Christmas 2001, exactly a decade ago, was my first in this life of highrolling swanky lonely floating around the world. I had just arrived in Syria two months ago and those had not been easy months. So when I found out that I’d only miss 2 days of Arabic classes to fly to Brasil, I flew. We went to the beach. It was my family’s last Christmas together before my brother got married and, as it turns out, before my parents left Brasil although we didn’t know that at the time. (Ironically, when I got back to Syria, I found out that people had shown up over the holidays wanting to be my friends – I know how often does that happen?! – and life in Syria just got better and better.)

This was the view from our home in Brasil. We lived over a cemetery, and could see just about the whole city from the different windows of the apartment. Saudades.

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