I had my first experience with Ayahuasca in the year 1988.
Many things have happened ever since, but my disposition always makes me return to the jungle.
A transcendental moment in my life was when I entered Cenfotur, where I studied Tour Guiding Techniques.
One of the courses I took was Traditional Medicine, with professor John Edowes, a psychologist and a specialist in Homeopathic Medicine.
The course awakened my interest in that drink I had tried some years ago, during my adolescence, without really knowing what I was doing.
Some time later, because of my work, I arrived in the Tambopata jungle.
Tambopata, a privileged natural site in the lower jungle plain, in the Eastern part of Peru, gave me from the first time a sensation of harmony with myself.
In the year 2000 I was already interested in experiencing again with the Ayahuasca ritual. By then I was more conscious of what I expected from the plant, but I still ignored everything it would give me.
Shaijame Masia is a native of the Ese Eja Community of Ba'awaja, Tambopata Province. He is a respected man in the area due to his knowledge of medicinal plants and for being an honest person who respects the Amazon and lives with the mission of leaving the heritage of his knowledge to his descendants.
Shaijame uses Ayahuasca to cure the body, the soul and the spirit. He is a jungle healer and a master of many disciples.
It was with Shaijame Masia that I discovered the true sense of using Ayahuasca and although I would love him to support this account with his wisdom, it would not be enough for me to transcribe what I can interpret from his words full of metaphors.
However, something that he told me comes to my mind: "Patty! I don't know anything, I am only a simple man; but when I take the Chicha (Ayahuasca) I know a lot; that's when I become a doctor."
Ayahuasca manifests itself in people in different ways, although it works in the same fashion.
Each person has his or her own fears, his or her own dark sides. Dreams, activities, goals, are different for each individual.
Ayahuasca helped Jeremy Narby in the anthropological field and opened for Gladys Zevallos a range of alternatives to create her vegetal tinctures from tree barks and jungle seeds. It was also able to restore back to life many patients at Takiwasi. And Ayahuasca helped me to recognize myself as a human being, to understand that the value of life is within me and that from there on I can do many things. How did it teach me? …it was inside me. It was what I was looking for.
I still have a long way to go. I know there is a mission and maybe part of it is to transmit this life experience.