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Annyeong Anniversary

Annyeong haseyo, It’s the formal version of hello here in Korea, and a greeting I’ve learned to use with some confidence over the past year. Mostly with our property’s caretaker, an older gentleman who works harder than anyone I’ve ever met. When he sees me he shouts this greeting from wherever he is, including in the rice paddies that surround our community. The greeting is always accompanied with a lot of bowing. I return his hellos with a lot of shouting and bowing like a bobble head myself. I have no idea if I’m doing it right, but that doesn’t stop me.

It’s hard to believe we have been in Korea for a year. Not only has our family grown, but I have grown. I wasn’t looking for a change, but a year out and I am thankful for the opportunity to grow and learn more about myself.

I’ve been reflecting on this opportunity this past week. Our family, my family that is, has been provided an opportunity like no other. We live in Asia, with our young daughters, during a global pandemic. It has been an amazing adventure. So, in hopes of avoiding boring you with a long humble brag post about our growth, our change, and how proud I am of my daughters, I’ll share what I’ve learned this year.

  1. How incredibly useful my talents in charades have gotten me when I don’t speak the language.

  2. How much I really like the orderly fashion of Korean culture. I love rules and I follow them. I respect when an entire culture does the same.

  3. I love the way the fruit is packaged here. I don’t think I will ever find a carton of strawberries packed with more care than I will in Korea.

  4. I don’t really like kimchi no matter how much beer I’ve had.

  5. I’ve gone bidet and I won’t go back. We will be getting one of these back home. Enough said.

  6. How true it is that Koreans LOVE children. I’ve watched an elderly man (a stranger) wipe Olive’s cookie smeared face off. Of course, he gave her the cookie in the first place.

  7. How beautiful a small country can be. There are mountains and beaches and it’s small enough that we can see it all on weekend getaways.

  8. How beautiful it is to watch the wind blow across the rice fields. It reminds me of the ocean.

  9. That I don’t really need anything on Amazon because it’s not coming for two weeks anyway.

  10. I love being a stay at home Mom. I’m not sure I ever would have opted for this role, but I love it.

I don’t know goodbye in Korean. So, when I’m leaving an establishment, I just repeat the hello. I am hoping it’s like Aloha. You can just say it anytime.

Annyeong haseyo from Korea,


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I love reading about what y’all are doing! Your family always makes me smile.


UD Mary Beth Theis
UD Mary Beth Theis
Jul 27, 2021

I love your blogs!! Thank you so much for sharing! I am so proud of you and Tim! You are incredible parents and simple awesome people I am proud to call family! Love to you all😍

UD Mary Beth Theis
UD Mary Beth Theis
Jul 27, 2021
Replying to

I meant to say simply awesome people:):)

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