Bees Ain’t All Honey

Strange title for this story, but believe me I do know the truth of it. Every day is exciting here but some days more than others.
There were bees everywhere.
Millions of bees.

Today was moving day for the boys to the village and the truck arrived to take bed frames, mattresses and other items. We were all helping load the truck. I did not anticipate trouble as a strange dog came to check out the activity. Our dogs saw the stranger. The dogs sniffed each other as dogs do and decided they were not friends. A scrimmage took place on the guest-house lawn. Suddenly all the dogs started to screech and howl and run in circles biting at themselves. "What in the world?" What I saw set me in motion at once.

There were bees everywhere. Millions of bees. The strange dog took off howling down the road, bees in pursuit and our dogs ran screaming as only dogs can scream back in the direction of the boys home. Bees, when angry, do not give up the chase and now the entire area was a mass of bees. We would soon be in the middle. The bees were everywhere and more were coming out of the ground. I needed to get the kids out of there, and quick. The kids didn't see what was happening. They heard me yell and started to run toward the house and thank God they followed me.

It is hard to make scared kids understand, “Don’t throw your arms. Just run. Run!" In English it just does not come across easily.

You might be surprised to see how fast this woman can run given the right incentive. I ran with the kids following me and we arrived at the front door of the boy's home. By this time the bees had reached the kids and they were being stung. Once inside I had to yell at the top of my lungs for them to hear me. They needed to stand still. Now it was a matter of keeping the doors and windows shut and picking bees out of hair, off clothes and out of body parts.

I thought I should go for help. I had to go through the bees to get repellent. The walk to my house took forever. I covered myself as best as I could. While walking I tried to warn people going in the other direction, but again the language barrier made things difficult. Smiling at me they continued to walk into the bees and then turned screaming and running helping to spread the bees further and further. I did not get stung on the way to get the repellent. I spayed myself and started back. Hurrying back to the boys' home with repellent, a young man who wanted a job started walking with me. I tried to tell him this was not the time but he continued anyway. Suddenly we reached the bees and he started swinging his arms. I was under full attack. I had not sprayed my face and so my face became the target. I have a big nose and the bees found it very easily. They stung outside and inside, under my eyes, and on my cheek bones. My face became a battle zone and I ran spraying my head to get inside. Picking bees off when the stinger is still attached is weird. My staff were waiting and cleared my face. The stingers left me in pain.

Bees in Africa are very dangerous. I would find out soon enough, but right now I needed to get the boys out of danger. Thank God for mosquito nets. In order to get the boys to safety past the bee zone, I started a search and found three mosquito nets in a packed box. The kids laughed as Mama tucked them together under the nets. They thought it was funny. I showed them how to hold the net tight around their knees and told them to walk quickly to the girls home and stay there. God is good. None of the kids were affected by the experience.

Things finally quieted down after several hours and I was able to relax. Big mistake, now I could feel what was happening to me. My face felt as though I had been beaten. I could not touch my nose as there was so much pain. It felt broken and was on fire and my eyes burned as well. I managed to get to my home with the help of Etienne, my guard, to where Carrie, a visiting missionary, put cold compresses on my face to stop the terrible heat. I took an antihistamine that Etienne found in the little clinic. I was having a violent reaction to the poison. Thank God I survived a nasty bee attack that I am told could have been fatal.

Two people, a young man and a woman, ended up in the hospital. We are not yet sure if there are other reactions to the bee attack.

That surely was enough excitement to last a long time.

Thanks for letting me share.