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.