Dear Rotarians,
I am definitely missing a little frosty air, mulled wine and good company in December!   It sounds like you had a nice nice time!
I'm afraid that if I write much about what I'm doing here in Mali, it might sound a bit like propaganda. In spite of the dust and some major logistical challenges, I'm quite enjoying this 'gig.'
I have been as busy as expected since the moment I arrived in Mali to set up the Ebola prevention program for the International Rescue Committee (  The first case of Ebola appeared in Mali just as I arrived and was quickly followed by a few more so an emergency situation seemed imminent.  Fortunately, since mid-December, there have been no active cases here and Mali will be declared Ebola-free on January 18.  Nevertheless, the need to keep working on improving preventive measures - at home, schools in health centres, stores and anywhere crowds gather - is here to stay as long as there is active transmission in neighboring Guinea.  The Ebola outbreak has been and continues to be an invaluable learning experience on so many levels. Although the disease is not yet fully understood, we've learned a lot about how it is transmitted and about local cultural practices, fears and attitudes that can help to break those transmission routes with our interventions.  It's really boiled down to providing raising awareness and mobilizing communities.   
I'm attaching a photo of part of our Ebola team of doctors, engineers and clowns (yes, clowns - - - can you tell which is which??), a picture of one of our staff interviewing a woman about about Ebola (she's collecting data on that phone in her hand - very handy way to do a survey, and surprisingly well-received here!) and finally a not all work and no play photo of me with some hashing buddies on the pre-Christmas 22k amble over hill and dale and river beds!  
It looks like my replacement is arriving this week so I may be back in Prague before the end of the month.  Hope to see you all then!
All the best,

Melody Munz