The Adventures of April

We shall not cease from exploration - And the end of all our exploring - Will be to arrive where we started - And know the place for the first time. -- T.S. Eliot

Friday, April 02, 2010

Flippin’ Philippines

One of the best parts of the business school experience at Michigan are M-Treks – outdoor adventure trips that happen prior to school for bonding and relaxation before the craziness of school begins. I scored a spot on a trip to the Philippines and it was one of the most amazing trips of my life. We spent six days on a boat, hopping around uninhabited islands, snorkeling, scuba diving, camping, and getting to know one another.

The pictures don't even begin to do it justice, but just to give you a taste...

Spring & Summer Highlights

I took two months off between leaving Atlanta and moving to Ann Arbor to relax with my

family in Grand Rapids. Despite some personal family setbacks (thank goodness for emergency laparoscopic surgery!) I managed to have some fun, uninhibited by vacation time and location.

  • Going away shindig with my ATL friends themed “it’s my party and we’ll play charades if I want to”
  • Camped and hiked along the Appalachian trail despite some serious fears of a bear

  • Ghandi roti in Toronto… mmm…
  • Wandered around Chicago with my cousin from Seattle, photo ops at the bean and quality time with the DePotty’s new family addition, Sadie

  • Two weeks in Santa Fe studying climate change… urgh… what a downer…
  • Camped in Holland with my favorite sisters and children
  • Attended Udall scholar orientation as an alum… got completely inspired by the class of 2009 and had a blast teaching swing dance classes

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A New Chapter of Adventures

I'm thrilled to announce that next fall I will be attending the University of Michigan to earn my MBA and MS in sustainability. It has been a dream of mine to do this program ever since I learned about it as a sophomore in college. Sustainable business is my passion and I can't wait to learn more about it so I can become a more effective advocate for change. I feel so incredibly blessed and excited! I'm so thankful to my family, friends, mentors, and professors who supported me in this sometimes exhausting process.

Of course, half of my family is going to disown me because I'm going to U of M. Oh well!

Keep reading because there are many many adventures ahead for me!

Friday, February 27, 2009

I finally solved this dang puzzle... Joyce would be proud.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

25 Things

So since the New York Times has now covered the phenom known as "25 Things" I've decided to share my own list here.

25 Random Things About Me... in no particular order:

1. If you know me you probably know that I have three sisters who are my best friends, with my youngest sister adopted from Guatemala. She’s six (seven next week) and a hoot!

2. When I feel really sad my gums go numb.

3. I write with my left hand but my “handedness” is on my right side – I cut, throw (rarely), and see better with my right side.

4. My favorite kind of movie/book is survival stories. One of my favorite movies is ALIVE and in high school I used to daydream about having to take care of the survivors if they got dropped off at my doorstep.

5. I thought “The Notebook” was the worst movie ever created and I have absolutely no idea why people like it so much.

6. When I get extremely nervous/excited in a good way my mouth gets dry like the Serengeti. It’s only happened three times in my life, but enough to recognize a pattern.

7. One time I hitched hiked down half of Belize.

8. I also had fleas in Belize.

9. I’m named April because I was conceived in April. My birthday is in January.

10. A bowl of cereal can solve almost all of my problems.

11. I recently did a silent retreat – no speaking, phones, internet, or music for 48 hours. It was amazing and I highly recommend it.

12. I run partially so I can eat all the junk food I want. 

13. I backpacked from Mexico to Costa Rica over the course of three months alone. It was amazing, extremely lonely, and I would never ever let my kids do that.

14. What I want most are the simple things in life – a family, community, and the opportunity to serve God.

15. I think Stephen Colbert is funnier than John Stewart.

16. It kind of annoys me that I’m always the one that calls my friends, not vice versa. Oh well. BUT - my friends excel at sending packages!! (And I like sending them, too!)

17. Even though I work in the environmental field, I just can’t read news about environmental destruction. It’s way too depressing when all day long I have to be up beat about turning the crisis around.

