Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Crazy Life!!!!

Okay, so two or three or ten things are going on in my head. On the front page, I was due to talk in Austin today, at a meet and greet for an hour, and then to tell a story or two prior to a film that includes me, More Joy, Less Pain, is being shown. So last night I had a dream that my Saturday Night car, a 1999 Crown Vic with a 4.6 liter engine that purrs like a cat, overheated. And today, after we bought sandwiches — the we is Devon and I — water, a tank of gas, and whatever else we needed for the 380 mile round trip, we're on the road for less than 20 miles when the car actually started to overheat. I mean it was redlining and I had to stop, wait for it to cook, then discovered that the antifreeze was about empty. Leak? Who knows. Prescient dream? Absolutely, since that's never happened in the two years I've owned that car. Actually, I trust the spirits and it was probably their way of keeping me out of an approaching accident.
In any event, we added the water we bought and hobbled a few miles to a gas station, allowed the car to cool again, then added antifreeze. By that time we would have been at least an hour late and missed the entire meet and greet, but I would have been a nervous wreak the whole time since I don't know what caused the loss of fluid.
I had to turn around and return home. I feel lousy about that. I'll do a projected skype at the place where the film is being shown to apologize and tell a story or two.
But now that I am home, I'm starving. I don't want to cook, don't want to eat the sandwiches we bought for the road trip. So I looked in the fridge.
There was a whole plate of Deviled Eggs I'd made last night that I'd completely forgotten about. Wow! I am so insanely trying to write/cook the recipes for the Peter Gorman Hell of a Day in the Kitchen cookbook that I am sleep-making freaking food!
Once I saw them I remembered making them, but in the flurry of things I was making last night — none of which I ate, I stuck to ice cream — I just forgot that I'd made them.
So I am officially out of my mind. I get it. I'm sure you all see it too.
Yikes!
Now I got to go tell stories to a small group of movie goers that hate me for not being there in person. How can I explain? I will apologize, of course, and point to my hair looking nice, to my clean-shaven face, to my freshly washed shirt. They will still hate me.
Ah well, if you don't get into the fray you will never even have a chance of winning, eh?
Still, yikes!!!!!

Friday, November 01, 2019

Short and Sweet

Try to be a good and generous person. Try to turn selfish ideas into selfless ideas, cowardice into courage, fear to fearlessness. Take care of as many as you can without suffocating yourself with their woes and misery. Have a wonderful life.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

On People Training to give Frog Medicine

Someone asked me about training to give Frog Sweat, Kambo or Sapo, as a White Person, Versus being an Indigenous Person. This is what I wrote:
Dear X: I answered that at the very top of this thread, a few weeks ago. But here it is again, the answer to the original question in full: To the OP: I do not have any direct experience with IAKP, but have met some of their practitioners and they appear well trained. I know that when I occasionally train people -- and I don't know where I get the right to do that other than wanting people to use the medicine in a careful and positive fashion -- it is not at all similar to someone being brought up in an indigenous culture that depends on the medicine for hunting, for eliminating the grippe, and so forth. Those kids are around the medicine from birth, just like they are around the jungle from birth and so are at home with it without any need for formal training. But then you take a kid from Whitestone, Queens, New York, like me and put me in the jungle and I need lots of training to be able to survive well out there. I think the same applies to sapo/kambo training. Yes, a person can just use it once or twice and then give it to other people, but what happens when something goes wrong? What happens when you allow a guest to walk, unattended, to a bathroom and they black out and hit their head on a counter top? Or wind up with their head in a bad position and start to vomit and then choke and panic? What do you do when someone absolutely freaks out on taking the medicine? There are so many things to learn to use the medicine in our cultures that it is impossible to compare the learning to indigenous culture learning. I have guests who need two or three hours to come together again after a session, and other guests who are good to go 20 minutes after initial application. How do you judge when to give them back their car keys and let them drive off? I am not a believer in shrouding the medicine in a whole lot of mysticism and pomp theatrics, but I do sing people into the first four or five minutes of the experience to help them go into it gently -- as you all know it's darned abrupt!!! So while I do not know the IAKP directly, I think that training people to the things to be aware of prior to serving others, is probably a good thing. And I do not know what they charge, but if they are giving you 10 days or two weeks' attention, well, someone has to get paid to do that. That is a lot of work.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Big Boat Ride

