Not for the Faint of Heart: Shaman Boot Camp continued

September 7th, 2013

Over a breakfast of sliced papaya and a health conscious Egg McMuffin wannabe, Doris told us about the time Lonely Planet asked her to explain Washuma ceremonies to their readers. She was the expert and they wanted to know what the most important part was. “Vomiting,” she replied. And like the people before me, I looked at her in horror and exclaimed, “What are you talking about? That can’t be part of the ceremony!”

Oh, but it is…if you’re lucky.

Traditional Peruvian costume

Traditional Peruvian costume

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Shaman Boot Camp

August 31st, 2013

As you may have gathered by now, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into when I jumped on that plane to Peru…and it just got worse.

Our first day was billed as a field trip—a journey to sacred hot springs high in the Andes. Our bodies needed to be cleansed before we could begin. We stopped at a small market and Francoise and I each bought two bags of coca leaves: one for altitude sickness, the other for readings when Doris would check our progress as well as give us tidbits about our future.

Back in the van we soon turned onto a narrow, dirt road that hugged the edge of a jagged mountain. There was no guardrail on the pot-holed path, only a view of hairpin turns and a desolate valley below—WAY below. In the distance, herds of llama munched on yellow grass and stone huts dotted the barren landscape.


Living in the Andes

Life in the Andes

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