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Thanks, New Zealand

In the last year I have:

Served as a guest judge in a lamb competition.

Delivered pizzas while loudly singing along to classic rock radio.

Learned a variety of food preservation techniques including fermentation, curing, dehydrating, and jarring.

Relaxed in natural, mud-bottomed hot pools after a seven-hour trek across treacherous swing bridges.

Learned how to make butter, cheese, bread, and whiskey (kind of).

Spent hundreds of hours climbing the schist cliffs around Wanaka and the limestone boulders of Castle Hill.

Failed (twice) to solve very simple problems with our van, which in my defense was of legal drinking age in the US.

Saw the sunrise on Mt. Cook/Aoraki with avalanches falling on peaks around me.

Visited and tasted wines from dozens of little-known-yet-world-class vineyards.

Harvested oysters, mussels, and red snapper from the ocean.

Learned how to skin, gut, and butcher poultry, small game, goats, and pigs for consumption.

Met dozens of new friends from all over the world (England, Australia, Argentina, Germany, France, Chile, Israel, New Zealand…) that I’ll share the rest of my life with. (But don’t worry, old friends, I still love you and miss you all.)

Got engaged to be married to the woman of my dreams.

It’s been a good year.

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