Today I will share a couple of stories on our numerous encounters with local nature.
Our first earthquake
It happened around 10 days ago. Around 2 pm there were two, brief earthquakes (5,8 and 5,0) with the epicenter some 170 km north of us in the Carribean Sea. Eearthquakes are quite common in Central America. Luckily, most of the tremors are not dangerous. We learned about the quake we “experienced” from the internet. You could not basically feel it. The last major earthquake in Honduras happened in May, 2009 (7,1).
During our choir/singing classes with Wojtus we would often hear a beautiful, opera voice coming from behind a big wall seperating the place where we are living from our neighbors. We were wondering, which of their numerous children had such a wonderful voice. It seemed like a singing competition, which of the two, Wojtus or the mysterious singer behind the wall would sing a given melody better. Being very curious one day we asked our neighbors about the voice. The answer was very surprising and unbelievable for us … it was a parrot, named Lolita.
Killer bees attack
Two days ago walking to the beach with the rest of the family I was attacked by very aggressive bees. After leaving our place, after about 100 m I suddenly felt ferocious attempts from all sides to sting me. In self defence I started fleeing the scene while taking off my shirt. I thought that perhaps the yellow color of my shirt must have attracted some insects. The laborers working in the neighborhood, who had fun watching the poor people being being attacked, told me these were african bees, aka killer bees.
I also learned from them I was not the only victim of those bess, which extremely aggressively protect their territory. We were very lucky. I was stung twice and the rest of the family was left alone. What is interesting is that the bees followed me for about 300 m to while I was zig-zagging to the beach. Once on the beach I still found some bees in my folded t-shirt. Others were less fortunate. One of the other volunteers walking the same street to the beach was stung 15 times!!! The bees also attacked a herd of horses walking our street and caused them rushing headlong, creating yet another danger.
The story of killer bees is quite intriguing. Back in 50s there were attempts to create in a laboratory a new species of bees better suited and efficient in a tropical climate. To this end, European bees were crossed with their African counterparts (from South Africa and Tanzania). During tests a few queens escaped the labs in Brazil. In this way the killer bees started spreading in South America then Central America and now even in North America.
Thanks to the help of local firefighters, the bees nest was soon liquidated.
Long live the Fire Brigade! (Like my dad, I am a volunteer firefighter as well)
PS. When I swim countless kilometers in the Carribean Sea I try to switch off all senses not to think what surrounds me. Sometimes it is impossible, especially when I get bitten or burned by some marine creature. Here is a quick video on the kids encounter with a calamari (squid). I sometimes wonder why I am one of the few people swimming in the sea …