What It’s Like to Break Bread in the Desert
December 27, 2018
Our family braces for impact in the open rear compartment of a four by four pickup truck that has gone airborne off a sand dune. In Wadi Rum, a Unesco World Heritage Site located in southern Jordan, the sky is a perfect shade of blue punctuated with spectacular pinkish brown sandstone spires and pinnacles. The tires grip a desert floor dotted with white saxaul, small trees Jordanians call ghaḍā, the branches of which will soon infuse our clothes and food with their smoky fragrance.
With both hands on the truck’s safety rails, Kyra, 12, and Ethan, 9, stand with their feet planted apart the way ghaḍā’s roots grow to stabilize in the sand. My husband is seated on one bench, shielding Logan, 1, and Riley, 4, from the sun with the drape of his red and white-checkered hattah, while I shoot photographs from the opposite bench.
Winners of the awards, the most prestigious in the field of travel journalism, were announced October 21 in El Paso at the annual conference of SATW, the premier professional organization of travel journalists and communicators. The competition drew 1,335 entries and was judged by members of the faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. This year, the SATW Foundation presented 97 awards in 25 categories and more than $20,000 in prize money to journalists.