Author: themightaswellers

Thanksgiving 

We celebrated Thansgiving this week in our new home surrounded by a group of our new friends. As I sat around my table in South Korea eating my apple crisp I reflected on the community of people that surrounded me.  Around our table sat friends from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Korea, and the Dominican Republic. The children who were playing together were born in Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, Kuwait, and the United States.

We are so much to be thankful for including the people from all these different corners of the world that have come into our lives.

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Tangerine Picking

You can’t drive more than 10 second in any direction on this island without seeing a plot of land with trees tucked close together bursting with tangerines.  Last weekend we took our little family of three and headed off to a farm that we get our vegetable coop box from and picked tangerines.

img_0221img_0264img_0265It was a beautiful fall afternoon, that felt so much like a fall afternoon in Minnesota at the apple orchards.  I felt pretty lucky to have these two guys as my dates…img_0233img_0298

Hayden ate his weight in tangerines and we did our best to stop him from eating the unpeeled fruit, unfortunately we failed.

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You can take the girl out of the Middle East….

Apparently you can take the girl out of the Middle East but you can’t take the Middle East out of the girl.  Last week we were in Japan roaming the Nishiki Market area in Kyoto, trying to decide on what to eat for dinner.  Suddenly, we stumbled upon the most fabulous sight, a schwarma stand!  Schwarma shops are on every corner in Kuwait, and were in a strong rotation of food we ate in the two years we were in the Middle East.  Hayden and I approached the Turkish worker with a happy “As-salam alaykom.” A huge smile spread across his face as he in returned the greeting to me in Arabic.  We exchanged quick chit-chat as I ordered and paid for my Schwarma, both clearly outsiders to the Japanese culture, enjoying a moment of connection with someone from the other side of the world.

img_9975Shukran Schwarma Man, Shukran.

I’m back….sort of

Well we have officially become those bloggers….you know the ones, the bloggers that disappear for months on end only to show up say sorry and drop a few pictures of their kid looking significantly older than the last time they blogged.  Yep, we are those people.  No promises that blogging will continue on the regular, but as I am currently laying in a hotel room in Japan waiting for my napping baby to wake up so we can go the the Bamboo Forest I found myself reading through our archives of blog posts and loving reading the record that we have created.  So this is my commitment to blog, at least every once and a while 😉 img_9866Here is the picture of said child looking significantly older in Japan at Fushimi Inari

Proof that we are NOT Crazy!

Two years ago when we started telling our friends and family that we were selling everything we owned, quitting our jobs, and that we were moving to the Middle East, I’m sure lots of people thought we were crazy!  We weren’t though, we were just looking for an adventure and new travel opportunities.

Last summer, when we were back in Minnesota, and were sharing the news that Rachel was pregnant and that our son was going to be born in Kuwait, I’m sure lots of people thought we were crazy!  We weren’t though, because we knew that we had a great doctor and hospital here in Kuwait.

We’ve taken some crazy trips, been in a few sticky situations, and have been lost numerous times in foreign countries, but no . . . . we’re not crazy.

Ok, ok, maybe we ARE a little crazy sometimes, but this week we made a very mature decision that proves that we aren’t always CRAZY!

We were supposed to fly out to Istanbul, Turkey today for a week vacation for Spring Break, however earlier this week we made the decision to cancel our vacation.  (insert sad music here)

Turkey has been in the news a lot lately, and unfortunately . . . . not for good reasons.  There is a bit of unrest in the country right now, which is very unfortunate, because it is such a beautiful country with great people.  I was there last November and had a wonderful trip!

Due to the recent unrest in the country, the United States Department of State issued a Travel Warning for Turkey on March 17th.  It’s always been our rule of thumb, that we wouldn’t travel to a country that had a current Travel Warning.  We figure that the government knows more than we do, so we just listen to their advice.

According to their website, they issue a Travel Warning when:

“we want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all. Travel Warnings remain in place until the situation changes.”

I’m sure we would have been safe if we had gone to Istanbul, but now that we have Hayden in our lives, we know that we should just take it easy and follow the advice of the professionals.

So there it is folks, we aren’t entirely CRAZY!  We like traveling and love the adventures that come along with it, but we also know that sometimes it’s just best to reconsider your travel plans.  So instead of a trip to Istanbul for Spring Break, we are going to enjoy a little “stay-cation” here in Kuwait!

You can visit the U.S. Department of State’s website to view a complete listing of Travel Alerts and Warnings here.

 

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – March 7

Hey everyone, welcome to this week’s edition of Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour! We took last week off because we were on vacation to Oman, so here’s what we’ve been up to . . . . .

Oh Man, Oman was Awesome!

Our trip to Oman last weekend was awesome, it is such a beautiful country!  We enjoyed seeing our friend Mike and his boys and had a nice visit. We spent some time at the beach, ripped around on his jet skis in the ocean, and went for a hike in the mountains.  It was a relaxing trip and the perfect getaway for the weekend.  We’ll try to get some more pics posted soon.

