There’s nothing like waking up on Christmas day to mosquito netting to remind you where you are and that your everyday dangers have changed. Of course, danger is part of every day life in America too. What fool hurtles down the road at 70 mph (okay..75) in a metal box?
Oh yeah, that would be me.
While I don’t like getting stung by a bee, I am not allergic (and the silver lining is that my mild outdoor allergies will be better for a season after a sting). Bugs do not usually inspire my caution. In the heart of Africa, matters are different.
Those who live here may have malaria regularly and recover and build antibodies to fight the disease born by mosquitos. Folks like me, who have never had the disease or any resistance built, are more likely to become gravely ill. Some people, indigenous and otherwise, die from the disease.
Christmas morning 2014 I wake, see the netting, and am grateful.
Merry Mosquito Christmas!
(Now, which bag did I pack the bug repellant in?)
Kristin King is an author, publisher and president of non-profit Future Hope Africa. She is spending what she calls the “12 Days of Christmas in Congo” visiting the educational mission.