Orange you glad it's October?

Orange. It’s the color of fall, the breeziest, calmest season of the year and my favorite of the four. I picked orange not because I’m a Tennessee Vols fan (Sorry, Aunt Lisa! You tried.), but because it’s October. Time for pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins, some falling leaves and more pumpkins! I love finding the beloved gourd in my lattes, on porches and in baked goods warm out of the oven.

So here’s some photos — ironically, none of pumpkins — that I’ve taken on some of my travels over the past couple months celebrating that warm, smooth color .

Abby, enjoying some time on the Sandia Mountains in the desert land of New Mexico, home of the most beautiful sunsets.

Chili powder (incredibly above my level of endurance for heat intensity) in a quaint little corner shop in Bernalillo, New Mexico.

The view — when I turned around backwards — from the lawn where I spent my Labor Day listening to a free National Symphony concert.

My amazing roommate same dancing on the Mall during our program’s annual group picnic.

A stack of logs waiting for winter outside a little hotel in Eagle Nest, New Mexico.

I hope you are enjoying these golden days of autumn. They’re definitely the best for sitting in the fading sunlight while reading a nice book or gallivanting around with a camera in tow.

Til then!

Overcoming interview jitters

Just to clarify, I did not take this photo. It is one of the few images of Betancourt during her captivity.

A little over a week ago I had my first face-to-face interview in D.C., and my nerves were a wreck.

This interview was much bigger than what I have done for my campus newspaper. It wasn’t with one of the professors I pass every day in the hallways of my university or another Christian studies major praising the musical talent of Mumford & Sons. I was going to sit down with Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian presidential candidate who spent six-and-a-half years captured by a guerrilla force in the Colombian jungle. She’s a woman with a haunting yet amazing story.

Of course, Murphy’s Law, that morning in my office was hectic and time-crunched. I had more things to do that day than I had yet to encounter and less time to accomplish them. I also had not eaten breakfast and there was no time for lunch!

My mind was whirring with questions and worries as I walked toward our meeting place, the Fairmont Hotel. When I got there, where exactly was I supposed to meet her? How would I know when she arrived? Did I look professional enough or was it obvious I was some college student new on the job? Would she take me seriously? Would I offend her with my questions? And the list went on.

I finally arrived at the swanky hotel with 10 minutes to spare, and I could picture all the fabulous people that had stayed there. So now on top of my interview anxieties, I was overwhelmed with soaking up the grandeur of this place. (You see, at home we’re more of a Holiday Inn Express kind of family.)

Eventually, I met Betancourt — with the help of her kind media contact, of course — on the outdoor patio. Once our question-and-answer session began, most of my worries fluttered away. She answered my questions with a soft French accent between bites of her colorful salad. At the end of the interview, she assured me that I did very well. We even parted with a hug.

Lesson learned. People are people no matter what they’ve done in their lives. Hopefully, I’ll remember that the next time I’m overcome with a bad case of the interview jitters.

Til then!