Being in Iquitos has had its positive aspects as well; I have to admit. Meeting Juan, the healer, has been an interesting experience. His life story is amazing, almost unbelievable, in the full sense of the word. He enjoys sharing his crazy experiences and I enjoy listening, although I am never sure were to draw the line between reality and fantasy. I think even he no longer knows, or, perhaps, the fantasy in his life is just as real as anything else.
He was living in the U.S at the time of the Vietnam War and volunteered. He said he was later left behind, along with other South Americans, when the troops pulled out. So they had to fend for themselves and see and do horrible things in order to survive. Therefore he has been lost in insanity (like many others who fought that war) and back, thanks to Ayahuasca. He’s healed himself and many others, who travel from all over the world to Iquitos to have access to his knowledge of medicinal plants and be healed by him and Ayahuasca, “the mother plant,” he said.
He’s fought crocodiles and demons, he says. He’s traveled the world, and explored the depths of the jungle. According to him he’s been killed by a snake and then came back to life. He’s traveled light years to far away stars and also back in time to see it all start. He is, for sure, and interesting man. His name is Juan Tangoa. He is over 60 years old and in perfect shape. He says is the Ayahuasca that keeps him healthy, strong and powerful.
He’s told me many stories, some very nice, all of them amazing and a few kind of hard to believe. All I know with certainty is that he’s been through a lot in his lifetime and he’s a gathered a lot of knowledge. He truly understands the power of nature and knows how to use it.
Out of the many things he told me two really got to me and I hope to never forget.
He told me people are afraid of death when they have not lived life fully, and that the world becomes the size of an orange in the palm of your hand when you have an open mind.
He reminded me that all we have to do in life is live. Because once our time is up, it’s up and there are no second chances. He reminded me that a closed mind will take us nowhere, because it becomes impossible to see the way.
So let’s find what makes us smile. Let’s find what makes us happy; what makes us vibrate from the inside out, what we’re passionate about. Let’s focus less on the negative, on what we lack or what we think is expected from us, yet it brings us down, because in the end, nothing else will matter.
Let’s live life, day by day. Just live. Despite life’s difficulties, there is always beauty around us -- we simply forget. Let’s remember that we are lucky to be alive, to have the opportunity to be in this world in these bodies that feel and dream and hope. Let’s be.
Thank you Juan.