Somethin’ Special

“I mean, it’s nothin’ special. Just a little hole-in-the-wall café on the river.”

I’d been out exploring my town of Palangkaraya with my parents, who’d come to visit from the States. And we’d happened upon a restaurant at this bend in the road. (OK, I was kinda lost.) Later, I was trying to describe it to Brad.

The food isn’t anything unique, I told Brad. Just rice. River fish with probably way too much mercury. Greens of some kind. But the river view? Amazing. “You know, nothin’ special. But somethin’ special.”

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The view from the restaurant.

I was pretty proud of myself for the find. We like those kinds of places, the spots way off the beaten path, with cracked tables and wobbly chairs, but with something unique mixed in there. The last place we lived, Tarakan, we spent many lunch dates at a spot on airport property that sells green rice. Its name is simply “Kantin.” But it has tasty rice the color you never see and with the sound of MAF airplanes taking off behind us. And as Brad puts it, MAF airplanes are magical.

Nothin’ special. Somethin’ special.

Much of our lives here are like that. Are MAF pilots superheroes who save lives? Or ordinary people who get tired and sweaty and frustrated and who need (and give) a lot of grace?


They have life stories that include hard stuff and amazing stuff and probably a bunch of boring stuff, too, that led them to distant, remote places where the stories of grace and passion continue.

And the people of Borneo…they work hard and care about family and have problems, and are trying to figure things out. They hang their clothes on their metal roofs. Sift their rice on round flat baskets. Play dominoes on hot afternoons. Nothin’ special. But then, aren’t people and their values and hopes and daily choices in the face of fears somethin’ special, too?


My days now are particularly “nothin’ special.” Home most of the day. Juggling trying to explain multiplication to one kid, subtraction to another. The 3-year-old needing help going to the bathroom. Nothin’ special.

It’s something I didn’t exactly long to do, something I’m not yet awesome doing. But I made a choice to embrace homeschooling and my third culture kids. My hope is to pay attention to both their hearts and heartaches and my own in the midst of it.

Nothin’ special. Somethin’ special.

Just the kind of spot I like to be.

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Rebecca with her husband, Brad.


  • Alleene Dean says:

    I enjoyed your blog- sometimes the little things really are the big things- because they are the material that make a life.

  • Sharon Hunt says:

    I love your insights and writing. Nothing special. But something very special where memories are made.

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