I woke up nipping at ankles. A teacup pup angry at no one deserving of it. Trying to bring down giants by their heels (while nowhere in the vicinity of giants).

Yesterday did not surprise me.

I woke up on November 9, 2016 with visions of yesterday.

It was 7 am in Cape Town, I cracked a beer and wept in front of the TV. A bottle of tequila tried to wash away the sepsis in my gut, my throat, my mouth because the beer was child’s play. The people carouselled in, a wake they were surprised to be joining…


It was an outing to the supermarket because we ran out of coffee and … something else?

But we hadn’t ever been to this store before. I wasn’t planning on joining, but we decided to make a family trip of it. Biba, Andrew, Brody and I piled into the CRV my parents bought in Peoria, Illinois in 2008.

The last memory of our family living together under one roof, all together in one home. It was a great house, with a big yard and our grandparents visited a few times and we had lovely neighbors and a trampoline and a…


Kids weren’t particularly nice in school, a tale as old as time really. I grew thick and prickly skin, the kind that protects from a really soft center.

When I was a kid, my parents would go on a week-long work trip once a year, and my grandparents baby sat my sister and me. I looked forward to this trip because every year Biba and I managed to convince my grandfather to get us a “pet.” We started with a hamster, Phoebe, I’m sure there was a turtle in there, and other hamsters, Napoleon and Homer, even a guinea pig…


I am rice and beans for lunch every day from a youth spent in Sao Paulo. I am tacos and burritos from childhood summers in Arizona. I am chimichurri and dulce de leche from Argentine grandparents who tasted like a home they left more than 60 years ago. I am sugar cane chopped coarse with a heavy knife by my Vovô. I am samba and tango and salsa and reggaeton and forró and funk. I am Jorge Amado and Garcia Marques. I am Y Tu Mama Tambien and Las Nueve Reinas and Cidade de Deus. …


Sunset in Kruger National Park South Africa, August 2019

We made it to the car park at Crocodile Bridge, the Komatipoort entrance of Kruger Park by 16:10 — we had to be there at 16:15 for a half-past gamedrive start. We left Maputo, 110 kilometers door-to-door, at 12:30 but unsurprisingly the Mozambique/South Africa border proved to be a massive time suck yet again. We left home a bit late to buy what my trip mate warned was the best chargrilled chicken in Maputo, not the user-friendliest of road trip snacks. The Toyota Corolla rental (a much younger brother to the dust-caked rusted red beater I drove in Malawi many…


June 1998, on the first river to spin dreams from water

I was a handful of days away from my 10th birthday when we arrived in Manaus. I had a fortunate childhood spending most long summer days gallivanting the deserts and forests of Arizona, visiting indigenous sites, breathing life into kachina dolls after listening to stories of animals and spirits, tracing the red dirt arching spines tall into the clouds to greet the bluest of skies.

Manaus was different. She was thick and sticky, molasses. Dense and wet. But she was also the same. Like every summer preceding her and every summer that would follow, she held the undisguisable promise of…


I wander the supermarket aisles searching for home.

I bought books. Several. Don’t get me wrong, I like to read, but part of me thinks I ordered them just to prove to myself that someone lives here.

Fish chitenge from Malawi

The chitenge I use to dry my hair has been upgraded to standing desk decorative cloth. The green and blue cichlid print an echo of softer, warmer, water filled times on a lake with a love waking up to the smell of usipa, salted, drying in the sun. The fish smell that forever takes me to our kitchen in Bangkok, delicious sticky riceball…


Rains coming in, Liuwa Plains National Park — March 2019

When you leave a place you’ve never seen during the day under the thick of night you become a stranger. Like Alice falling through the rabbit hole, nothing is what it seems. Here, very quickly, the city becomes a memory, erased by long, straight roads that tunnel your vision, that blur when they kiss the horizon. The Great West Road, one long straight shot clear across a country so big we’ve nearly made it across the continent. The first signs of night’s betrayal linger behind us, sullen and low like the smell off last night’s ashtray. The coldest hour. Right…


I made a “to-do” list for before I turned 30, one of them was to learn ceramics. How vague: LEARN. CERAMICS. What does that even mean? I purposely left it undefined so that any attempt, regardless of how feeble or blatantly lacking in functionality, would easily fall into the category: LEARN.

My teacher changed my life. Not because she was an expert or patient or had an amazing atelier. My teacher changed by life because on week 4 of classes (after making a few wonky trays and a hibiscus vase that alluded to the same female body parts as Georgia…


I can’t say I started loving food because of him, because I’ve loved food since before I could walk — evidenced by crawling around our Bangkok kitchen eating sticky rice and salted fish balls. But I love people more because of him. I love difference, and complexity, and simplicity, and laughter and anger — I love all of these things MORE because of Anthony Bourdain.

No Reservations — Thailand 2009

He was unapologetic, but he was kind. He was the protector of the family cooks, those preserving millennial recipes in long-forgotten corners of the world. He tore down the institution in a tireless search for…

Sophia Campello Beckwith

Don’t ask me to sit still.

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