Friday, November 16, 2012

The Borneo Stories

I returned from Europe to Taiwan and found my daughters well and bouncing up and down upon their tails like Tiggers and Roos through the Hundred Acre Wood.  It was deep in the summer of 2012, the Olympics were just around the corner, and we decided to take a family vacation from the small Chinese Taipei island south to the wild shores of Borneo.
By family vacation I mean a large group of intrepid travelers from South Korea who would be joining us along the trail.  SungJoo's mother and father and younger sister, along with our three daughters.
We set sail for eastern Malaysia, north of the tiny sliver of country called Brunei, into the Sabah region of the northern island of Borneo, to the capital city of Kota Kinabalu.
Our daughters are solid travelers.  They pack their markers and Nintendos, scrap books and little journals into pink backpacks.  Rebekah's blanket and Kinu's stuffed bunny NuNu.
I knew little of this area other than savage stories of headhunters and black magic.  Deep jungle treks of white explorers that were never seen or heard from again. Rugged landscape and distant islands hoping along the main coast where time has stood still.  I knew that during World War II there were outposts here, what a remote place to be stationed, and I knew there would be people.  Smiling.  Warm.  Friendly.  But also mistrusting.  Cautious.  Pensive.  Leary.  I picked up Kinu and put her on my shoulders.  Adventure awaits.  Let's set sail into the Indian Ocean.

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