I would love to share with you a little of my journey into the Brazilian Amazon jungle wow that I am back, after spending a whole month in the beautiful, hot, tropical, zumba country.

It was some heck of a journey in every sense of the word ! Some experiences we encounter on our journey of self-discovery can be challenging to put into words. and sometimes they are best left to the privacy of the individual. Here is a snippet of the journey into the Amazon, and my privileged encounter with the Huni Kuin indigenous people.

A little introduction to my past health  

I have been on a journey of self-discovery since falling ill a number of years ago, having suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome – CFS.  CFS is a bit of wish washy umbrella label.  CFS does not really say anything specific about what the cause may have been, or make a fair diagnosis, especially in the orthodox world.
Its the mitochondria not hypochondria is quite a good analogy.
I suffered from many a physical ailment such as-  a loss of extreme weight (dropping down to just under 7 stone); jaundice; hormonal imbalances; and much more. You can read more About Susan on the SoulBodyDetox.com or Thekambokiss.com website.
I was never the same person, either on the physical or spiritual level, after falling ill. I had lost all my joie de vivre.  Some may call it losing their soul, and I often used to refer to it as a kind of Humpty Dumpty who fell off the wall and broke into tiny pieces, only to be put back together again. In Chinese Medicine they refer to it as a break in the electrics, or chi energetics.

I will share with you a little of my past ‘story‘ so it can make sense to anyone reading this.

After deciding to part with a long-term live-in partner,  I went on to experience a very short encounter with a young handsome man.  I had made the decision to part, for very good reasons. He had dysfunctional relationships with everyone around him especially women. So it was not long after parting, that I was in the gym, and  I was running on the treadmill.  It was during those brief moments when I immediately felt extremely overwhelmed with grief and sadness.  All I wanted to do was to run away from the intensity of the emotional pain, although little did I realize it was nothing to do with this brief encounter  I had just experienced, but more to do with unresolved past childhood emotional traumas – the wounded child.  The boarding school abandonment at 8 years old and my mother leaving home at a later age.  In that moment on the treadmill I remember so clearly that everything i had ever felt in the painful body,  seemed to have channelled into this ‘break-down‘. I felt I was running away from the world. I felt a physical tangible snap within my body. And then all of a sudden woosh – I experienced an instant fever. It was like someone had injected me, with this extreme and intense heat. I began to sweat profusely.  I had to stop running there and then. I went home and I felt quite nauseated. From that day on I was never quite the same person either physically or emotionally.
I would cry without any reason and just burst into tears over nothing. I began to crave food that I never liked before. I could not think clearly. I felt anxious all the time, and I was unable to sleep. I became exhausted and depleted over time. I  reached depths of despair, and experienced feelings of suicide and thought I was dying. I had pains down the sides and back of my legs. And I couldn’t feel the emotions of love, that I could experience before. I had become numb. There were many other numerous symptoms but I won’t go into them here.

I felt my soul had left my body for the second time in my life.

These symptoms went on for many years until I discovered the benefits of organic, mucus-free raw food, plus methods of colon and liver detoxing. I experienced and attended many therapies, based on emotional and spiritual healing from Buddhism, meditation,  to body electronics and so on.  These all seemed to improve on previous symptoms. I was off work for a total of 4 years. Sold my house gave up my work and moved.

My discovery of the shamanic path 
Later on the path of self-discovery, I discovered one of the things that I had always been looking for, the shamanic path. I discovered my long lost connection to nature. I was born in the Nigerian bush or jungle and lived there for 12 years.  I used to have my own little mantra at 8 years old “be at one with nature.

I joined a Shamanic Drumming group and discovered journeying with the animal and spirit guides. My very first journey seemed to be quite a profound experience, where I found myself questioning everything I had ever believed in. I had journeyed into other dimensions.  As soon as I closed my eyes I flew the eagle and flew over the red rocks in an American Native Indian territory.Eagle
I then continued to experience visiting the country of Egypt. I felt the presence of and encountered a vivid image of a powerful Egyptian Queen. I noticed in detail her headdress and costume jewelry which was covered in gold and turquoise. Then, after this journey, I continued into another dimension.  I seemed to travel into the prehistoric age, where I encountered a giant turkey! And much more. All this within 20 minutes, or was it 20 minutes of another timelessness?  I never really knew about any of this, and, so I found myself on aunty google searching for related information. And then that was that.  I was convinced, I really had journeyed into other dimensions. I was excited.