The other day I posted regarding my last two Amazon Jungle Jaunts, where I take people out to the deep jungle and we do some walking in high jungle while learning about local medicines, some swamp walking with ancient trees, some jungle medicines that include (for those who want them, never pushed on anyone) Ayahuasca, Amazonian magic mushrooms, and the indigenous Matses medicines, Sapo (aka Kambo), and Nü-Nü, a snuff. We also collect the frog with some Matses friends of mine, bathe in a beautiful tributary of the Amazon, eat ridiculously good and healthy food, laugh up a storm, learn a lot about life on the Amazon. Those dates are Jan 18-27, and Feb 1-10.
BUTTTTTT!!!!!! I didn't explain why they will be the last trips. Here's why: With the rate the jungle is trying to kick me out — whether it's dengue, septic spider bites, poisonous snake bites, flesh eating bacteria — coupled with my age, a measly 68, I only have a limited amount of trips left in me. Maybe 10, maybe 12, I don't know.
What I do know is that I have some legitimate exploration left to do, and that can't be done if I'm entertaining guests. I love guests, but this Spring, 2020, I'm gonna try to raise about $25 grand to find, rent, rebuild to my specifications, outfit a boat to take from Iquitos down to Leticia, and then up the Javari river, and into the Alto Javari and the Galvez rivers.
I'll have 7 crew beside myself, and I'm planning on the trip running about 42 days from setting off from Iquitos to return. Now this is a trip I've done twice, though they were slightly shorter trips at 29 and 30 days, so my ambition is up this time. And I've never gotten bored while piloting my own boat in the Amazon.
On this trip, 25 years since the last, i want to record for the record the changes that have occurred on the Javari since I last ran it. I want to return to the villages I collected medicinal plants from -- for a pharmaceutical house -- to see if the sons and daughters of the headmen from whom I collected plants are still working that trade. I want to revisit some old friends and make some new ones.
I'll be honest: I know this is a selfish expedition. But I also think it's valuable as very few rivers in the Amazon have a record that stretches 26 years. How much development has occurred? How much larger are the military outposts and the villages around them? How far have the indigenous villages moved and have any disappeared altogether?
I'm going to need a lot of money for this, and i don't want anyone giving up their lunch money or money they were going to send to the local food bank sending that money to me. I'm going to need angels, four or five or 10 who have capital and want to be part of something special. Who want to be there when it's time for the boat painting party in Iquitos, or spend the first 4 or 5 nights with my crew on the first leg of the journey to Leticia (where we'll drop you off and send you back to Iquitos with one of my team). There will be an accounting of every damned penny spent and people can hold me to that.
Anyway, I hope I can pull this off and that it will be the first of several genuine explorations that I will do before the jungle gets me for good, or I just get too old to do the work.
I just wanted to share that. Thanks. Peter G

