Brazil is delicious.

Where we have settled is a culinary dream. Pastries are made from fresh milk, eggs and butter. We stocked our freezer with piles of choice cuts of meat for just a few dollars, also fresh. Fresh in Brazil means probably from that morning. Fresh is delicious.

My eating habits are upside down here. In the US I never ate fruits or vegetables. I rarely drank juice, milk or water—only coffee. I was chronically dehydrated. When I donated blood it ran like syrup. That’s what the blood drive tech and a few doctors told me.

In the week and a half that we’ve been here I’ve guzzled more juice, water and milk than I have in a decade. I can’t get enough. I’m worried I might have death by hydration.

And the air… I went to an oxygen bar once. It was underwhelming. But here, in the lungs of the earth, the air is charged with some kind of vital quality I’ve never experienced. Maybe it’s that fresh thing again—actual, untainted fresh O2. Whatever it is, we like it.

The dogs have forgiven us for the long trip and they are also thriving. They eat a lot of meat, rice and vegetables now along with their kibble. Since very little of the food has additives or preservatives you don’t store many leftovers. If you made to much dinner you call over guests to help you eat it, you toss it or you feed your dogs. The dogs all have soft, glossy coats.

And speaking of guests… there are plenty. We’ve already had more vistors here than I have ever had in my life. Visitors for coffee, multiple cookouts, neighbors bringing cake, people just stopping by to say hello… There is this pervasive thought here that life is generally good and worth celebrating. I’m starting to agree.

You know what’s really different? How great I’m starting to feel. My hair has probably grown a centimeter, my nails are quickly turning into talons, and my flesh is firming up. I feel energized, hungry and awake. This morning I woke up and decided to start doing yoga—and then I actually did the yoga. Yes, I am also shocked.

There’s so much more to say, but I’ll close it off here. It’s just begun to rain and I need to be out on the porch, bathing in the cool jungle air and conjuring poetry from the rising mists. The clouds shine like opals in the setting sun.

I’ll be sure to read a poem about it at this Saturday’s show with Amy Zoellers and Pete Kelly!

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Ryukyuan-American, award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years in newspapers. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year, she shares Authortunities, a free weekly calendar of author opportunities at

  1. That line about clouds & opals shining in the sun should be couched in a poem — better get to it! Sounds wonderful, all the fresh air, food and drinks! So I wonder what y’all are doing for jobs?! Enjoy! Miss you and hard to believe you’re way down there in Brazil, where it’s summer, right?

  2. Such an amazing life change, Angela! You and Ryan are going to thrive in Brazil. I’m sorry the pups had a bad trip, but as long as everyone is okay now, that’s what matters. The house is beautiful and spacious – all the best with it! Hugs, TDM! <3 <3 <3

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