Bees were flying all around the clinic, a simple structure on a hill in Cotacachi, Ecuador. Manuela, our hotel host, told Kathy about bee sting therapy and Kathy was intrigued. The bees were attracted to the flowers around the clinic and with the clinic’s door and windows open, they easily flew inside, just what the therapist intended. It wasn’t just the bee stingers that were important; it was the pollen on the stingers as well. Here is what happened as Kathy told me, “He (the therapist) took a tweezers and captured one of the bees. He took another tweezers and carefully used it to remove the bee stinger. I could see the pollen on the stinger as he removed it from the bee. He then took the stinger and inserted it into my neck. He did this over and over again. My neck and upper back were covered with bee stingers. There was a tingling sensation when the stingers were inserted, but nothing like a bee sting. The stingers remained; he did not remove them–that happened naturally as the day wore on.” I asked Kathy how she felt when it was over and she said, “Relaxed.”
I put my hand on Kathy’s neck as we walked later in the day, and my palm was like a pin cushion. Just kidding. The stingers were gone within an hour of the therapy session. We did go to the “leather street” in Cotacachi in the early afternoon. Cotacachi is the leather center of Ecuador for good reason. We first stopped for lunch and had a wonderful lake trout. I thought the guinea pig would have been too heavy a meal, so that will have to wait for later.
On visiting the leather shops, we were impressed with the high quality of the leather work. Kathy could not resist buying three items: a leather and crocheted shawl (the shop owner tailored it to fit on the spot–it was amazing to watch her skillful, quick hands crochet the needed adjustments); leather gloves; and a leather coat with a matching handmade leather scarf (once again, adjustments were made to fit Kathy’s petite size). I got a belt. Anyone else see any discrepancies here?
Our lunch was a treat beyond the excellent food. An Ecuadorian musician played a guitar and a rondador (a wind instrument that is chorded cane panpipes) at the same time. Wow! We are loving the Ecuadorian culture and its people. WEG