Bob Kunzinger is the author of nine collections of essays, and has published in such diverse places as Foreign Lit, the Washington Post, World War Two History, and more, and several of his essays have been noted by Best American Essays. His forthcoming book (Madville Press, July 2022) is his memoir The Iron Scar: A Father and Son in Siberia.
Jeff Greenwald is the author of eight books, including Shopping for Buddhas, The Size of the World (a journey during which he created the Web’s first travel blog), and Snake Lake. He recently co-authored The Nine Gifts with Christine Marie Mason, and Out of Nothing with Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey. Jeff is also the executive director of the non-profit EthicalTraveler.org, a global alliance dedicated to creating positive global change through travel. He lives in Oakland, California.
Carlo Rey Lacsamana is a Filipino born and raised in Manila, Philippines. Since 2005, he has been living and working in the Tuscan town of Lucca, Italy. He regularly contributes to journals in the Philippines, writing politics, culture, and art. He also writes for a local academic magazine in Tuscany that is published twice a year. His articles have been published in magazines in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Visit his website or follow him on Instagram @carlo_rey_lacsamana.
by Wallace Kaufman
The tea ceremony is called Attaya. The first round is strong and bitter, the second sweeter with a hint of mint, and the third round is sweet and minty. It mirrors friendship, which grows over time to reflect how the longer we know each other the sweeter the relationship becomes. What happens most during Attaya, however, is talk. We consume conversation. We talk about the rain, if there is any, the wind, which is more common, and the oppressive sun. And the villagers return to their natural spaces, rest or sleep peacefully. I leave the fire wondering if I had enough materials to tunnel to Mauritania. I just can’t sleep.