El Cinto

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    • Day 21

      Mindo/ Hayulima Family 💚

      February 17, 2022 in Ecuador ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      It is hard to describe in words how grateful I am for the this experience.

      The Hayulima Sanctuary is a land of ~120ha pure nature, including mountains, lake, river and different kind of community houses for the guests (15 people from all over the world) and volunteers. The host families itself (3parties) live there too. It is Salvador with his wife Paulina wich are the main Shaman couple + the sisters of Paulina, Amalia & Diana including their children and three dogs.

      I got asked if I could arrive a day earlier because the transportation for the next day would be full. In exchange i would get the night + meals for free. ✅
      So I got the chance to get to know the beautiful 4 volunteers and help them with the daily tasks like cooking, wood chopping or fire preparation.
      They all were very experienced with the different types of medicine ceremonies and answered all of my questions wisely.

      As the rest of the participants arrived the program started with a temazcal / sweat lodge ceremony. It’s comparable with a sauna or steam bath. It’s a round tent were the people sit in a circle. Outside of it burns a huge fire with volcano stones in it, wich are given into the middle of the circle. The first round started with 10 stones, then the door is closed and the glowing stones are doused with water in complete darkness. Each further round the amount of stones got decreased until the final 17 stone round. 😮‍💨

      A ceremony always starts and ends with a tobacco prayer were the shamans set different Intensions. One very big and everlasting prayer was the appreciation for water, wich is the origin of everything and from wich we were surrounded permanently. I’ve never been to a place were it was raining that much and constantly!
      Then there are many people extremely beautiful songs sung supported by a drum and a rattle.

      We did four rounds, one lasts ~20min until the door is asked to get opened again, for a short entry of air and the possibility to use the toilet. Imagine a really hot sauna maybe around 80degrees with a huge humidity. After it we got served a glass of water and fruits.

      All of the 10 days were pretty well structured with some optional additions like Kambo 🐸, massages or energy cleansing.
      The sure thing we’re the delicious meals we got served three times a day, were I was also helping to prepare and serve from time to time.

      As you can see on the white board our first Ayahuasca ceremony started at 9pm at day two.
      The name “ayahuasca” originates from the Quechua language, where aya means soul or ancestors, and wasca (huasca) means vine or rope. Most people translate this as “vine of the soul.”

      The brew has been popular in regions of the Amazon for millennia, for both medical and spiritual reasons. It induces an “introspective dream-like experience” that includes visions and memories.

      If I had to explain it in a nutshell it felt to me like an knowledge exchange with my pure loving nature grandmother wich knows me better than anyone and better than myself.

      After purging I had different kind of visions and believe it or not my birth trauma was solved when my neck started to mobilise by itself.
      I was born via cesarean section because the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck. I didn’t know what that meant but the shaman told me afterwards, that some people experience that by there first use of the medicine.

      After again many prayers and songs the ceremony ended when the sun rised around 6/7 in the morning.

      I’m still processing many of the things I experienced these days. One thing I know for sure that that this was the best thing that could have happened to me and I learned to be grateful for every step, even every mistake i did in my past wich put me on that path I am now. I am at peace with my past and I am able to continue the rest of my life with joy and gratitude.

      Gratitude for everything I have in my life and especially for my family and you my friends. I love you from the bottom of my heart.

      Gratitude for Hayulima Family who provide this sacred healing place. In one of the ceremonies I had the vision of playing football with the kids there, so in my freetime I built two goals out wood and painted them 💙🤍!

      As you can see I hardly reported about two days, but there is so much more I can tell you in persona, so I will stop at this point.

      After these 10 or 11 days I spent three more nights back in civilazation in the village of Mindo with Paul (81 years old, USA), Chris (53yo, Canada), Balthazar (41 yo Australia) and the amazing volunteers Manuell (~38yo, Québec, Canada) and Courtney (29yo USA). All of the people of the retreat got so familiar and close because we all showed our true and most vulnerable selves.

      We visited different kind of Cacao Manufacturers 🤤 and were witnesses of Carneval in Ecuador were people are having funny “water war” on the streets. So everywhere you walk, some kid would splash you with a water gun or even a bucket over your had 💦.

      Next Footprint: Back to Quito and then off to Banos.

      If you have read until here, i won’t hide that I shaved my head completely 😬🧑🏼‍🦲
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    • Day 17


      February 13, 2022 in Ecuador ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

      Finally! La capital!
      The bus drive was fine and I could lay down completely over 4 seats. I arrived at 6 in the morning and the central bus station, from where I took a taxi To my old friend Antonio, who lives in cumbaya, one of the wealthier neighbours in town.
      We realised that we know each other for 14 years and he reminded me the night I was sitting naked in his kitchen in Karlsruhe, while the police was in the door because the music was too loud.
      He, his mother and their dog Chuck were extremely hospitable, showed me around, took me out to nice restaurants and I even got my own room, because his younger sister just moved out to her fiancé.
      The last two days I was exploring the city by myself and went to Foundation of Oswaldo Guayasamin, the most significant Artist of Ecuador.
      I also met a friend I got to know in Montanita at another art gallery. She showed me the cool, alternative places of the city.
      On my last day I went to see the „middle of the world” wich should be exactly at longitude and latitude 0’0’0 and highlights the exact location of the Equator.
      As Antonios mother told me that the Europeans actually measured it the wrong way and that the real point is some hundred meters behind it. I searched for it and found a much more beautiful place than the stone monument of the colonizers.

      On this morning I shaved my face completely as I haven’t done in years and got picked up by Cesar a family member of Hayulima Spirit Sanctuary. The place were I am attending my first Ayuhasca-Retreat.

      I was following a diet for two weeks prior to drinking the medicine. The major premise of the diet is eating as clean and fresh as possible:

      Cut out/reduce the consumption of saturated fats
      Cut out/reduce the consumption of sugar 😑
      Cut out/reduce anything with colorants and or preservatives
      No processed food
      No pork or foods that contain it, like sausage
      No beef. Chicken and fish are fine in small amounts
      No alcohol

      I am now located in an cloud forest valley, in pure nature.
      I will be here for 12 days and will also practice digital detox for that time.
      I am super excited what I am going to discover in and outside of me.
      Mama, don’t be scared this place is safe and sacred 😉

      Mucho Amore
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    • Day 279

      14.2 Camino de Cascadas (Mindo)

      May 29, 2019 in Ecuador ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

      Looking for a overpriced, distant tourist trap in th jungle? Here you go, Mindo is your town in the middle of the cloud forest. And maaaan, does it deserve this name. Was still worth it and I met som nice people there. But 112g of chocolate for 7$? It isn’t even the same quality as Swiss or Belgium chocolate! On the other hand, that brownie with vanilla ginger ice cream was from another world, especially the ice cream!Read more

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