Thursday, May 24, 2012

getting bitten in the peruvian amazon

revenge of the ants!
so, doing some field work in the Peruvian Amazon. our international team of scientists from every continent was out measuring the diameter and height of some trees. the strategy was i would follow maminiaena (from madagascar), who would mark the trees with a number, then i would measure the diameter and call it out to Maru, and Nelson (both from Peru) would estimate the height. arif helped us square out the plot, and double check the measurements. we were sweaty, hot, swatting mosquitos away from our faces.

at one point maniamami and i were at tree number 13 and we hear arif saying.
OW. OW. tree number 13, hieght 24 meters. OW. OW.
what's wrong arif?
bugs. biting me. OW. OW. tree number 14...

so i go over to measure the diameter and ow ow ow ow OW! ANTS! biting me everywhere, in my clothes in my shoes in my underwear all over it's horrible. mamiana- man- Mami! are they biting you too?

yes! aie! aie aie aie! ow! ow! and we are jumping and dancing and itching like our feet are on fire.

Arif is standing like a statue. OW. tree number 15. OW.

maru and nelson come, in a helping manner, like they have some special Andes secret cure.

where does it hurt?
does it sting? or does it feel like a burn, like someone is putting a cigarette out on your skin?

burning! cigarettes! ow ow ow!

and maru and nelson talk to each other, oh, si si, they are definitely tanganara. fire ants. oh, they are the worst! it's going to hurt for at least 8 hours...good luck!

and then they are off. ow ow OW! we are still jumping around and the other groups come over and point and laugh.

you should take all your clothes off! ha ha ha

and then wise old jc explains to the gathered spectators how the fire ant is usually up on a tree or a leaf and when it sees or sense you underneath it jumps down on you to bite you and all of their friends follow.

and so that was how i felt the wrath of 100 fire ants and my body is peppered with welts like nothing i've ever seen before...thank you peru!

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