Basketball Team

A few weeks ago, I started coaching the U14 Girls Basketball team at our school.  We’ve only had two games so far, and I’m happy to report that we are 2-0!  The team is composed of 6th, 7th, & 8th graders, and it has been a ton of fun!  We spent a lot of time on the basic fundamentals for the first couple of weeks, but now we are slowly starting to incorporate some offensive plays and defensive strategies.  We’ve continued to improve each week, which has been fun to see.

Baseball Tournament

Baseball Photo

This last weekend the local baseball organization here in Kuwait hosted teams from all over the Middle East for their annual tournament.  A total of 20 teams participated and came from Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. I umpired 8 games in two days, so it was a busy weekend!  Rachel kicked butt being wife/mom of the year keeping our family running smoothly, while I was off enjoying my favorite hobby! So a special thanks to her!

Here’s a pretty cool photo that the Tournament Photographer captured of me in action during one of the games:

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McDonalds Serving Beer in Korea

Last week Rachel’s aunt emailed me an article that she found on CNBC.com entitled: McDonald’s to Offer a Beer with Burgers in South Korea.  When I read it, I chuckled when the author referred to South Korea as the Ireland of Asia, because of it’s huge drinking culture.  According to the article, South Koreans consumed a staggering 27.5 liters of alcohol per capita in 2010.  For comparison, Irish drinkers only consumed 14.7 liters of alcohol per capita in the same year (half as much!).  It’s kind of funny that we are moving from a dry country without any booze, to one of the most alcohol friendly countries in the world!  If you are interested in reading the article, you can visit it here.

We’re Having a Visitor . . . . 

We are so excited to welcome my sister to Kuwait tomorrow!  She is coming for about a week, and we can’t wait for her to meet Hayden.  We’re going to show her around and give her some insight into our lives’ here in the Middle East.  I’m also hoping to have her do some blogging while she is here!!!!!  I’ve been looking for a Guest Contributor lately, and I think she is going to be an excellent candidate.  She doesn’t know that I’m going to ask her yet though, so hopefully she says yes.

Until next week ya’all . . . . .

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – February 22

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour! Here’s what I’d have to share if we were meeting for Happy Hour this week . . . . .

  • First of all, I apologize for skipping last week’s Happy Hour!  In fact, this week’s edition almost didn’t happen either . . . . It’s currently 10:30pm and I’m laying on the couch exhausted, but I thought I would throw something together quick for you.

We Have a Roller

roll over

  • It was a big week for Hayden, he rolled over for the first time from his back to his stomach!  Of course we didn’t get the first roll on video, and in fact, we still haven’t got one of them recorded!  In a world where it seems like people are constantly glued to their phones/cameras, every time he rolls we shout, “where’s my phone, where’s my phone?!?!?!?!”  We never find it in time!

We found Hayden’s Kryptonite

boogy

Photo courtesy of: http://www.nosesucker.com

  • Hayden received his 4 month vaccinations this week.  Here in Kuwait, the government requires children to get certain vaccinations.  Since they are required, you have to go to one of the Government Clinics, which is unlike any hospital/clinic I’ve ever been too.  It’s crowded, the waits are long, nothing seems organized, and they are only open certain hours each day.  It sure makes us feel grateful that we have health insurance so that we can attend the private clinics/hospitals for medical care.  The nurses we had were fantastic and Hayden was a totally stud!  Once the needle poked him in the leg, he gave us a weird look and just crinkled his eyebrow.  He let out one small wimper, which I translated to, “ouch!”  No tears, no crying, just a total tough guy!  However later in the night we noticed a booger in his nose, so we grabbed his lil’ boogy sucker thingy (I think this is the official name).  As soon as he saw that thing near his nose, he let out a bloodcurdling screammmmm!  He’s our little macho man, but he hates this thing, so apparently the boogy sucker thingy is his kryptonite.

We Love Vacations

oman

Photo courtesy of: http://www.buzzfeed.com

  • On Wednesday of this week, we are heading to Oman for a 4-day weekend to visit our friend Mike and his family.  Mike was the person who encouraged us to consider a life overseas, and specifically in the Middle East.  Since he moved to Oman over 5 years ago, we kept telling him that we were going to come visit, and the time has finally come.  We’re excited to explore Oman, check out some of their amazing beaches, and just enjoy a cold beer with a great friend.

Short Week

  • This weekend, Kuwait is celebrating it’s two largest holidays of the year, and they are on back-to-back days!  On February 25th Kuwait is celebrating National Day, which marks the creation of Kuwait as a country in 1961.  On the next day, February 26th, Kuwait celebrates Liberation Day, which marks the end of the Gulf War in 1991 when Kuwait liberated from the Iraqi invasion.  As a result of the holiday weekend, we only have a 4-day week this week!  Get this though . . . when our week was half over here in Kuwait (2pm on Monday) the work week in Minnesota hadn’t even started yet! (it was 5am on Monday)  Woohoo, only 2 more days until vacation!