I continued to experience other spiritual energetic such as astral traveling and shapeshifting. One day in broad daylight  I noticed my body had transformed into a falcon all whilst walking a dog in the countryside. Many a time my body has transformed into various snakes including the Australian Aborigine Rainbow Snake. I have noticed that when I have felt upset or emotional, this is when I would have encountered animal shapeshifting. I am blessed and protected by the spirit world.

Not so long after experiencing the healing sounds of the Shamanic drum I discovered PLANTS spirits. I began to attend quite a few shamanic plant ceremonies such as-  Iboga, San Pedro, Peyote, Wild tobacco and Ayahuasca,  I felt a profound connection to the plants. Once I recall hearing the plants sing after a peyote ceremony, I asked for guidance from them. It was from there on I began my journey communicating on a deeper level with the plants. This is my reality.

On another occasion it was whilst I was sitting in a circle amongst friends after sharing indigenous Amazonian plant snuff –  Rape’ – pronounced happe.  I was listening to an Ayahuasca Icaro, sung by female Peruvian shaman in her own language with a deep hypnotic heartfelt voice.  I heard the words “I am your mother, come back to me“.  It was at this moment I knew I had a deeper connection to this plant s.  I knew I was going to spending more time with her. Not long after attending an Ayahuasca ceremony in Europe I was off to the Brazilian Amazon to spend time with the Huni Kuin Indigenous Tribe and their spiritual shaman leader, Ninawa.

The journey into the Amazon jungle abyss  

The journey to reach into the heart of the Amazonian jungle was a long one. It involved 4 plane journeys, Painted faced children welcoming usand, a 7-hour very bumpy road taxi journey, shared with 5 other Brazilians.  Eventually to reach the little-sprawled town of Tarauaca located on the edge of the Amazon jungle, in the Acre region of Brazil. I stayed in a beautiful little cheap and cheerful yellow painted sun blessed hotel where I met up with the other jungle travelers and our wonderful apprentice shaman, Vinicius, who was to guide us during the whole of the trip.

We bought and collected our necessities for the trip, which included our mosquito nets, hammocks, and mini groovy bright blue or white wellington boots and loads of insect repellent lotion and potions.

So we set off, up the winding river, with its muddy colored waters, so mystical and full of jungle majick. The river was full of majick, and we were lucky enough to encounter the elusive Amazonian pink dolphin on our slow boat journey into the Amazon.
We had many a moment emptying the slow leaking canoe, whilst indulging in Brazilian Amazonian wild fruit, and eating the local food cooked on the small boat stove. I did my best to pick up a few words and phrases of the Brazilian lingo. The children on the boat were so keen on teaching us all and turned it into fun and games, especially with a young boy with big wide eyes who I affectionately named   ‘big wide-eyed boy’.

One of the most exciting experiences on the boat journey was our encounter the sacred Ayahuasca Joboya snake! Our guide had one as a short-term pet, and unfortunately, he eventually escaped. We had the privilege to hold it in our hands for a short, scary, but exciting time, and,  all the whilst, we were advised to stay peaceful, and quiet, as the snake is sensitive to noise or sudden movement, just like most animals are.


Joyoba snake_nEventually after 4 days on a slow boat, after encountering a true Amazonian heavy long rainfall,  we reached the  5th village of the Huni Kuin Tribe, deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle. Our welcome was something I will never forget as we were greeted from the village river banks by numerous painted- faced -smiling -Huni Kuin children who were only too pleased to help us with our huge plastic bags full of newly bought jungle necessities.

We were glad to set our feet on terra firma where we knew we would be staying for a while longer.



The Amazon jungle has a voice and an energy that permeates through every part of your being. It is unlike anywhere else I have ever been and I have traveled many a place. The virgin jungle abyss is full of beautiful sounds from singing crickets, various symphonic frog deep croaks, and many a macaw squawks and screeches. There are so many different bird sounds.  I could almost hear them sounding as words in the native language. One bird, in particular, made a sound that reminded me unbelievably of a car alarm.

