Sunday, April 22, 2012

Walk for World Malaria Day

April 25th is World Malaria Day! (Well, actually World fight against Malaria Day) The Senegal National Malaria Control Program has a week of activities planned, and this morning, with the company of my friend Kari, I got to experience a very Senegalese way of publicizing causes - the "randonee pedestre".
Americans do walks or runs to raise money - that's a little tougher here. They gather a bunch of sponsors, print T-shirts, and put out the word about when and where to gather, and everyone who shows up to walk gets a free t-shirt. Then hundreds of people walk the route in their matching shirts. 

Showing up was pretty much a job requirement, but I wasn't exactly looking forward to getting up early on a Sunday morning to walk in a crowd through the streets of Dakar -- and I didn't have anyone else to watch JB. Thank goodness for Kari - who volunteered to walk the 10k loop with me - with her own little boy just JB's age! I think if either of us was doing it alone, it would have felt overwhelming and not much fun, but we had a good time walking together.

It was a nice morning, sunny and breezy, and people got a kick out of the toubabs and their baby boys (some asked if they were twins - huh?). Though there were a lot of children walkers, they were by far the youngest! 
Kari carried Alec pretty much the whole way - either in the Moby or in the Ergo.
 JB alternated between the Ergo and the stroller.  After switching the boys back and forth multiple times, we finally lost the rest of the group - all 3000 or so! We got pretty close to the starting point, but at that point there was a lot of traffic, and no protection from walking in a bunch any more, so we decided there was no shame in jumping in a taxi and heading back to catch the end of church! (JB was asleep for the taxi ride.) 
They weren't handing out onesies for baby participants - so JB is wearing a onesie with the logo of the National Malaria Control Program (that's a dead mosquito in red) in Sharpie. Looks like he had fun!

And Kari, who is a fantastic blogger, also did a post - for her story, check out this link:

1 comment:

Jennie said...

this onesie is hillarious!