Preparation

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A m a z o n   P r e p a r a t i o n

Welcome to the Jungle

21 NOVEMBER – 7 DECEMBER 2020

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I am so pleased to welcome you on board this once in a lifetime experience! This is where you will find important information about how to prepare for the Amazon Expedition and what to expect in this unique jungle environment.

When booking your airfares, remember that you will need to arrive in Iquitos on or before FRIDAY 20TH NOVEMBER as we will be gathering for a group dinner that evening. Your earliest flight out of Iquitos after the retreat will be the morning of TUESDAY 8TH DECEMBER 2020.

Payment Due Dates

Once your application has been accepted, we require a deposit of US$900 to secure your place in the Expedition. The remaining US$1,300 is due as soon as possible and all final payments must be made by the 1ST JULY 2020. If you cannot attend after making a payment, refunds are only possible when the expedition is full and someone fills your place. The Amazon Expedition is limited to 15 participants. Please do not book your airfares until I have advised you that all places are confirmed.

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Required Reading

1. What to pack (see below)
2. Your health and body preparations (see below)
3. Ayahuasca and its contraindications

Liability Release

Liability Waiver and Release Form
Please read and prepare to sign in Iquitos, Peru at the start of our expedition.

Shoe Size

We need your shoe size for the jungle boots
please return to amazon@mishahoo.com

 

HEALTH AND DIETARY PREPARATION

You are responsible for your own health and the decisions you make prior to travel. If in doubt, please see your physician.

Prior to Travel
We will not be in a Malaria or Yellow Fever zone, but you may wish to review suggestions from the CDC regarding any needed shots. Our food and water in the jungle is clean and safe. You do not need to bring iodine tablets or water purifiers. Once in Peru and before getting to the jungle, just buy bottled water.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Health Information for Travelers to Peru

Malaria and Dengue Fever
Although Malaria, high fever and viral infections as a result of mosquito bites are not a high risk for visits of a few weeks to the northern Peruvian Amazon, preventative measures can be taken and it is your choice. Please do your research and be sure to view the information from the CDC. A dozen groups have been at this camp and there has not been a single incident of sickness nor anyone who took malaria pills. If you decide to take malaria prevention chemicals, the CDC recommends either mefloquine (Lariam) or Malarone as the malaria risk preventatives of choice. Unpleasant side-effects are rare, and neither Lariam nor Malarone show any special contraindications when taken in conjunction with Ayahuasca. Please note that Doxycycline is NOT recommended as a malaria preventative in conjunction with Ayahuasca.

Tetanus Vaccination – It is wise to be up to date with your Tetanus shots.

Grapefruit Seed Extract, B-Complex Vitamins and Garlic
Boosting your intake prior to arrival is known to reduce the frequency of insect bites.

Pre-Cleansing and Food Diet
The cleaner your body, the less detoxification symptoms (headaches, nausea, dizziness) you will experience during the expedition. It is important that you undergo a deep bodily cleansing prior to this very sacred work with the plant medicines. This will be one of the most transformative experiences of your life in holy communion with your greater self aspects. It is recommended that you abstain from the following foods and substances for two weeks prior to travel. These are not compatible with this intense work and most of these are contraindicated with the plant medicine, Ayahuasca. The idea is to come in a very PURE state, ready to receive the powerful and sacred plant medicines.

• Alcohol
• Caffeine including coffee
• Smoking cigarettes and marijuana
• Any drugs and ingested chemicals of any type
• All red meat especially pork
• Processed foods
• Fermented foods
• Cheese and dairy
• Heavily fried foods
• White sugar
• Lessen salt intake

Once in Peru… Water and Food Caution
Once in Peru, it is strongly advised to only drink bottled water. Do not ingest any drinks diluted with water or that contain ice cubes. You do not want to drink juices made with water, do not eat any ice cream or drinks and food made at road stalls. Make sure all plates and utensils are without water droplets. Only eat in good restaurants that use a water filter. Do not eat lettuce and the skins of fruits unless you are sure it is cleaned with filtered water. Do not brush your teeth with faucet water. Use your water bottle instead.

Smoking
No smoking of any type is permitted in this program.

Diarrhea
Brief travelers’ diarrhea is sometimes experienced upon arrival as the system adjusts to new climate and foods. This generally passes in 24 hours as one acclimates to tropical conditions.

Coping with Biting Insects
You will get insect bites, it is inevitable. The two biggest ones are mosquitoes and an invisible bug called iseco. The iseco bites really itch and tend to appear as welts. We have tried everything under the sun to prevent bites, however, very few things work to be honest. What it comes down to is… itch management. You can bring DEET free mosquito repellent and definitely bring something for anti-itch. Essential oils like lavender, tea tree, peppermint and “Thieves” blend (from Young Living) take the itch out. Tiger balm is great, aloe is also good. There are several other anti-itch remedies, please do some research to decide what is best for you.

Insect Repellent
Since we are on a major purification program, please bring only natural or DEET free insect repellents. Natural products  can be found in sporting goods stores, alternative health stores and pharmacies. They will usually contain tea tree, eucalyptus or lavender oil but no harsh or toxic chemicals. These must be re-applied more often than chemical alternatives, but are entirely organic and safe with no known harmful effects. Other organic repellents contain citronella which is also effective.