First night at the Huni Kuin village 

Our first night we rested in one of the unusual wooden houses built on stilts. Our ‘room’ was open and surrounded by the jungle night sounds, which emanated from every tree, plant, and animal. We all shared a few hours gazing into the blanket of jungle darkness with the sky illuminated with billions of twinkling stars. I felt such gratitude at having come this far.
Eventually, after sharing our moments of awe and wonder, in the early hours of the dark morning, we decided to go and sink into our colorful cotton hammocks.

Learning how to find a comfortable position in a hammock was a new experience after sleeping on the Thai mat at home. As you can imagine every day was full of new experiences.  One of them included my attempt to communicate with members of this tribe.  My knowledge of their language was sparse compared to the other 2 female companion travelers.

I noticed how humble, grounded and focused the Huni Kuin people were. The children were shy and seemed unsure of us. I was aware of their of their gaze, watching everything about our dress and hair, especially my braided hair.   As time went on I saw how they liked to share their food amongst everyone.  The children brought us new local fresh fruit goodies each day. They never had seconds at meal times and often shared one plate of food amongst 4-5 folks.
At this point in my life, I could not digest most of the cooked food. So I did my best to compromise and eat the simplest of the food.  The first time I ate cooked table-salted white rice, the next day I noticed my ankles had swollen which is not good a sign.  I even indulged in a very little of the wild-caught alligator, deer, and fish. But again this was not for my body. I had been eating mostly uncooked organic raw vegan food for around 7 years or so. Previous to this I was a so-called vegetarian.  I was also aware of how concerned the Huni Kuin people were about my strange diet.

The jungle sand flies seemed to find me juicy and were making a feast of me.  I noticed one of the girls who came out with us did not have any problems at all. And I am sure it was due to the food affected me, or rather my blood. It is a well-known fact that food can change the blood within a short time of ingesting it, making a tasty concoction of blood elixirs for them.
I lived in Africa for 12 years and never experienced sand flies wanting to eat me as much.

The first Ayahuasca ceremony  

Not long after arriving in the village in amongst these beautiful souls, of the Huni Kuin, and during the first Ayahuasca ceremony, I heard the most beautiful sounds, from the local children and women whilst singing Icaros during the ceremony, I could feel the sweetness,  and purity of their souls via the Ayahuasca touching somewhere deep inside of me. It was like the plants were singing with them. The Shaman, their spiritual leader, Ninawa could whistle a tune with such ease. I had never heard anyone whistle like he could.

I found myself going through a quite deep cleansing with the Ayahuasca, Rape’  and various other Amazonian medicines such as fresh Kambo from the Kambo frog. I could feel my body going through many changes within. During the first ceremony, I was so aware of the support from the Huni Kuin people.  My body seemed to shake continuously and uncontrollably almost like having rigors. My jaws were chattering and my head was shaking. I felt I was shifting some very deep energy. I could feel the energy gradually move up my body like it had been stuck somewhere for a very long time until eventually I would sob and purge several times.

Plants, (medicine) have an amazing capacity, and wisdom to scan the body and go to the very parts that need attention and healing.  People often say it is like having 10 years of psychotherapy in one night. It is spiritual in every sense. Something very profound and subtle can happen within most people – nature in all its glory.  We in the western world often forget about the spirit and tend to focus only on the body physical ailment with a stuck limited label, and the same with the mind.
Plants have an infinite wisdom and consciousness way beyond what we as a human being will ever understand. It is meant to be this way. Nature has many secrets so that we may bow down to something greater than us. It is the shaman who can communicate with the plants and cosmos.

When you are out deep in the jungle abyss you can feel the jungle energy!

The departing of one of the companion travelers 

Around day 5 one of the travelers had to make her way back home as she was in a lot of pain with her infected root canal. I was sorry to see her go. But, it was a necessity. I remember feeling the urge to join her, as I was finding my experience difficult too, with my numerous sand fly bites and food limited issues. I felt like I wanted to run from all that I was suffering. But something inside of me wanted to stay and complete this journey of self-exploration. I had been called to come here. The strong feeling to stay outweighed the urge to flee. The continual feeling of fatigue, foggy headedness, and constant crazy itching.  At times I felt I was going insane.

