Laura Gordon

Laura Gordon (Survivor Corps in Burundi): Laura worked as an English teacher in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002 and Thailand in 2003. In 2006 she graduated from the University of Oxford with a 1st Class degree in Modern History. After graduating, Laura worked in Uganda as a research intern for the Uganda Human Rights Commission. At the time of her fellowship she was pursuing her master’s degree in International Affairs at The Graduate Institute, Geneva. After her fellowship, Laura wrote: “I'm more comfortable in my skin now, and after a couple of years of wondering where I belong, I'm now sure that it's overseas in the development world. I love Burundi and I'm desperate to go back.”

Moby Dick Update

09 Jul

About ten days ago I blogged about Moby Dick, the mosquito that was tormenting people. Had a few responses, on the blog and elsewhere, so thought I’d post an update.

Moby Dick is no more; I guess his evolved extra-long lifespan came to an end. But I’m pretty sure there will be others following his path, so on the impeccable advice of Jeremy Macadie, I’ve acquired a new toy: a Chinese Electric Tennis Racket (7,000 Francs from Bujumbura Central Market). This is truly one of the greatest inventions ever made, up there with the wheel and the internal combustion engine. It’s basically a small tennis racket, electrified, so that when you hear buzzing you simply flip it on, wave it around, and when it finds a mosquito, you get a flash of blue light and a slight smell of burning, and the mosquito is no more. Genius. It’s also rechargeable, with its own plug to plug into the wall. I am now sleeping with it beside my pillow, ever-ready should a mosquito be foolish enough to venture nearby. The main advantage is that unlike other solutions (slipper, doom), it doesn’t require being able to see the mosquito and aim, so it can be used in the dark – although it has its own light should I feel the need to use it! Score so far: one confirmed kill and three flashes of light in the dark. And no buzzing. Disadvantage: I’m so excited about using it that I’m staying awake listening for buzzing, just in the hope of using it – so it actually hasn’t made that much of a difference to my sleep deprivation.

The Chinese Electric Tennis Racket

To reply to a couple of comments in the same thread: John, Emma and I learned a long time ago never to take Mum’s advice when it comes to mosquito prevention. She’s the only person I know that thinks citronella oil is more effective than DEET. And Jeremy, alas no sightings of the urban hippos yet, but I’ve taken to hanging out at the Hotel Ubuntu Residence at sunset in the hopes of seeing them…

Posted By Laura Gordon

Posted Jul 9th, 2009

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