Translate the text from English into Russian.
Twenty people died in the church that morning. Some were killed by the initial impact; others drowned trying to escape. Father Charles didn’t notice that the statue was gone until later that day, when Dimaker told him what he’d seen.
“I believe she went out to sea to be with the people, her children”, Father Charles tells me. “She went with the people and she carried Jesus. She had the same struggle as the other people.”
For three mornings after the tsunami, Father Charles tells me, he went to the ocean’s edge and prayed for the return of the statue. “We need you,” he’d say out loud. “You have to come back.”
Use the prompts and make up sentences about how the people searched for miracles in every tragedy.
Answer the questions.
Agree or disagree with the following statements. Give your reasons.
Write an article about the tragedy in the town of Matera in Sri-Lanka (100 – 150 words).
Read the text.
CLOSE MY EYES, pretend to sleep. Maybe I am sleeping. In Africa it's hard to tell. Coiled in a dirty sheet, sweat-soaked, my hair matted with the day's dust and grains of sand in my mouth, I dream about work, storylines, plots; I edit pictures in my head. I wake gasping for breath, unsure where I am. Niger. Rwanda. Somalia.
In Africa there are too many pictures, too many contrasts. You can't catch them all. It's like sticking your head out of a fast-moving car—you suffocate; it's too much to take in. Amputations. Executions. Empty beds. Shuttered stores. Crippled kids. Wild-eyed gunmen. Stripped-down corpses. Crashed cars. Mass graves. Handmade tombstones. Scattered ammo. Half-starved dogs. Sniper warnings posted like billboards. Buses and boxcars stacked at intersections. Old men in boxy suits walking to jobs that don't exist in offices that aren't there. It all blurs together. Desert. Mountain. Rice paddy. Field. Farmers bent over. Heads rise as you pass. Eyes follow eyes. Little kids run to the road, stand frozen, not sure if they should be happy or scared. They keep their weight on their heels so they can run back at the lurch of the car, the crack of a shot. Houses, whole towns, nothing but rubble—roofs blown off, walls burnt out, crumbled. Desiccated, eviscerated, gutted, and flayed.
At some point though, the disorientation fades. You put it behind you; go on. There is an adventure waiting. Life happening. It's not your life, but it's as close as you'll get. You want to see it all.
One minute you're there—in it, stuck, stewing in the sadness, the loss, your shirt plastered to your back, your neck burned from the sun—then you're gone, seatbelt buckled, cool air cascading down, ice in the glass. You are gliding above the earth, laughing.
I'M IN MARADI, Niger. Its late July 2005. A few days ago, I was in Rwanda with friends on vacation. I'd gone to see the mountain gorillas and to tour the new genocide museum. Not everyone's idea of fun, perhaps, but I've never been very good at taking time off. I burn on beaches, and get bored really quickly. I had a couple of days left in Rwanda, and was watching TV in my hotel room, when a short report came on about starvation in Niger.
"According to a report by the United Nations, 3.5 million Nigeriens are at
risk of starvation, many of them children," the news anchor said, then moved on to something else.
I called CNN to see if I could go. My travel companions were pissed off,
but not all that surprised. They were used to my bailing out on them at the last minute.
"Why would you want to go to Niger?" one of them asked when I told him of the change of plans.
"Why wouldn't you want to go?" I responded. "Um, because I'm normal," he said, laughing.
I wished I knew how to explain it to them. It's as if a window opens, and you realize the world has been re-formed. I wanted to see the starvation. I needed to remind myself of its reality. I worry that if I get too comfortable, too complacent, I'll lose all feeling, all sensation.
The next day, I was on a plane, on my way. I'd been relieved of the burden of vacation. I was in motion once again, hurtling through space. Nothing was certain, but everything was clear.
BY ALL ESTIMATES, Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. Ninety percent of it is desert, and even in good years, most people here barely get by. The average Nigerien woman gives birth eight times in her life, and one out of every four children dies before he reaches the age of five. One in four. It's a staggering statistic, but not hard to imagine when you see how poor Nigeriens' diet is, and what little access they have to medical care.
Even for adults, the summer months between the planting of crops and harvest is a difficult time. Nigeriens call it the hungry season, when they rely on grain stored up from the previous year to get by. In 2004 there was a drought, followed by an invasion of locusts. Crops were decimated, devoured, so now it's 2005, and there's no grain stored up. People are foraging for food, eating leaves off trees.
When you land in Niger, by the time you reach the end of the runway, Niamey International Airport is nowhere to be seen. On either side of the tarmac, sand and scrub brush stretch to the horizon.
The gin-swilling British businessman sitting next to me on the plane stares out the window and bursts into tears. "They have nothing," he mumbles; to no one. "The children are dying."
"What's your problem?" the Air France flight attendant asks as he saunters by.
"People are dying" the businessman repeats. "I know," the attendant says. "People are dying every day, all over the world." He was tired of dealing with drunks.
It is hard to see the hunger at first. In Niamey, chauffeur-driven Mercedes glide down potholed streets. Businessmen and bureaucrats shuttle about, car windows firmly shut. A layer of dust seems to coat everything.
"This isn't a famine, it's a sham-ine," I hear one European reporter mutter in the hotel, concerned that the images he's gathered aren't going to be what his bosses back in the newsroom are expecting. That's how TV works. You know the pictures you want, the pictures you're expected to find. Your bosses will be disappointed if you don't get them, so you scan the hospital beds, looking for the worst, unable to settle for anything less. Merely hungry isn't good enough. Merely sick won't warrant more than a cutaway shot.
The hunger is there, of course—you just have to look close. On the drive from Niamey to Maradi are fields of corn, sorghum, and millet. Crops are planted, but harvest is a long way off, and there's little food to get families through until then. Adults can live off leaves and grass; kids need nutrients, and there are none to be had.
"It's not so bad," I say to Charlie Moore, my producer, and as soon as the words come out of my mouth, I wish I could take them back. "It's bad enough" he responds, and of course he's right. It's bad enough.
Famine – голод
Drought [draut] – засуха
Locust – саранча
To decimate – истреблять
Nutrient – питательное вещество
To mumble – бурчать
To mutter – бормотать
To devoure – пожирать
Coiled - обмотанный
Matted hair – спутанные волосы
To suffocate – задыхаться
To blur – становиться неясным
Paddy – рис-сырец
Sham–ine – притворство
Scattered ammo – разбросанные боеприпасы
Find the English equivalents in the text.
Complete the sentences with the words below.
Plots Earth Beaches Gorillars Companions Contrasts
Match the words on the left with their equivalents on the right.
Put the verbs in brackets into the correct form.
Translate the text from English into Russian beginning with the words “This isn’t a famine” till “are none to be had”.
Use the prompts and make up sentences.
Answer the questions.
Agree or disagree with the following statements. Give your reasons.
Write a short article about the starvation in Niger (100 – 150 words).
Read the text.
IT’S LATE JULY 2005. In a makeshift hospital in Maradi, Niger, dozens of mothers sit with their children, waiting to see if they are malnourished enough to be saved. The hospital is run by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), a French relief group that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. They are one of my favorite relief organizations because they fearlessly go to the worst places, and they seem far more efficient than the lumbering UN.
The hospital is a few blocks off Maradi’s main drag. This is the third largest city in Niger, but that’s not saying much. Even the capital, Niamey, is a backwater, and it’s a ten-hour drive away.
To get into the hospital the mothers pass through a small metal gate guarded by two unarmed men. By dawn there’s already a long line to enter. The women are wrapped in impossibly bright fabrics, a collage of color shocking against their desert black skin.
Weeks later, when I return to New York, an elegant lady stops me on the street and puts her hand on my arm. “Oh, Anderson, those women in Niger.” She sighs, pausing to gather her emotions. “I mean, the fabrics. Where do they find them? Those colors. They must put so much thought into it.”
The morning I arrive at the hospital, there are about a dozen mothers waiting with their kids outside the gate. A naked little boy with skin like an elephant’s squats in front of his mother and shits. She wipes his wrinkled butt with a piece of cardboard from a box of medicine.
The mothers watch you enter, watch you come and go as you please, the color of your skin, the camera on your shoulder, the only entry pass you need. In the twitch of an eye, they’ve scanned your clothes, your eyes, read your intentions, your ability to help them. They don’t beg; they know you’re not here for that. They see the camera, the notepad; you can do nothing for them right away. Maybe in the long term you can help, they think, so they’ll let you take pictures; but, really, they don’t care. Their needs are immediate. Liquid. Food. Nutrients. Now.
Inside the compound, just beyond the gates, in the admissions tent, Dr. Milton Tectonidis examines a two-year-old boy clinging to his mother’s breast.
“He’s quite dehydrated,” he says about the boy, gently pinching the skin of the child’s left arm. The boy’s name is Rashidu. His eyes are wide, and he looks right at Dr. Tectonidis.
“Usually in a kid you look for sunken eyes, and skin that doesn’t come back, skin that stays folded,” he says, barely pausing long enough to glance up. “In a malnourished kid, however, it’s not a very useful sign. Because they’re so scrawny, the skin always stays like that.”
In his native Canada, Dr. Tectonidis might be mistaken for a drifter. His long hair is unkempt; his tall, thin body swims in the white T-shirts he always wears. He has worked with Doctors Without Borders for more than a dozen years, and in as many countries. He’s treated tens of thousands of children, perhaps hundreds of thousands. He’s lost count of how many he’s saved.
“The very bad ones are in such shock, they don’t look at you like that,” Dr. Tectonidis says, smiling at Rashidu’s unblinking gaze. “But he’s weak, so I’ll keep him here.”
The tent is crowded. About forty mothers with children sit on wooden benches waiting to have their children measured and weighed on a giant scale that hangs from a bar. The mothers say nothing. Only the children make sounds – coughing and crying, crying and coughing. A constant cacophony.
Dr. Tectonidis doesn’t wait for Rashidu to get weighed. There’s not enough time. Cradling the child in his arms, he takes him straight to the intensive care ward.
The UN had been warning about food shortages in Niger for months, but who pays attention to press releases? In this television age, nothing is real without pictures: starving kids, bloated bellies, sunken eyes – Sally Struthers stuff. Warnings don’t get headlines, crises do. Malnutrition sounds so bland. Famine? Now that’s a showstopper. The problem is, Niger isn’t suffering from famine – not yet. Adults aren’t dying, just thousands of kids. It’s a food shortage, a hunger crisis, severe malnutrition – none of which will get you a spot on prime-time TV. The BBC was the first TV crew here; we came second. Most American networks don’t even bother to show up.
“We saw it coming in February,” Dr. Tectonidis tells me later. “We sent out a press release saying, ‘Watch out! We need free food and free health care.’” February. Now it’s July. Help is just starting to arrive.
“Maybe it was the tsunami,” I say. “People unable to focus on more than one crisis at a time.”
Dr. Tectionidis shakes his head. “It’s always like this,” he says. “The less politically important a country is, the longer the delay.”
According to Dr. Tectonidis, the UN wants to raise a billion dollars for a reserve fund. That way, every time there’s an emergency they don’t have to go around begging, and exaggerating the scope of the problem. That’s basically what they do now. The figure they’ve been using, the one I heard on the BBC – “3.5 million Nigeriens at risk of starvation” – is carefully crafted and somewhat misleading. You’ve got to read the fine print. “At risk” – that’s the key phrase. What exactly does it mean? We are all at risk in some way, aren’t we? If no aid arrives, if no attention is paid, 3.5 million Nigeriens could starve. True. But it doesn’t work like that. Kids start dying, then some reporters pay attention – usually freelancers, men and women looking to make a name for themselves. They arrive first. Their pictures motivate someone from a network to come and do the story. Then more aid arrives. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s what the market will bear. The problem for Niger is that not enough people are dying. A few thousand children isn’t enough.
RASHIDU IS LAID out on a plastic mattress. In the intensive care ward, there are no sheets on the beds. It’s too messy for that. The room is actually a tent several hundred feet long, with a single row of beds on either side. The mothers share the mattresses with their children.
When a child is severely malnourished, his body breaks down, devouring itself. The fat goes first, then the muscles, then the organs: the liver, intestines, kidneys. The heart shrinks, the pulse slows, blood pressure drops. Diarrhea dehydrates, the immune system collapses. Starvation doesn’t kill the child; infections and disease do. No layer of fat between flesh and bone, nothing to pad the pain. His little heart simply gives up.
Makeshift – временный
To malnourish – недостаточно питаться
Twitch – подергивание
Relief – помощь
Scrawny – тощий
United Nations – Организация Объединенных Наций
Drag – улица, дорога
Drifter – бродяга
Dehydrated – обезвоженный
To cradle – баюкать
Care ward – палата интенсивной терапии
Bland – нежный
Craft – изготавливать
Misleading – вводящий в заблуждение
Backwater – болото