Malaria answers and then some…

MalariaNormally, my English Club is made up of 7th and 8th graders, but occasionally other grades filter in. Today, the 2nd graders came en-mass. And while they couldn’t answer many of the questions, the ones they did know surprised me. Plus, the 8th graders helped them out when they struggled.

It was widely known that you go to a clinic if you suspect you have malaria. Everyone knew rainy season was the deadliest time for malaria and that the mosquito was the insect that transmits malaria. The rest of the questions were left up to the 8th graders and they did quite well. How’d you do?

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Add malaria to the list…

Don’t worry, the list I’m referring to isn’t illnesses I’ve gotten in Ethiopia. But it’s still a serious list: Diseases my friends have gotten.

Before moving to Ethiopia, I never thought I’d know someone who’d be diagnosed with malaria. Which is why I was shocked to learn that 1,500 cases of malaria are found in the US every year…mostly from people like me who have spent time in malaria risk zones.

But 1,500 doesn’t sound like such a huge number when compared to malaria cases elsewhere. According to the World Health Organization, 85% of malaria cases are found in Africa. And 90% of malaria deaths as well…mostly children under the age of 5. Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria.

In 2012 there were about 207 million malaria cases worldwide. 176 million of those cases were in Africa. I can personally name two teachers, one principal, and one friend who have gotten malaria in Hawassa during the two years that I’ve been here. Putting names and faces to the disease made it pretty damn real for me.

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Read any good books lately?

It’s finals week at my school, which means my classroom has been appropriated and I’ve relocated to our library/copying center for tests/random room. I’ve decided to make the most of my time and dust/organize the books by reading level. Once I’ve finished, we can start moving the books into our recently built library.

It’s actually been a lot of fun going through shelf upon shelf of the randomest books people have thought to donate to Africa over the years. I thought I’d share some of the gems I’ve found so far with you…


No primary school needs this many romance novels in its collection. In fact, I’d go as far as saying they’d probably be just fine if they had a grand total of zero of these kinds of books.


If you think the cover of this book is priceless, get a look at the backside…


I’m not sure how I got through my teen years without this book.

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