Sunday, April 25, 2010

World Malaria Day

The day passed by without my hearing a whisper that this day was dedicated to fighting malaria worldwide and particularly in my dearly beloved Sub Saharan Africa. The statistics say 1 million people die a year....what 1 million? I had better recheck the figure. It also says there is a shortfall of 50 million treated bednets, which is the best defence against the mosquito whose bite transmits the disease. The disease is particularly hazardous to infants, young children and pregnant mothers. Is anybody listening? Bed nets cost $6 a day and I'm sure if people knew where to donate they would. The buzz about Malaria Day was not deafening where I live, possibly being a Sunday and all. My attention was piqued when I saw a video circulating of an interview by scientist, malaria specialist, Dr. Opokua Ofori-Anyinam, of Glaxo Smith Kline who was my highschool classmate. Facebook brought me awareness of the news but how do we help?
Several years ago, the late Stephen Alumenda of Zimbabwe and I wrote four stories for a MacMillan Discovery Readers book entitled MALARIA, edited by Jean Conteh. My hope was that the old and the new stories would bring the facts of malaria, self help and awareness to elementary students. But while the buzz of swne flu was incessant and deafening throughout the winter months, barely a peep was heard from our global village symbolized by facebook, where the chatter never ceases.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The First Quarter Rush

My first quarter, 2010 ended in dramatic fashion. All of a sudden..first pages arrived by priority mail...which in fact was the formatted pages of my book for final proofreading. 48 hours of frenzied reading over the weekend, and I understand the next time I see the manuscript it will be a book. Magic! Then Monday returned me to the Guelph Youth Dance Company-(my current inspiration) to choreograph "Asabea." My evening dance class went well and I woke up exhausted for Tuesday and Stop the World at the Guelph Youth Music Centre. Two days of workhops for elementary school groups in African music and rhythm making. We got filmed for local TV to show next week, beginning Friday at 5:30pm after a segment where Arjay is interviewed concerning the Guelph Jazz Festival. Thursday was a treat, teaching Grade seven at NorthWestern- a fun but focussed group of students who re-energized me for our last workshop of the week.