Personal First Aid Kit and Nutritional Supplements
We have a general first aid kit and it is suggested that you bring some of your own supplies. Suggestions include insect bite anti-itch, essential oils, topical antiseptic ointment, anti fungal creme and anything else for your own body sensitivities. It is not recommended to bring your nutritional supplements. Give these a break and go fully into working with the plant medicines.

 

WHAT TO PACK

Amazon BackpackBackpack – Please try to get everything into one large traveler’s backpack. It is much easier to travel with a soft backpack versus a heavy suitcase since we will be in and out of small rickshaw motos and boats. Bring a small day pack as hand luggage for daily use.

Clothes – The Jungle is hot and humid with biting insects. It can get a little cool at night with some rain. Bring light natural fiber clothes that are comfortable… but not too many. We will have regular washings by the village women. It is all very casual, leave expensive clothes and jewelry at home. Pack a pair of lightweight trousers and long sleeved cotton shirt for jungle walks. For every day… bring a bathing suit, shorts, summer tops, sarong, yoga wear, a sun hat, sunglasses. You can also buy hand made and very colorful Shipibo clothes once there. Do not bring anything valuable, please.

Cotton Blanket – If you live in the tropics or get cold easily, you might want to bring a cotton blanket, as the nights can be cool especially if it rains. A small blanket can also double as a cushion for the long boat journey.

White Ceremony Clothing – We wear all white during the 5 Ayahuasca ceremonies. Bring 2 all white outfits for this purpose. Bring socks and a sarong or scarf to wrap your head during night time ceremony in the temple.

Shoes – Flip flops are necessary for everyday wear around Iquitos and on the expedition. For our jungle walks, you will be provided with calf high rubber boots. Please send us your shoe size and remember to bring socks.

Food – Our food intake is extremely simple and bland to be highly compatible with the plant medicine program. These means no salt, sugar, spices or much flavorings. It will include a simple intake of mostly Amazon fish, rice, yucca, bananas and jungle fruits. We will not eat that much. If you feel to have emergency food on hand such as a nutrition bar, pack it. Keep in mind though that anything open in your room will attract ants… by the thousands.

Altar items – You may bring crystals or sacred stones for the altar in our ceremonial Temple.

Waterproof wristwatch – Please bring a waterproof wristwatch with alarm for early mornings or afternoon naps.

Towel – Bring a small towel for use after bathing in the river.

Candle and Flashlight – There is no electricity. We are given one oil lantern for our rooms. If you wish to bring a candle for your room, one 3-4″ round candle or tea lights is enough. Bring a flashlight with extra batteries.

Soap and Shampoo – Please, bring chemical free products as we will be bathing in the river.

Camera or Video – These need to be battery powered. Bring extra batteries or a charged solar battery. Please do not bring mp3 players or expect to be walking around with headphones on during your time in the jungle, as we wish to be fully present in our thoughts and feelings. Listening to music can often become a distraction from our total presence of self-awareness.

Gifts for the Village Children – We do not tip with cash, so please bring some small gifts for the village workers and children as a token of your appreciation for their generous hospitality. There will be two organised gifting sessions where we will present our offerings as a group, so please bring some notebooks, coloured pencils, or Spanish language books for the local school as well as some clothing items for either female or male workers. The village women also welcome exchanges of clothes for their artworks.

Creative Time – Bring your writing journal as it is important for you to record your process. There will be a lot of aha moments, really good dreams, inner realizations, profound thoughts and feelings. Writing our experiences can help us to gain clarity and to look back later to gain perspective on our journey. We will also be doing a lot of sharing with the group.

Earplugs – The jungle noises can be loud, or your neighbor might snore!

Water Bottle – Hydration is extremely important during our time in the jungle, so make sure that you bring a small water bottle to refill throughout the day as well as a 1.5 or 2 litre container for the boat journey. These can be purchased from the supermarket in Iquitos.

Other Items – Incense, binoculars, sunscreen.

Coping with Biting Insects
You will get insect bites, it is inevitable. The two biggest ones are mosquitoes and an invisible bug called iseco. The iseco bites really itch and can turn into a bleeding welt from all the scratching. Bring DEET-free mosquito repellent and something for insect bite anti-itch. Essential oils like lavender, tea tree and peppermint can take the itch out but I also recommend a commercial anti-itch creme. You will need at least two tubes of anti-itch creme and two pump sprays of insect repellent.

Personal First Aid Kit
I have only a basic first aid kit on hand, so if you feel to pack items for your own sensitivities, then do it. Suggestions include antiseptic wipes, band-aids, anti-fungal creme, paw paw ointment, eucalyptus oil, calamine lotion and tampons.

Supplements
You do not need to bring any of your daily supplements, vitamins or things of this nature. The plant medicines will provide all that you need. It is good to take a break anyway.

Some cash in Soles
The Shipibo women make incredibly intricate embroidered designs on wall hangings and clothes. You will want to bring some cash in Soles with which to purchase a special memento of your jungle experience. Between 300-500 Soles will suffice for a large item and you can also bring special clothes of your own and arrange for designs to be embroidered onto them if you wish. There may also be painted artworks for sale which cost between 200 – 650 soles.

Shapibo-Artwork