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Parker in Africa

Home > Parker in Africa > May 3, 2006

Parker in Africa - May 3, 2006

Howdy Everyone,

So, I got malaria. I guess it was just a matter of time. I was taking the pills, but I accidentally missed one. Sure enough, I missed it during the time I was in Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar which is the most likely place to get it. I t wasn't so bad though, and it's better than getting cholera. You might think this is a funny thing to say, but there was actually a cholera outbreak on Zanzibar while I was there. It was only on a certain section of the island, and we stayed far away from it and didn't drink any of the water. Cholera? Seriously, I though it was one of those diseases you only here about in history books... Anyways, malaria wasn't so bad-just flu like symptoms and tiredness. I think I had a very clam form, but when I found out that I had it (after spending only $2 and 30 minutes in a clinic getting a finger prick) I was pretty freaked out. Also, honestly, I was quite disturbed by the fact that no one else found it to be a big deal. Everyone gets malaria all the time-it's like the flu, and it's no big deal. But then I'm thinking, malaria is the number one cause of death in Africa - I'm going to die! Well, I'm not going to die. I took a couple of pills and feel just fine. Apparently so many people die from it because they are unable or choose not to go to the doctor to pay for the $4 medicine to cure it. The disease is completely curable and the controllable. It is truly an outrage that so many people die from such a simple disease.

Besides malaria, I have returned to Agape and started teaching again this week. Truly, I miss Zanzibar, but it's nice to see the students again and get back into a routine. I can't believe how fast time is moving! It's rainy season now, so a lot of the time is spent indoors, and the students always pile into the dining room to watch the football(soccer) match on the small TV on the wall. It is quite a sight. About 200 young boys crowded on benches, shoulder to shoulder, in the dining hall/church/entertainment room staring at an old television which has been placed in an iron cage(for thieves), hanging on to every move made by the European teams playing thousands of miles away. Then, the next day, every chance they get is spent talking about and analyzing the game between Arsenal and Villareal. Football is huge here - it's a part of life. The Tanzanian team isn't that good apparently, but I know a handful of boys that want to change that. Anyways, I will let you know what it's like when the World Cup begins in a month. People are already talking about it, planning where they will watch it. Apparently, everyone, including the president, watches the world cup, although I didn't hear anything about the Olympics when they were going on.

I want to tell you all about something very important. I have, through some other acquaintances, become connected with a certain orphanage in Moshi. Orphans and street children are a huge and sad problem here in Tanzania-one that desperately needs to be addressed. This orphanage that I am involved with classed in translation 'We have the right' is especially amazing in my opinion. It is run by just one couple who have opened their home to about 20 orphans and street kids. They treat the kids as if they were all a part of a family and then teach them how to do acrobats that they then perform for the tourists in the hotels. The couple is not able to work because their time is taken by caring for these kids, so their only source of income is donations for their performances, a little from vending vegetables from their garden, and personal donations. Right now, since it is low season for tourists, they have almost no income, and they have to send the kids to school. Food is scarce, which is so hard to swallow when you see these beautiful kids who have finally found a happy home with this amazing couple who have given up their lives to help these kids who would be begging and sleeping on the street. I always feel really uncomfortable about asking about money, but if you feel like making a difference , I would ask you to help my in supplying these kids with food. I'm going to use my own money for now, but if you might be interested please let me know, or you can even email the man in charge. Also they were able to set up a website, so check that out. A little bit of money goes a long way here.