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FC: Going to America | This book belongs to... Katerina Sophia Ask and My Naima Ask

1: My Dearest Daughters, Tomorrow I will be leaving for America, where I will start a better life for us there. Once I have the money I will send you over as well. I know it has been hard on you, living without your mother, and I know I am just making it harder at the moment, but do not worry, it will all be better when you come to America and live with me on our new farm we will have. Katerina Sophia, I am trusting that you will take care of My Naima and remember she is still very young. Once I leave you will go to live with your aunt, I expect you both to treat her with the utmost respect and be a very gracious guest. You are both so strong and I know you can get through anything. I hope to have the money in a year or so, but never worry because I will make sure you are able to come live with me in America. I hope to see you soon and I love you both so much, words cannot describe how much I love you, will miss you, or how much I never want to be separated from you. See you soon. Love, Papa | April 17, 1870

2: Dearest Diary, It is 1870, and some sad but wonderful news have arrived at our household. Papa has announced that he is going to America, to try to earn some money by farming in Montana. Our farm here is Sweden is not doing well,as the weather has been quite terrible and all of our crops have dried up. So Papa is selling the farm to have enough money to buy a ticket.We are eating what we have left, but soon we will run out of money and food. We are going to live with our Aunt Klara. Luckily, Papa has said he will send us money from America until we can come to live with him. I will miss Papa very much,as when he leaves it will be just me and My Naima, and I will have to watch over her. She is only eight years old, but I am fifteen and almost and adult, so it should not be that hard. | April 1, 1870

3: It is too expensive to have the three of us go America together and all at once, but I trust that Papa will soon have the money to send us there with him. It should not be that hard, as I have heard great things about America, like freedom and equality and lots of opportunities. Maybe My Naima and I will be able to go to an American school and learn lots of new things and meet new people. I will miss all of my friends, and so will My Naima when we go to America but I am sure I will make plenty of new ones. Love, Katerina Sophia Ask

4: Dear Diary, Today we got a letter from Papa, we did not get one for a long time, so this one was a surprise. Katerina Sophia even let me open it, it was a treat! She did not let me read it though, she told me it was that special kind of letter you have to read out loud. She has been taking care of me ever since Papa left to go to America, that country that everyone is always talking about, so since she was in charge I had to let her read it out loud. But, I was happy because then we could be happy at the same time. Papa said he finally earned enough money to bring us to America to our new home. After we read it I went to my cousin, Greta (she is 8 just like me) to tell her, we have been staying with her and my aunt and uncle while my dad was in America. She was sad we were leaving and said that we would never see each other again, but Katerina said that we would see them again, so I wasn't sad any more. When we showed our aunt the tickets Papa sent us she explained everything to us. She told us we would have to leave most of our most favorite things here, like my rocking horse, because it took up too much room. This made me very sad, and we could only bring the stuff we needed, she | March 4, 1872

5: said. But I still think I need my rocking horse. She also explained that we would have to leave everything we know, but that was OK for me because that meant I would get to see Papa again. I haven't seen if a million years, it feels like. I am scared, but Katerina says she will take care of me and before I know it we'll be in Motna, or whatever its called, with Papa and everything will be better. I hope she is right. In the letter, with the tickets my Papa also gave me and Katerina a whole dollar! I bet I could buy my own house with that much money, it's the most money I’ve had my whole entire life! Well, it's time to go to bed, but I hope May (when we are leaving) comes super fast, like tomorrow does when you go to sleep. Love, My Naima P.S. I just snuck out of bed because I remembered something. We get to ride a train to the boat in Germany. It will be my first ever train ride, I cannot wait!

6: Dearest Diary, It is now April of 1872, and we are finally on the ship going to America! I have overheard that the ship we are on is called the Master, and that it is landing in New York City. Of course, we must take a train to get to Montana after we land in New York, but we are so close to seeing Papa. Right now I am in our room, laying on my cot. It is not quite as comfortable as back home, but I am sure I can bear it for a little while longer. My Naima is sleeping in the cot next to me; later I will have to check on her. She looks sound asleep, as she has lots of times on this trip. This voyage has been going on for about two months, and quite honestly I cannot wait for it to be over. There are always people getting sick on the boat, and it can get quite crowded when everyone is hungry for food.When no one is looking, I | April 26, 1872

7: sometimes sneak bread for My Naima and I to eat later when we are hungry. At night sometimes I cannot fall asleep, as the boat is always rocking back and forth. Papa did not have that much money, so we are in the lower part of the ship. We share a room with two other kids that are our age. Their names are Greta and Sophie, and they are from Germany. They have told us that they are also going to America to live with their father. Living in a room on the bottom makes it hard because we have to take a lot of steps and MyNaima complains, but then I make it a game for her as to see who can get up first. She is so young, often getting homesick and crying about Papa. Those thoughts enter my head too, wondering if we should of stayed home where everything we knew was. But then I remind myself of the

8: promised life here full of opportunities and I feel better. The weather on the ship has been cooperative, but it is getting hot because it is now July. The ship can get very hot, and we have to make sure that we are drinking enough water. I have seen people pass out on the boat, and I do not want that to happen to us. We obtain our water from the bathroom and put it in our canteens, and so far that has been working. Well, I must sleep now, as I want to be awake when the time comes to get off the ship! Love, Katerina Sophia

