I slept soundly after the ceremony and awoke to the simple pleasures of fruit and tea once more.
The jungle was beginning to kick my ass however.
Being that I am a sensitive little ginger with delicate, fair skin who often experiences breakouts from exposure to Canadian pollen and Ontario temperatures, the flora and ungodly humidity I had put myself in was beginning to take a toll on my body in the form of one serious heat rash. Pair that with the mosquito bites (as it turns out my skeeter defeater only works when you spray it on yourself) and you get yourself one seriously uncomfortable state of being.
If I were ever to torture someone I would tie them up and release a single mosquito to continuously buzz past their ears. That sound may be the single most annoying thing in the world and maybe I’m the only jackass that does this but having to constantly slap your own head and neck trying to kill the little assholes isn’t fun either. Bats jumped to my top 3 favourite animals after humans and dogs because they are mosquitos natural predators.
This day was exciting for a couple of reasons. The first being that we had no ceremony in the evening which means we would be eating dinner. That’s right folks, dinner. What a time to be alive.
The second reason was that a small village of Peruvians came to the retreat with handcrafted goodies for us to buy. Now, I’m not one for crafts/decorations/art to be perfectly honest and I was beginning to feel bad as they all looked at me expectedly. I was beginning to get discouraged and felt I should just buy anything at this point because they had travelled all this way.
And then I saw it. It was beautiful. Practical. Functional.
Blessings be upon the woman who made the straw fans. She showed me proper hand placement and away I went, wafting wonderful waves of cool air upon my battered being. It was revitalizing and because of its crosshatched design it doubled as a mosquito murder device.
I paid this woman whatever she asked which was probably too much but I can’t remember. All I knew was that besides my passport and wallet, this fan was now my most valuable piece of property on this trip.
Again, not a lot happened during the day but during dinner I must have said something to the effect of “this is the craziest fucking shit I’ve ever done,” because Michelle Pfeiffer said something that I immediately wrote into my journal and has stuck with me ever since:
“You left your country to fly across the world to a country you’ve never been to, where nobody really speaks your language, met with a man who you don’t know who took you on a boat ride 2 hours down the Amazon river to the middle of the jungle to drink a plant medicine with other people you don’t know and know nothing about. That takes balls.”
And balls I would need because the ceremony on the following night would give me the revelation I had journeyed all this way to receive.