Happy Birthday, Songbae!

Christian is sleeping and I’m tearing myself away from my book (A Clash of Kings – the second in the Game of Thrones series) to write a happy birthday post for my brother. Especially seeing as how I never got a card in the mail.

Unsuspecting Songbae arriving at the Bishkek airport.

I maintain that time and energy are the best gifts. Anyway, I already gave him a paddleboarding session this summer as an early birthday gift, and even bought his favorite pens to send in a care package (but now that I’ve learned that my mother already sent him the same Zebra F-301’s, I’m keeping this set for myself).

Songbae's delighted face when he realizes that his entire department has come out to meet him.

Songbae is doing well; it is no surprise to our family that he is well-loved by his department at his micro-finance non-profit company, Kompanion. He is the chief financial officer (CFO) there, and when he returned to Bishkek from his 2-month summer holiday, not only did his entire department come out to the airport to greet him, but one of the interns had made a 15-minute Songbae documentary!

The sign they made for him - check the descriptive words under each letter.

I wrote an appreciative post about him for his 40th, but here’s another, because it’s fine to continue to appreciate the people in your life.


  1. I love how committed you are to feeding your brain. You read constantly!
  2. I love how committed you are to your emotional health. Impressive.
  3. I love that you demand regular family reunions.
  4. I love how charismatic you are.
  5. I love how much Christian (and Bella) laugh when they are with you.
  6. I love you generous you are, with your time, energy, and money.
  7. I love how little you care about material possessions.
  8. I love your creative problem solving.
  9. I love how curious you are about everybody and everything.
  10. I love how you are a consummate connector – you really enjoy putting people and information together.


P.S. Here’s the Songbae documentary.

P.P.S. My latest idea is that Songbae should come to Not-Back-To-School Camp to be an advisor next year. I think he’s almost convinced.

P.P.P.S. He is 42 years old and still single. Contact me if you want to meet him. : )


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