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Puppy, Mosquitoes & Malaria

Hello! Sorry for not posting last week but not a lot happened so didn’t want to bore everyone talking about nothing. This week was a brief half term break for Naomi from Thursday to Monday but I guess that means two weeks of not working a full 5 day week. Naomi is also enjoying her time of not many lessons with a majority of her students (yrs 11, 12 & 13) all taking exams and being on study leave.

Puppy being cheeky


This week as you may have seen on Facebook we spent a couple of days looking after a friends orphaned puppy (said with my best derby accent). It was thrown over the fence into their compound about 3 weeks ago so they have been looking after it for a while and it has a permanent home to go to with someone from the school. With both the surrogate parents being away for a couple of days we were lucky enough to be chosen to look after it! The pupster is a nice dog, really friendly, happily following you round the flat and following your feet! It is really submissive and malleable when you pick it up but puppy-esq in the fact it would nip you and try to bite whatever it could! It also had a great curly tail which I hope it keeps as it gets older! For a moment I thought the song ‘how much is that doggy in the window’ was a perfect fit but after checking the adjective describing the tail was waggley not curly!

Pupster Sleeping


Curly Tail!

Her Curly tail!

This week I also learnt a bit about malaria and the Anopheles mosquito from some entomologists doing research out here to reduce risks. We decided as we were here for a prolonged period of time that we would not take prophylaxis mainly due to the side effects and that they can’t be great to take over a long period of time (plus in the short time we did take them I and I’m sure many others forgot to take them for a few days on numerous occasions).


Anopheles Mosquito

I was pleased to learn therefore that Mwanza is not a good breeding site for anopheles due to the situation of the rocks in the hills meaning the run off of water does not allow the mozzys to lay their eggs in many places and if they were to lay them in the lake (a stationary body of water) they would make a tasty meal for the fish. Of course there are still plenty of anopheles and plenty of mosquitos from other genusĀ around but not TOO many! I also learnt that once an anopheles mosquito carries malaria, it takes around 9-13 days to become infectious and remains this way for the rest of its life – which some say is around 30 days but this is not certain and is currently being researched. Finally, I learnt that you can age a mosquito by counting the number of air intake tubes (or remains of) going into the ovary – will check this and give a definite answer! Apparently a good way to identify one is that it looks like a dart when stationary on a surface – which means I think there may have been about 3 inside our mosquito net the other night – now dead but still part of the net.

On a different note, the other guys and I am pleased the Euro championships have started! For added interest in all the games we have a little fantasy football tournament going and Naomi has entered the school competition. I’m sorry to report that I’ve not had the greatest start so far though!

Lizard Tail

The lizard tail

Finally, had a nice present left on our balcony for us the other day – a lizard tail! And the lizard that lost it still hangs around the balcony so actually looks quite silly at the moment without it! But if it helped him/her to avoid danger and stay alive I guess it is definitely worth looking silly for a bit. Hope that has been a mix of cute, informative and interesting update for you!