Drinking fresh Ayahuasca vine water 

After one of the travelers had gone her journey leaving the rainforest, the Amazon, and I had decided to stay on for more medicine, the two remaining travelers which included me, were taken on another boat journey further into the jungle abyss. We were going to collect some locally grown Ayahuasca vine, and create our very own brew. It was then I was to learn, we were only 36 km away from one of the truest isolated indigenous Huni Kuin tribes. No Western man had managed to find their way into this tribe, as they did not wish for any contact with the outer world. An arrow would be shot in your direction if you were to approach this tribe.
I found this knowledge rather exciting. Not the arrow shooting.  I had seen and heard of this tribe via National Geographic photos taken from above flying helicopters.Drinking the vine water_n

Anyway, back to the boat trip. I suddenly came over with extreme nausea and felt quite sick. I was also hallucinating. I had the shivers too. I began to feel quite anxious, as I felt I was losing my mind. I began to communicate with the jungle plants, on the river bank edges. I remember smelling a strong sweet flowery aroma from the jungle at this point. I had smelt this before as we were traveling up the river on our way into the jungle village. I then asked the plants to help me feel better and to take away any spirit that did not belong in my body. I also asked the shaman who was in the boat, for some rape’ (pronounced happe’), which I felt would help move some of this stuck energy. Nausea became worse, and I began to purge. I instinctively knew I had to chant the Huni Kuin Icaro for the rape’ medicine, and as did this, I could feel the energy of the words vibrate in my body. I was aware of energy being stuck in my upper chest and eventually, it seemed to gradually shift upwards. The rape’ has a wonderful effect on moving stuck energy. I had 3 lots of this medicine during this boat trip.  I felt I had received some rebalancing from the plants.

Eventually, we reached our vine destination and once again landed on terra firma. We walked through the dense tree jungle. We chopped and collected the ancient Ayahuasca vines, but I was not really present, I felt I was standing outside my body.  I was sweating profusely, whilst, watching everything and everyone whilst the vine was cut. We then had an amazing experience. We drank the water straight from a piece of freshly cut ayahuasca vine. This vine was squeezed onto our lips, and the fluid dribbled into our open mouths.  As soon as the water drops touched my lips, I could feel the energy from this plant and I began to laugh.
Eventually, we returned to the village, and I took to my hammock for the rest of the day not wishing to eat anything at all or do anything but rest.

The jungle was hot and humid. With sweat sticking to you, whilst taking our adventures through the jungle, learning about the medicine of the Amazonian plants. We were wearing long-sleeved T-shirts to protect our arms from being bitten from mosquitos and sand flies. We wore short, shiny plastic wellington boots, as it could rain any time, and the jungle was full of deep muddy puddles, and unknown other jungle foreign surprises. Although, as time went on we felt like going barefoot like the children did. Such freedom! We wore trousers every day too. So it was, to be covered like this, in this sticky humid jungle abyss. The jungle walks were led by their friendly medicine man, and the walks were interesting, as the famous doctrine of signatures showing up in many plants. We were told every plant is a medicine which I understood and believed. Using wisdom and knowledge would depend on how you administered the plant, as well as, knowing your patient, is always the way of the medicine man or woman.



Making our own homegrown Ayahuasca

We were shown how to make the Ayahuasca. All the woman came together to meditate during the picking of the chacruna leaves.

chacaruna leaves

chacaruna leaves

We picked the leaves in silence. I asked for peace and love, whilst picking the leaves. This leaf is known to contain the hallucinogenic or entheogenic – indole alkaloid dimethyltryptamine  (DMT) part of the Ayahuasca brew.  The more wild version of this plant contains even stronger amounts of DMT. This can be added out of choice when making the brew. We were advised to continue in our meditative state throughout the day while making the brew.  All INTENTION is focused on the making of the brew. It takes several hours to concoct.  The vine has to be bruised and beaten with a large hammer like- wooden-tool, which allows the water and juices and fibers of the vine soak into the boiling pot of water and chacaruna.  Chacaruna also contains enzymes, that allow the ayahuasca vine to be taken orally.





See part two for Painting faces and more about the trip into the Amazon jungle abyss

By Susan Laingsusan-business-card-new












This is a hand made Huni Kuin headband with a shamanic beaded, and feather head dress

This is a hand made Huni Kuin headband with a shamanic beaded, and feather head dress