Friday, October 11, 2019

LAST JUNGLE TRIPS COMING UP

What follows is absolute self-promotion, so proceed at your own risk. I'm going to be taking two more small groups into the deep Peruvian Amazon. The dates are Saturday, Jan 18 through the morning of Monday, Jan 27, and then Saturday, Feb 1 through the morning of Monday, Feb 10. The trips run $2200 US per person and cover everything but airfare and walking around money.
I've been doing these trips for 21 years and love introducing people the the Northwest Amazon, her rivers, her peoples, and her medicines. But I'm coming to the end of the line on them and it's nearly time to turn them over to my friend Devon, who has been apprenticing with me for several years. So these two will, in all likelihood, be my last.
So if you have dreamed of spending a night on a flat-bottomed riverboat heading up the Amazon beneath an Amazon sky, this is the time to join. If you have dreamed of being offered Amazonian magic shrooms, or doing the indigenous Matses medicines Sapo (aka kambo) and nu-nu with a Matses headman — as well as collecting those medicines with the same headman — then now is the time to join. If you would like to utilize ayahuasca in the same setting as I have been drinking it for 35 years with the nephew of my old teacher Julio, then now is the time to join.
This is not a trip to a luxury lodge. This is swamp walking, high jungle medicine walking, nighttime trips in dugout canoes, bathing in a beautiful tributary of the Amazon, getting plenty of dirt under your fingernails, and doing all that while having a rollicking good time.
If any of this piques your interest, you can message me or email me at peterg9 at yahoo.com and I can answer your questions.
Trips are limited to a maximum of 12 guests, and my crew will always outnumber my guests to ensure a safe trip.
The trip is not physically difficult, but it is the real deal.
Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Full Day, Doing Nothing

Full day, doing nothing. Today was a surprisingly full day, though it seemed like I didn't to anything at all.
Chepa, my ex, came by at 8 AM for coffee and regaled me and Devon with stories while I flirted with her. She left at 9 and I rewrote a story for Fort Worth Weekly that was going to press tonight.
Then a guest who was here at the house needed sapo, the indigenous frog sweat medicine, which always takes a lot out of me, and the Matses snuff, nu-nu as a follow up medicine.
I was pooped after serving the medicines.
Then it was time to go to the store to get food for dinner, came home, and the person who was staying here for three days for medicine had a friend show up. He was cool, but stayed for three hours, so there was some entertainment in the way of stories to provide. I did.
At the same time I was entertaining the new friend, I had to wash clothes for a speaking engagement at a movie theater showing a film about my work in the Amazon tonight in Fort Worth. So I had to figure out what I was going to speak about.
Then Devon and I went to the theater, I spoke in a meet-and-greet for an hour, then spoke to the audience for 15-20 minutes without notes, then came home.
I am tired. It's only 9:30, but I am tired.
Didn't do nothin' but did a lot. I hope I helped a few people along the way.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Someone I know Defended Trump...

Someone I know posted on a forum that if the Democrats keep messing around with Trump he might switch his allegiance from them to Trump in 2020. That's such horse shit that I had to respond. Here is my response, though it's way more abbreviated than I would have liked.
 
The democrats have passed more than 100 bills that are common sense things that McConnell is sitting on. They are working their tails off trying to put together legislation that would be a no-brainer for the Senate if Mr. M would let them get a hearing. So they are not causing any gridlock. That is all on McConnell. Thus far President Trump has passed a tax cut for the wealthy and corporations, locked kids up, separated families, raised the rates of the incarceration of those kids to over $700 per night per child while accepting that there is not enough money for toothbrushes for them out of that $700. He has lied 10 times a day, spends several hours a day by his own admission watching Fox News, then spends the night tweeting about what Fox News said that day. The action against President Trump should have come with emoluments, the Mueller Report, his publicly asking for election help from Putin, his roll back of dozens of environmental protections, his putting utterly unqualified people in cabinet positions, having his family be his closest advisors, or even putting tariffs on goods from China which exclude his own products and the products made by his daughter there. That's a very partial list of reasonably impeachable offenses. To that add the Kashogi murder that he ignored, secret meetings with Putin wherein he takes the translators notes so that there is no record of the conversations, giving classified info to Russia's foreign minister during a visit in the White House (that info released by Russia subsequent to the meeting because Trump did not allow any US people to stay in the room)..... Well, you get the picture. He's never produced a vision of policy, never come up with anything concrete. If he did, I'm sure the Dems would have worked with him while still going after his high crimes and misdemeanors.