See you next week ya’all!

2015 Year in Review

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2015 was the second year of our blog, and everyday we are continually amazed at the number of readers and visitors that stop by!  Blogging is a ton of fun work, but it’s a great way to share our experiences and stories with people around the world, and we have throughly enjoyed it.

Last year I did a post entitled 2014 Stats, where I documented the stats for our blog.  Well today, you get to read about our 2015 year in blogging.

In 2015:

  • We published 66 posts, which was only 3 more than in 2014.
  • We had over 8,300 viewers, an increase of 56.6% from last year!  That is pretty impressive since we only blogged for 6 months in 2015: January-May and September
  • We posted 360 photos, about 7 per week
  • The day with the most viewers was on April 22, when we published Amazing News!
  • Our readers came from 107 countries!

 

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  • Here is list of the countries where our viewers are reading our blog:
    • United States: 5,615
    • Kuwait: 929
    • Canada: 345
    • Brazil: 248
    • United Kingdom: 128
    • France: 59
    • United Arab Emirates: 58
    • India: 54
    • Germany: 53
    • Sri Lanka: 52
    • Italy: 52
    • Less than 50 readers:
      • China, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Bangladesh, European Union, Jordan, Russia, Egypt, Netherlands, Pakistan, Turkey, Mexico, Greece, Hong Kong, Sweden, Switzerland, Philippines, Ireland, Slovenia, South Africa, Belgium, Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Japan, Chile, Tunisia, Ecuador, Norway, Singapore, Finland, Morocco, Oman, Thailand, Colombia, Lebanon, Poland, Venezuela, Argentina, Hungary, South Korea, Barbados, Peru, Austria, Croatia, New Zealand, Romania, Vietnam, Senegal, Paraguay, Israel, Denmark, Benin, Algeria, Puerto Rico, Malta, Bhutan, Ghana, Mozambique, Madagascar, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Laos, Congo, Maldives, Angola, Luxembourg, Taiwan, Ivory Coast, Suriname, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Uruguay, Armenia, Bermuda, Georgia, Palestine, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Dominican Republic, Montenegro, Togo, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Iraq, Nigeria, St Vincent & Grenadines, and Latvia!

2015 was a great year for our family, and we are looking forward to sharing more stories and adventures with you as we transition our life from Kuwait to South Korea this year!

 

Flying with a Two Month Old

We did it….we went to Thailand with a two month old and lived to tell the tale!

Before I jump into the details of our trip to Thailand over Christmas/New Years, I need to focus on something that scared my new Mommy heart way more than being in a foreign country with a two month old…flying on a plane for 6 hours with a two month old!

I was completely convinced that Hayden would spend all six flights (yes we planned our first vacation with our newborn to have six flights, rookie mistake!) screaming and keeping the entire plane awake the entire time.  We came prepared with 80 pairs of ear plugs to pass out to the poor souls who would be stuck on a plane with us.  We said many, many prayers to the airplane gods. We packed every rattle and toy Hayden has ever shown any interest in.  Mitch and I gave each other pep talks that “we can do this, even if it means standing in the bathroom for 6 hours.” Then we boarded the plane and our newborn did the one thing we were unprepared for: he peacefully slept the entire time.  During all six flights, he slept the entire time!

Hayden first flight

I love this little boy, even if I never, ever know what to expect out of him!

 

 

Where in the world….

We’ve played this game once before on the blog, and today we are going to play it again . . . our very own Might as Wellers’ version of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego!  In our version though, we are going to find out where in the world are Mitch and Rachel moving to next.  As we have mentioned here earlier this week, we are moving to Jeju Island, South Korea this fall, so I thought this would be a good time to take you on a little tour of Jeju compliments of Google Maps.

Let’s star with a wide angle shot of the world prior to zooming in to see where exactly Jeju is located.

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Now lets focus in on Asia . . .

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A bit closer into Asia . . .

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Now we are zoomed in on Far East Asia . . .

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Narrowed down to Korea, Japan, and just a sliver of China . . .

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Jeju Island is only about 100 km (60 miles) south of the mainland of South Korea.

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Starting to get a decent view of Jeju, Korea’s largest island at 45 miles east to west and 25 miles north to south.

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Jeju houses South Korea’s highest point: Hallasan, a volcano that reaches 6,400 feet high.

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The entire island of Jeju was created by volcanic eruptions about 2 million years ago, and currently has a population of over 600,000 people.

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We are pretty excited to “zoom in” closer and explore all that our little island home has to offer!

Now back to exploring our current Middle Eastern life for the next 4 months . . . .