Could Laura Ingalls Wilder have imagined this?

I am sure that you will be hearing many stories from Eric’s 17-day trip to Yogjakarta, Indonesia, for intensive language training. But the story for today is the gift he brought home for Caedmon. For Easter, Eric got the boys the full set of Little House on the Prairie, one of my favourite things to read as a young person. I must have read the entire series 10 times. I once made the mistake, after my mom joked about her being old, of asking (innocently!) whether she rode in covered wagons as a little girl. “Not that old,” was her reply.

So you might imagine my shock and delight – and shock – at seeing Eric’s gift for Caedmon:

Yes! It’s a chapter from Little House on the Prairie, in both English and Bahasa Malaysia. The back cover says, “Laura mengalami banyak kejutan sepanjang hari ketika keluarga Ingalls menghabiskan waktu pergi ke kota.” Laura is in for a day filled with surprises when the Ingalls family spends the day in town.

It’s such an amazing contrast, of Laura writing when her memories of going to town were grand adventures. And here we are, where we live in a “Kota” – Kota Kinabalu – and her work is being translated into languages that she didn’t even know existed. And there is such a strong connection between me as a young girl, dreaming of exploring and adventure “on the frontier” and me today in this developing nation, with just our immediate family that had boarded a plane with 8 pieces of luggage and a lot of excitement/anticipation/anxiety/hope. The title of this book is “Pergi ke Kota” – going to town – and that’s what we’ve done, too. Gone to town, figuratively, as we made a pretty extreme move from New Jersey to Borneo, and gone to this town, with its culture and language and currency and even some dirt roads. Laura journaled and I blog, and across the years and the miles, our paths still cross. It’s amazing, this huge, small world.

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