2011: I never left the state of California, never did anything worth mentioning other than work 80+ hours a week for 53 weeks at Sundance Honey Company / Bee Busters Inc.
January: Quit Sundance Honey Company and went on an epic road-trip up north to interview with Rogue Brewery and Distillery. In the end I didn't end up with the job (and they wanted to pay me, lets see, literally a third what I'm getting now!) But it was great fun. Raw straight-from-the-still whiskey tasting at 9am on an empty stomach as part of a job interview is one of my enduring 2012 memories!
February: I was set to ship off to Nigeria as soon as I got back but a particularly vigorous spat of terrorism there postponed the trip. So instead I hopped on the good ole tallship Hawaiian Chieftain and we raced up the coast of California from Ventura up to the San Francisco Bay, riding a gale and sailing the whole way. Definitely another batch of fond memories of this exciting transit, particularly listening to everything howl and creak around me as we rocketed through the night during night watch.
Arriving in the Bay I found I had voicemails saying Nigeria was back on, ASAP, so we raced me ashore on the smallboat and I jumped on a train.
Nigeria: First beekeeping training. I just remember the first day there being all stressed out, because I thought I'd have a bunch of different groups but it was one group for two weeks -- "how am I going to talk about bees for two weeks how am I going to talk about bees for two weeks??" Turns out I _can_ talk about bees for two weeks. ;)
Was officially made a Nigerian Chieftain
March: Various mischief in California again, including a bit more of running around Northern California, haunting the bee lab at Davis and some commercial queen breeders in Nor Cal.
April: Back to Nigeria. Doing the backstroke in the hotel pool in Lafia watching the lightning overhead remains possibly my single favourite memory of 2012.
Ethiopia! and then there was Ethiopia, which was an awesome place and I can't wait to go back. Fond memories of strolling about the tiny mountain village of Korem with my colleagues, as woodsmoke drifted lazily over clusters of huts on the green hillsides.
Turkey! then suddenly one morning I was having turkish coffee in the airport in Istanbul. Doesn't really count since I didn't leave the airport but it still felt pretty random to suddenly be in Istanbul and then just as quickly I was suddenly:
Schooner Unicorn! One night I'm leaving Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the next morning is turkish coffee in Istanbul, and the very following morning I find myself up the mast of the schooner Unicorn in Connecticut, helping rig her up for the season. A little later in the year I would return to the East Coast at the invitation of Sailor Cilantro (AKA Koriander) to sail about on the Schoonicorn for a week. Many more fond memories.
And who knows what I did with the rest of my time but the other thing that sticks in my memory from 2012 was my second random roadtrip up to the Red Woods. I had just zipped through them on the trip in January and wanted to spend more time there but no one else could get off work, so I spent a week camping by myself shortly prior to leaving for Australia. It's really beautiful up there!
Australia! And then on August 24th I was off to Australia! Don't even get me started on the adventures that have ensued! (:
This entry should probably have pictures, maybe I'll add them later d: