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  • Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn

Malaysian Haze


Woke up this morning to the sound of alarms in our hotel. When we went into the hallway it smelled strangely like burning tires. Another women, who turned out to be another teacher, was also in the hallway. We got our things together quickly and avoiding the elevator descended the stairs to the lobby. We asked why the alarms were going off and received different answers but were assured it was no problem and everything was fine. Our usual empty breakfast room was now crowded with others who may have been awakened by the alarms.

Off to school we went and as we got closer to the school and daylight began to break we could see that there was a thick hazy sky. The smell that we thought had to do with the alarms at the hotel was still in the air here. We asked several people about the smell and they said it was deforestation from Indonesia! There is certainly an odor in the air and the air even feels thicker than usual. Here Malaysia they sometimes have to close the schools for Haze Days! I had shared with the 4 year students in the International school that we sometimes close our schools due to snow. They thought that sounded amazing!

Haze Worsens in Malaysia


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