back home. GODDDDDDDD. moral of this story: i fucking hate south african airways! and i will never book a trip to africa through expedia ever again because they are a bunch of idiots!!!!

other than that i have a chem test i need to study for a lab report to write. update more later.


so, i am definetly in shock (in a good way) because:

I GOT A FREAKIN B IN CALCULUS! yes, a B!!!!!! i freakin rocked the final and replaced my lowest grade. and to think my midterm average was the lowest D possible, a 60. okay, i officially rock. patting myself on the back and ALL THAT JAZZ right now!!!!!!!!

I also got an A in economics, which was kind of unexpected, but awesome just the same! so, i have maintained my 3.4 gpa through the hardest semester yet! go me!! and bring on the even harder ones (like next semester).

so yeah, life rocks basically!!!! :)


i officially have a C in calculus. . . which means i only need a 68+ on the exam to maintain a C . . . which means it will transfer state. . . and i will never have to take it again!!!!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!! good lord all that fucking hard work paid OFF. i am seriously going to study my ass off for this exam. if i don't get out of this class i will have snit-fit!

aaaand, i finished with microeconomics today. think i did pretty well on that exam. hopefully i will get out there with a B. i'm aiming for an A in health if i can finish this crazy project in time. depending on how well i do on my final exam in chem, i could get an A. a B would probably be my best bet though. and then i'm done!! and off to state i go in the spring :) good deal