Tuesday, April 15, 2008

covered in bees!

The Peace Corps asks, “Life is calling. How far will you go?” and apparently I will go into a tree covered with bees.

I’ll explain. Sunday morning, my fellow ICT PCTs and I went to the next town over to attend a round table discussion at “Geek Weekend,” a meetup of all ICT volunteers. It was interesting, although a lot of us were still pretty tired from Saturday night. Afterwards, we ate lunch and went to the river for the rest of the afternoon. A few other Dominicans were swimming nearby, and some of them were climbing up on a fallen tree that slanted across the river and jumping down into the water. Some of the guys from our group joined in, and eventually a few of the girls. My friend Cecelia reported that it was really hard to climb up there, but the jump was fun.

So I decided to try it too, after announcing that I felt self-conscious about my “extreme lack of pants.” (I was swimming in a T-shirt and underwear because I’d been wearing jeans, while others had shorts or sarongs that were better suited to the water.) Naturally, as I climbed my fellow PCTs showered me with supportive comments like “Don’t worry, it’s easy as long as you’re wearing pants!” and “Where are your glasses, Renata? Did you leave them in your pants??” Thus, my already-slow tree climbing was further delayed by frequent incapacitating fits of laughter, interspersed with me melodramatically announcing that I was going to “drown and die.”

After I had made it nearly to the jumping-off point, I thought I put my hand on a stinging nettle or some kind of sharp plant. But no, it was a pile of bees. Everyone else had missed the bees because they weren’t utilizing my smooth, “cling pitifully to the bottom of the tree,” climbing technique.

I started shrieking “Ahhhh! Bees!” and slowly climbing back down the tree. The others yelled at me to jump into the water, but I didn’t think I was far enough over the water to make it. At any rate, the bees pretty much left me alone after I started my descent.

Once I got back down on the bank, Arianna asked me if I got stung, to which I responded, “Um, that’s why I was yelling, ‘Ahhhh! Bees!’” The final damage was five stings, one on my left hand, three on my right hand, and one on my right wrist. Luckily, Stephanie had some Benadryl in her bag, so I don’t think they swelled up nearly as badly as they would have otherwise. My right hand was still pretty much out of commission for the rest of the day, and it was a little sore yesterday, but now I’m as good as new.

Of course, when I came home and showed my Dona, she told me, “Oh, those aren’t bee stings, they’re wasp stings!” I was impressed with her ability to differentiate insect stings until she added, “Because bee stings kill you!” (I do think they were probably wasps because they were gigantic, but it’s easier to yell “Bees!” in a panicked tone than “Wasps!”)

Hopefully, this will be my most dramatic blog entry for awhile, since for the rest of the week we’re just having classes, not aquatic excursions.


Priscilla said...

I like my peace corps volunteers like I like my coffee!

Keith said...

Being attacked by wasps is even worse because they usually come from the northeast. And they are so smug. =/

Christine said...

Oh my god, you were covered in beeees!