“We give skills, not things.”

A lot has been happening lately. For one, I received a full-tuition scholarship to college! I’m starting off with that because it has led me to one of the coolest experiences of my time thus far: working with bees!

So to explain to you how a beca (scholarship) got me to working with bees today, I’ll give you the backstory:

Wednesday I happily facetimed my dad about the college news because I had to share my excitement with somebody. The day came and went and on Thursday I thought, “Wait, why not tell my family in Ecuador too?” So after I got home from Cotacachi, I said to my mom here, “I have news! I got a full scholarship to college!” She was so happy, and it made me realize that it’s super important to share your life with your host family, even the parts that won’t actually take place while I’m here in Ecuador.

As I’m writing this, it’s Saturday. I was sitting in the kitchen talking with Wilkay and drinking some coffee when my mom came in and said “Sadie, Rumi (my dad) wants to give you a gift today because of your scholarship. Here, we give skills, not things. You’re going to work with the bees today!” 

I was so happy. When I was littler, I had a brief obsession with bees and wanted to have my own little bee box to make honey. Now I finally got to take part! We gathered up our things and drove over to Pakarinka, our community center. We put on our boots, a rain jacket that gets tucked into your jeans, and the beekeeper hat that gets strapped tightly around your head. Here’s a lovely pic of me looking mildly beekeepery.

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First, my dad put some dried leaves into the little smoke container (I have no idea of the technical term for these) and we lit the leaves to create a steady smoke. Then you push on the accordion type part to keep the smoke going strong. 

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Then it was time to go in! Today, we were checking on a hive to see how the honey producing process was going. We have to cover ourselves and the bee boxes in smoke so that the bees know we are here to work and not to disturb them. To be completely honest, the feeling of bees buzzing all around your head and crawling on your jacket is mildly startling, but it was an amazing experience

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Speaking of experiences, I want to keep up the concept of giving skills or experiences instead of things. As much as a present is amazing, this is a memory I will have forever, and I think that’s worth so much more than an object. And the best part is I didn’t get stung!

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Bonus pic of Yuyak using the smoke box to cover us in smoke.

Okie doke that's all for today. Thought this would be a cool experience to share. Talk to everybody soon!