Shamans: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home


My dad was telling me about a recent trip he took to the wilds of Ecuador. From the airport, it was a three-hour truck ride, followed by two hours in a motorized canoe to get to the lodge he was staying at.


“That doesn’t sound good,” I said. “What if you have a medical emergency?”

“There’s a shaman at the village,” he said. “And what the shamans do is they take peyote or whatever the local hallucinogen is, they hallucinate about a drug, then they go into the forest, come back with the drug and give it to you.”

“Are they board certified?”

“No. And the other thing they do is they blow smoke on you.”

“I hate that. What kind of smoke is it?”

“I think the guy has a pack of Marlboros. But if you have a heart attack or something, that’s all you’re gonna get.”

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