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A Pito Bite & a Traditional Healer

Hello, Friends,                                     A Pito Bite & a Traditional Healer
I noticed swelling on my knee from some kind of bite. It was obvious something serious so I went to the hospital and got a shot.  They told me to keep it in the air so I began wearing shorts. It helped for a little while. But then it started to swell again. Whenever the Colombians saw it most everyone remarked, “antibiotics will never work: you will have to see a sobandero” (traditional healer).
We then went as a team to a neighborhood where the Paramilitaries were abusing the people. There we held a protest demonstration. There were 6 or 8 guys there watching us, so some of us went over to talk to them.  One fellow noticed my bite and remarked “you will have to see a sobandero.” Then he said, “Oh, I know one, I have a car and I would be willing to take you to see him.”
Since we did not know the guy we were leery of accepting his offer. So we had a team meeting on the spot to try to decide what to do. We decided for three of us to take him up on it, taking radios in case we got in trouble for some reason.
As we were traveling in the car, a teammate radioed us and said “get out of that car a guy tried to give me a ride in a car just like that and I am pretty sure he was a Paramilitary.” So we pleaded with the driver saying “we want to get out, we want to get out” he said “oh don’t worry, it’s ok, don’t worry, we are almost there.” We agonized as to what we should do. I really wanted to see if I could get some help from the sobandero. My bite was hurting.
He then turned down a dead end alley where there were a bunch of guys at the end. Just before we got to them, he stopped. He said, “Up there is Chan” The guys didn’t do anything, so we went up to Chan.  Chan looked at my knee and said “are you taking antibiotics? If so I can’t help you till tomorrow.” However he did give me a shot of herbs to drink. I asked Chan, “But how do I tell a taxi how to get to your remote house.” He replied, “Just tell them you want to go to Chan’s all the taxis know where I live.” Which I found to be true in the 10 times or so I have visited him over the years. We then got back in the car; the driver took us home, and then to our surprise refused any money.
By next morning my swelling had gone down some, so I decided to go back to Chan. He had me put on the bite a concoction of herbs with some stuff that is used in embalming and then cover it with some creosote to keep the flies away. And in a week or so it was healed.
In another incident I was doing 20 minutes of exercises from a Rotator cuff operation in the states. There the surgeon had told me, “you will probably have to do the exercises for the rest of your life. “I thought maybe Chan would know something about this. He felt my shoulder and said, You should have never had that operation. I thought Gee thanks. He massaged it and hit me on the elbow and said you don’t have to do those exercises any more. At which time I stopped the exercises.
But the pain did come back a number of times and I went back to Chan for him to fix it.  Then when it came time for me to return to the states I went to Chan saying, “now what do I do when I can’t come to see you anymore?” He said, “Just massage it vigorously and hit your elbow like this.” So I did that whenever I seemed to have trouble and it worked. Since then I have stopped pruning blueberries and the pain has seldom returned. Days later he fixed my acid stomach reflux, ailment. He also treated my hearing, and a toe, neither of which did not seemed to improve much.
All this happened about 10 years ago.
8/12/15 now for the last year I have had a pain in my arm that was so painful it was keeping me awake at night. So I went to see if he might help my arm. When I got there the family shared the stunning news that Chan had passed on the day before.
They said, “Oh we remember you. However his grandson Christian is sobando taking over for Chan.” I thought I would give him a try.  He pushed on my sides so hard I was yelling from the pain. But somewhat to my surprise it took away the pain. He said the problem was in my back. He spoke and acted with such confidence it reminded me of Chan who was also known as the bone mechanic. I noticed most times when I went to see Chan there were others there getting treatments.  I observed also he always just told people you can give me whatever you want and the last times he refused to take anything from me as did his grandson Christian
 Keep praying for the Havana Peace talks. They are planning to sign a cease fire in March. Alleluia!
 Shalom,  Jim


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