Where Were You When We Partied Like It Was 1999?

As I sit trying to decide what to do tonight to celebrate New Years Eve this year my mind wanders back over the years and I try to remember where I was each NYE.  I don't know why we make such a big deal out of this one day of the year but personally I love the holiday and enjoy being new places to celebrate it.

Finding Home and the Meaning of (My) Life

Unfortunately, as I've discovered, the answer is not always 42.  I used to think I had everything figured out.  I had a plan and I knew what I wanted to do with my life.  I set goals and accomplished them.  And when I left Kenya a little over a year ago I knew I would stop at nothing to return to the country I felt like was a home away from home.  And I didn't.

However, now I'm listless and floundering and I have all these questions floating around in my head.  Do I stay in Kenya or do I move somewhere else in Africa?  What about another continent?  Or stateside?  I guess there is something to be said for living in the moment but it would be nice to know what it actually is that I do want in the long term.  Maybe it's just the commitment-phobia is rearing its ugly head now that I'm quasi settled somewhere. 

Singletons, Beware!

Smug Marrieds are lurking behind every poinsettia bush and Christmas tree.  As Bridget Jones laments, why is it that all smug marrieds think it's appropriate to ask singletons about their love lives?  I can't tell you how many times in the last week people have asked me the status of my dating life.  Just substitute Bridget for Captain Awesome and the conversation usually goes a little something like this (just a lot less British and not quite so witty):

The Neuron Project

So this past year has been a rough one.  As you know, I went through a traumatic event that produced some unintended side effects that have stubbornly lingered on.  I'm not one to talk about my feelings or outwardly express emotion but, in an effort to appease the powers that be (my parents), I spoke to someone about the persistent remnants of this event that I continue to experience.  (I promise my blog is not going to turn into some ooey gooey emotionally sappy space.  I am just giving you a little background of why I am starting this so-called project.) 

Amboseli Game Drive

The weekend before I went to Ethiopia for work I took a road trip to Amboseli National Park.  Amboseli sits on the Kenya/Tanzania border next to Mount Kilimanjaro.  It is well known for the free range elephants that wander through the park letting visitors get up close and personal with their herd.  The views and the animals were magnificent.  I'll let them speak for themselves:

Home for the Holidays

One layover and 25 hours later I made it home to Dallas.  I'm still recuperating from jetlag and have spent the last several days getting the basics out of the way (i.e. doctor's appointments and IKEA, Target, & of course Christmas shopping) so I can enjoy the holidays and catching up with friends.

Needless to say my cats (and of course my family) are thrilled by my return.  My mom has been telling them for the last few months that their momma is coming home just to see them and I think Wylie believes her.  He doesn't let me out of his sight and is much more affectionate than he ever was when he lived with me.  I think his neuroses might stem from untreated abandonment issues.  (Yet another reason I should probably never procreate real babies.)

Merry Christmas from Fleur and Bubba!

Harar Hyenas: An Adventure Waiting to Maim and Kill Someone

...fortunately that someone was not me.  While in Ethiopia for work recently some colleagues and I decided to travel to Harar* for some sightseeing and locally brewed beers.  When I heard they also had trained hyenas that came when called and I could feed them I was all in.  I mean what's a missing finger or two in the name of a good time? 

Evidence that it really did happen and I didn't run screaming into the night after the break.