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A Biting Tale by

Raegan and Patrick Spencer Peace Corps Madagascar 2012-2014

T h e S t o ry o f


and the m o k a


” ! lo

I ’m Soa, I am a self-reliant, adventurous seven-year old, who is often more brave than I even know. I live in Africa with my

family and best friend, Franky. We are fun-loving, curious African kids who never stop finding the excitement in learning. Come share some of our amazing and enchanting adventures as we explore our exotic home.

Are you ready?

Great, Let’s go! 2

T his was going to be a big day for Soa; it was the first

day of school. Teacher Ann called the roll, and everyone suddenly realized that Franky was absent. Soa was confused and discouraged that her best friend wasn’t at the first day of class.


Walking home later that afternoon, Soa was still so

disappointed about Franky that she didn’t notice Moka just up ahead of her buzzing about.

“What-zzzz wrong?” buzzed Moka. “My friend Franky must be sick,” said Soa. Moka menacingly snickered, “Oh, I wonder what could have happened to poor Franky?”




e rr i v


e... m o h at

...and invited Moka inside. “Moka, why did you snicker earlier when I asked about Franky?” asked Soa. The always-witty Moka replied, “It’s just my nature.” Still confused, Soa asked Moka several more questions, “Well, are you friends? Can you tell me if Franky is sick?” Moka snickered. “Well, let’s just say that he won’t be inviting me over again!”


Well, after such a long day, Soa was exhausted and quickly fell asleep. It soon became clear that Moka was not a friend of Franky’s, and he wouldn’t be a real friend to Soa either. You see, Moka and his friends merely wanted to trick Soa for one reason:


If only Moka could bite Soa, he could finally have his dinner!


Soa awoke bright and early the next morning and thought to herself, “I wonder if Franky is feeling better today?” But before she could even put her feet on the floor, she noticed

huge, RED itchy bumps

on her arms. She saw Moka sneaking out through an

open window, snickering even louder than before. “Hmmm, I wonder if Moka knows where these bites came from?” But first she must get ready for another fun day at school.


I t had been a whole week of class, and still no Franky!

Worried more and more, Soa decided to go visit him.



” ! k o

r a n ky. . . F d e t u sho

“ Y ou have the same bumps as me! Did Moka get you too?” Asked a worried Franky.

Surprised, Soa replied, “I don’t know if it was Moka or one of his friends! Do you think that Moka got you sick?” “Sure do. The doctor told me I got malaria from a moka bite!” Franky declared, “he also told me not all Mokas have malaria!”


“O h, how do you know if you have malaria?� asked Soa. Well...

H er head still full with questions, Soa decided to walk to school in search of answers about malaria.


lt f e f I t s fir

So I went to the doctor and got a Rapid Diagonstic Test (RDT)


Then I had ah 4 8 h o u r s , c i g h f e v e r , t h at r e t u r hills, a hea n d a c h e , s w e as a f t e r dizziness, t and vomit ing, ing.

ve me a g r o t c o D so the Artesumate , e v i t i s o p d s T h e t e s t w a m e d i c i n e c a l l e e d T r e at m e n t C o m b i n T ) t o t a ke . (AC


W hile walking back to school, Soa saw Tommy, the local Peace Corps Volunteer, painting a mural on the side of the classroom that served as the official bulletin wall. “I wonder what Tommy is painting?� wondered Soa curiously. 20

“ H ello Soa, come have a look!” said Tommy. “We’re painting a mural about ways to prevent malaria!” Now Soa was a pretty good learner, so when Tommy asked, “Can you see all the ways to prevent getting bit by the menacing Moka?” “Sure can,” Soa replied eagerly.

Let’s see…

Use i m p r e g n at e d mosquito nets

es and Wear long sleneivght p a n t s at

Eat a balanced diet

Use repellents and Plant tomatoes and citronella around the house

side n i r e t a ing w house d n a t s y Cover and outside of the an








, y m

l me more ab l e t u o y out ill

5 Gametocytes

the 4 then blood cells

2 sporozoites 3

parasite then enters the liver

A fter learning from Tommy, Soa decided to combat Moka, starting at the market.

“What’s a little girl like yourself doing buying all this food?” asked the tender vendor. “I need to eat a healthy diet, and I want to share with my family,” replied Soa, “hmmm, let’s see. I need fish, vegetables and fruit please!” 26

Determined, Soa got to work planting her new plants outside all the windows of her family’s house.

“O h, I have extra plants. I should take some to Franky’s! If I can’t make Franky better, I’ll try to make sure he doesn’t get sick from Moka again,” Soa bravely declared.





doi u o y e t ar


...asked Mr. Rigobert, Franky’s father. “Hi, Mr. Rigobert. I’m preventing malaria by planting these plants because Moka and his friends don’t like them. Now I know that a moka is what made Franky sick.” Mr. Rigobert, a scientist, nodded his head in approval, “That makes sense Soa, I think I’ve read that they do repel Moka.”


What a fun but tiring day it was for Soa! But even before bed, Soa remembered other lessons from Tommy. She’ll sleep nice and warm in her pajamas, even better than before. She won’t have to worry about Moka and his menacing friends now. Meanwhile, Moka watched and listened to the stories, starting to worry that Soa might have discovered his menacing plans. Moka was in for a long, thirsty night!


“That clever girl hung a net?! How am I supposed to get past this? Wait! I can’t even see her delicious arms,” Moka cried.

Just before closing her eyes to dream about future adventures with Franky, Soa whispered through the mosquito net, “I’m on to you, now buzz off Moka!”





oka M d e


“Franky, are you ready for more adventures?” asked Soa bright and early the next morning. “I sure am now that I’m feeling much better!” replied an eager and cheery Franky. Franky’s dad was very amused. “Oh you two! Don’t go searching for lions or anything too crazy. But be sure to tell me if you find any lemurs,” he said. “Oh, and be sure to bring back some tomatoes. I’ve heard that Moka and his friends hate them.”

G o o d by e , f r i e n d s ! 36



M osquito net care and repair information: A I R E A V L E RY D A M AY HT



me n t sho mbe r e p igh e uld r, yo l s l e e u a n d y o u r a m i ly ( 3 p e o pv e r y n f p und e er the mosquito net

and p a o s d a mil ent.. h t i w r n e t d ry d e t e rg u o y h s Wa N OT l a u n

Make sure you tuck your net into the bed, and sleep under the net every night

Hang the mosqu s h a d e , a v o i d i ni t o n e t t o d r y i n t h e g direct sunlig ht


needle a h t i w s e l o h l Repair smal nd thread a

T hanks for joining us for our story, with the menacing Moka. Our curiosity and excitement have taught us a lot about malaria. Now it’s your turn to find the fun in learning. Find the chameleon throughout the story and when you see him you can learn a new word.

Words in




PRONUNCIATION tee-cher frend



bred buh-nan-uh pahy-nap-uh l



muh-lair-ee-uh sik he-loh! goo d-bahy!



skool hohm mahr-kit

I’m Soa, I live in Africa with my family and best friend, Franky. Come share some of our amazing adventures as we explore our exotic home.

M o ka Malaria is a disease carried by the Anopheles mosquito who bites at night.

goes out to bite people


Moka bites can cause malaria


uito osq ! ia

You and net

y should sleep und l i m fa t to prevent m e r a oy ur ery nigh ala m r ev

FIGHT If you or your child is sick, go to the csb to get tested!




Malaria is very dangerous for children under the age of 5 and pregnant women

The Story of Soa and the Moka  

English Version for all of Africa

The Story of Soa and the Moka  

English Version for all of Africa