18. One of my closest friends from college and one of the few people I keep in touch with from that time in my life is a professor.

19. I heard the founder of the company I now work for speak when I was in the 9th grade; he inspired me and it’s a life dream come true that I now work at Interface.

20. I’m very loyal to my crushes. One crush in elementary school for four years, one crush in middle school for three years, one crush in high school for three years, and one crush since then for five years. Phew!

21. I can’t spell worth a darn.

22. Saugatuck is one of my most favorite places in the world. I love Lake Michigan.

23. I used to do this weird thing in high school called performance art – basically I would get really hyper and do silly things in front of my friends and they would laugh.

24. Seeing Gloria for the first time in the airport in Grand Rapids was one of the best moments of my life.

25. I love making people laugh and I’m not afraid to make fun of myself.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Retro Travel Email

I was checking my old hotmail account and stumbled upon an email I'd written home my first week in Belize in 2003.  As many of you know Belize was really tough, and I laughed when I read how I tried to put a positive slant on everything (apologies for the spelling). I thought I'd add what I was REALLY thinking in blue italics below...


Hello everybody!

I returned home from Ecuador last week and had a nice but busy week at home. I just arrived in Belize this past Tuesday. It is very very hot and  humid here but I think I am (slowly) adjusting. 

I'm not adjusting at all. It is so freaking hot here I think I might actually die. 

I live in a pretty nice cabana/hut in the middle of jungle. 

Oxymoron, hello! How nice can a hut be in the middle of the freakin' jungle?!?! But I am a world traveler. Maintain happy face/outlook.

It was pretty comical when the directors were showing us around. For instance, it's always a good idea to check the shower curtain before you get in just in case there isn't a tarantula or scorpian hanging out at the bottom. 

Holy s*** I almost crapped my pants, but that would've required me using the composting toilet, which is equally as scary as stinging vermin in the shower.

You also get to see a lot of "predetor/prey" relationships in action, sometimes right on your mosquito net! 

I'm seriously concerned about being on the "prey" side that equation. I'm pretty sure there are monkeys with pointy teeth like in "Outbreak" that want to kill me.

So it's a tid bit different here.

Happy face, April. Happy face.

This weekend I need to decide where I will have an internship at for the next 7 weeks here. I have some pretty exciting options. I can work from the United Nations Development Project and help with small loan programs, or this organization called Trees Belize that does reforestation/sustainable development projects, or Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology, an organization which provides grants and education to small, mainly women co-ops or a project with the Peace Corps volunteer here in the village of Armenia through the Armenia Development Center that will perform a census and figure out the need for toliets to improve health. I really don't know  what to choose! 

They all scare/intimidate me equally. Seriously, I have no idea what to do.

I am going around to visit them on Monday but all of them sound like really exciting opportunities.

More happy face.

The culture is pretty different here - it is so loose and laid back which is nice in comparison to the US. 

For instance, I love how those "laid back" buses sometimes leave you waiting on the side of highway for two hours.

We have a lot of interesting activites planed and myself and some other people at Jaguer Creek where we are staying may actually get to go to Guatemala to the center of the Mayan civilization in a couple weekends (although not to see Gloria!). Please send me an email and let me know how life in the US is.

Specifically elaborate on the merits of refridgeration, air conditioning, electricity in general, and cereal.

Everybody have great weekends!

Because I'm about to go spend it in the hospital due to heatstroke.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

How did I get here?

I was watching this weird set of videos on a local cable channel when the video for Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime" came on. I've never seen the video but it's one of my favorite songs of all time. I'd love to learn these wicked dance moves! 

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Blessed Be Your Name

The lyrics of this song have a special meaning to me this year... I feel like it's been a year of giving and taking away, of abundance and wilderness, but still God is good.

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful 
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out 
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering 
Though there's pain in the offering 
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out 
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Not very surprising.

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm an
Extroverted Organized Self-Improver

But I like the idea of a book that helps me make lists! Because April loves lists.