OANSA: First Day Back.

March 17, 2013

Existence 014Primero de Marzo.

February was a month defined by dengue fever, an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Symptoms can include muscle and joint pain, headache, sustained fever, vomiting, and measles-like rash. Because there are no antiviral drugs for dengue, persons inflicted must simply rest, stay hydrated, and wait for the virus to run its course.

It is estimated that a rising number of 13,000 people in Paraguay have been infected in 2013 alone—a small portion of those having resulted in death. Recent sporadic flashes of heavy rain combined with extreme humidity have sustained standing bodies of water and moisture all over the city. Puddles like these are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which of course create foreboding circumstances as dengue has proven in its rapid spread.

Our OANSA’s Santa Maria neighborhood has not fared so well during this peak season of contagion, and surely the exposed sewage lines that run through the streets have not made for a particularly healthy environment. Seven individuals in the Baez household alone have contracted the virus, some of whom are still experiencing symptoms.

The Primero de Marzo site, where we hold our weekly OANSA meetings, was in terrible shape after a spate of tropical storms and heavy rainfall. Already a less than sanitary area, the large pools of festering liquid only served to create a quagmire of disease. It was clear, even as the start of our OANSA 2013 program approached, that the cancha was not fit for any sort of gathering, much less one involving children. The myriad possible liabilities made me cringe all the way to my toes.

We scouted alternative locations in the neighborhood, we considered a number of superficial, bandage solutions, we weighed our other options all to no avail or even the slightest sense of settling peace. And so began the waiting game—an uncertain venture of hoping for the moisture to dry up and the swarming populations of mosquitoes to decrease quickly.

The start date for OANSA was postponed several times and much nail biting ensued as conditions did not improve. Finally, halfway into March, we bit the bullet and set an official commencement Saturday.

And WHAT UPPPP answered prayer! There was only one puddle this past Saturday, absolutely no mosquitoes, and eighteen little chums who came out to jump rope and sing songs (and rather enthusiastically so, might I add). I was stoked.

The Lord provides!


One Response to “OANSA: First Day Back.”

  1. […] continue to pose problems at the Primero de Marzo site where our OANSA program meets weekly (see: this post). While the general situation had improved greatly, one large problem still remained in the form of […]

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