April 10, 2007


We were simply blown away by her. She was like a girl friend I know at home, a sophisticated, educated, well traveled, spiritual woman who was living with a nomad family in the Sahara raising a baby and giving these desert tours with her husband. It was such an incongruous sight that it was hard for me to fathom and made me want to know more.

We had an instant connection from our first email. We really are kindred spirits in some ways, made of the same cloth and I see myself in her in some ways. although I do not think I could ever live the Sahara nomad life. I love her idealism, passion, purity of heart, courage, romanticism  and  integrity. I can relate to how she over delivers and love how much pure love she puts into everything she does. She is an artist at heart and has great sensitivity and has a way of making hard things appear easy.

She has a great sense of humor and laughed when she told me her story of how she got there and how
her family and friends thought that she was out of her mind and she admitted that she was to do such a thing. It seems it was a destiny for her that she needed to fulfill and little did she even know what all that would entail. She knew it was all good, even the hard parts, because it expanded her.

She is very wise for her age and her spiritual wisdom about the process impressed me and touched me deeply. She came from a high flying world of city life and working at a big advertising agency, where everyone is rushing, and buying the latest thing seems to be the name of the game, which left her empty. Then she took a random vacation  to a profound experience in the Sahara where she found the simplicity and innocence of the people irresistible and she never left. She is outside this ancient culture and societal system, but the love between her and her husband seems to be able to surmount all obstacles. She has a passion for the beauty and white light of the Sahara too and seems to need its solace and silence.

There use to be a feature in Readers Digest magazines that I read as a kid at my grandfather’s house that was called something like “My most unforgettable character” which were interesting stories about unique individuals who had touched the writers life. I have a life filled with people I could write about like that, but Alessandra would be right up there at the top.

I can not say I really understand her life in the desert. Why she is there is an enigma to me. Like her mother and friends I will worry now about her and her baby. I am glad that she will finally go back home to Brazil soon to take a vacation to see her family and friends and introduce them to the irrepressible Djou for the first time in person.

That said, I think she is doing a tremendous service in the desert in many ways to  both tourists like us and the villagers. I trust that she is being led in the direction that she needs to go. We have invited them to come visit us next winter in Spain and hope they take us up on it. I hope we stay friends forever. I am curious as to how her life will unfold and how the life of the people of the village of Hasa Labiad will look in the future and her insights about that.

She will probably be quite embarrassed by this “ode to Allessandra”, as she thinks she has a very ordinary life, but I just can not help it, I think she deserves her own page. The irony of her situation and the purity of her nature make her a haunting presence on my heart. She actually thought I was brave to come to the desert for my child, but I think she should look at a mirror if she wants to see great courage. I am in awe as I don’t think I could ever do it.

DaVinci happened to take some pictures of her on his camel ride as he was intrigued when she went off to the dunes for some time for herself and it showed some of the perspective. I love the picture of her sitting on the dune like a little speck and the sunlight comes down and it almost looks like she is meditating and there are puffs of colored light that are rising (or maybe descending from the heavens). I am sure it is just a light trick with the camera, but interesting. She really is brilliant ray of sunshine and we are all grateful that our paths crossed.













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Wow, cool... simplicity is a great virtue so it makes sense if you seen this so awe inspiring... It usually shines through and is resilient... :)

Salam (peace), Yasmine

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