9: Dear Diary, Today, when I woke up I could hear everybody yelling and talking to each other. At first I did not know what was going on, but then after Katerina Sophia and me played the stairs game and squished through a lot of big people we could see something. There was this big statue of a lady, everyone called I the Statue of Liberty, but it just looked like a giant lady to me. Later we could finally see land, the first land I saw in about a hundred days, but Katerina told me it was only 65 or something like that. I lost count after six. As we got closer we could see the building we were going to. Everyone looked really excited, especially Katerina, but I was scared. It was a big building, what if I got lost from Katerina? It took a long time to get off the boat. First Katerina and I got to play the stair game again, down to our cots. Then we had to get our little things we kept with us. Then, we had to play the stair game again, I was so tired! But, lucky for me the stairs were really crowded, so we had to go slow. We had to sop the game though because I was winning too much, so | May 5, 1872

10: Katerina could not find me for a little bit. I bet by tomorrow well be in our new house with Papa. Love, My Naima | Katerina Sophia Ask

11: My Naima Ask

12: Dearest Diary, MyNaima and I are now on the train to go see Papa, but I must say how we got through Ells Island. That is what they called the port where the ship landed, right in New York City. As we landed, we were welcomed by a huge building. The people told us to get off the boat and led us through to the dock, telling us we had arrived at Ellis Island. We then saw a line and were told that that was where we would wait to get our baggage. There were so many people, and we were waiting in line for quite a while that My Naima started to complain. I told her that if she quieted down she would earn a prize and that worked. Eventually we were led to the great hall to claim our baggage, which became very heavy after walking with it for so long, I got a tag saying 22, and My Naima got one that said 21. 22 is my lucky number, so | 1872

13: that made me feel better. We were then led up stairs to another great hall, where we had to wait in line to get our medical exams and get asked questions. I saw doctors watching us as we climbed the stairs, so I held My Naima close so they couldn't pull her away. There were so many people, all wearing different clothes and speaking different languages. I saw people with marks on their clothes after doctors checked them, and people being led away. I got scared, for what if they led My Naima away and we got separated? When we got to the front of the line, they first checked us to see if we had any sickness. It was strange to have a man touching me so quickly, but before I knew it they were done and we were pushed along. He had checked my eyes, and checked if I had looked sick, and My Naima and I had both passed! Then we went to another table and they started to ask us questions. They asked our names, I said Katerina Sophia Ask, and My Naima said My Naima Ask. I do not know why, but for some reason, they kept asking her, as if they did not believe us and were confused. I tried to explain to them that My Naima is my sisters name, but it

14: was hard because I do not know English that well. Luckily, there was a translator, and they finally understood, but it took a long time. Then they asked us our age, and how much money we had, and I told them only a dollar, but we did not need any more because Papa had paid for a train that we were to take to Montana. But then the man pulled us aside and told us that we could not go any further because our parents weren't with us. I tried to explain that we were meeting our father, he was not coming for us, but the man again did not seem to understand.We were about to make a run for it when I saw a man running up to us waving something in his hand. It turned out to be a train ticket that Papa had sent for us, and after we got it, the man was very nice and told us where to go. So now we are on the train, and My Naima is sleeping with her head on my shoulder. I think I will sleep now too, for it has been a long day. Love, Katerina Sophia

16: Dear Diary, We were on that train for so long, then we had to get on another one to get to exactly where our new home is. Then, I saw Papa! He came over to us and gave us a big hug. He said he was so proud of us and that he missed us so much. I told him all about the mean question asking people, and he said that they just did not understand us, so now I am going to learn really good English, so that wont happen ever, ever, again. Papa picked us up from the train station and we had to walk all of the way to our house, that was always just a little further! Then we stopped at this mansion and when I asked Papa why we stopped here, he told me it was home! I was so happy, I get to have my own room now! Katerina seemed confused too, she asked Papa if he had so much money, enough to build this house, why he did not send us over earlier. He said because, here, he wanted us to have the very best. Later Papa told us that our house was not actually that big, it was just bbig enough for the three of us; it just seemed big to us because before we were staying in our cousins house, which was very small. We | May 6, 1872

17: just got used to the small house and this house seemed so big, even though it was probably the smallest house on the town. I love my Papa and now we are in America, but I'm still looking for those gold streets... Love, My Naima

18: Dearest Diary, Now that we have been with Papa for a good amount of time, I must say that the expectations I had were not fully met. I have realized that these opportunities that I spoke of before only come to people with a great amount of money, which we do not have. My Naima and I must toil in the field all day to help Papa work his crop, which is hot and tiring. We are mostly farming wheat, which is one dollar a bushel, and corn, which is thirty cents a bushel. When we are not in the fields we are in school or doing homework, but we must walk to school, and My Naima is quite the complainer. It is about a mile, and we must ride early in the morning, for it takes an hour to get there. I have definitely settled into this new life, but it is hard, and takes some getting used to. It is also hard for Papa to get good prices on his crops, as he does not know much English, and that causes troubles for him to make negotiations with | Augest 28, 1874

19: other farmers. Hopefully this life will soon get better, and more opportunities will come. I have met some new girls though, at school and who work in neighboring farms, and we often walk to school and do homework together, for they are in my class. I enjoy talking to them, as they are going through the same experiences as I, Love, Katerina Sophia

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