My Ayahuasca’s Cartoons

Hi there, it’s Kim! Thanks for coming back to read more of my story.

In my last post, I told you how my friend Zach had tried ayahuasca while on vacation in Mexico and came back to a seemingly different person. His experience made me so curious to try it, but I didn’t know how to get my hands on ayahuasca since it was illegal in our country.

The Spanish program at our high school offered a study abroad trip for students to explore a Spanish-speaking country. That year the trip would be to Mexico. Zach and I both signed up and excitedly planned how we would sneak away from the group to attend an ayahuasca ceremony.

It was my first time going out of the country, and that in itself was a significant experience. We were monitored closely and Zach and I got nervous that we wouldn’t be able to make it to the nighttime ceremony we had signed up for. Finally, our group leader released us for some recreational time before bed, and Zach and I were able to make our escape and take a taxi to the ceremony.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but there was no preparing me for what I experienced that night.

The master of the ceremony introduced himself and explained a bit about ayahuasca and what the evening would look like. He leads a small group of us, there were ten people total including Zach and me, out onto a sandy beach where a campfire was set up with cushions and blankets all around it. He sang a strange chant and then served us each a cup of the most disgusting tasting drink I’ve ever had. It was like a mix of mud and gasoline, and it was thick and gloopy. I held my nose to chug it down, then waited.

At first, nothing happened, and I thought disappointedly that it hadn’t worked. A few of the people around me were obviously feeling the effects, as they were giggling to themselves, or stroking their blankets, or screaming.

Then suddenly I started violently throwing up. That’s when I noticed each person had a bucket, and eventually, everybody threw up at some point in the evening.

It would take me years to write down everything I saw and experienced that night. I saw colors, patterns, and textures that I didn’t even know could possibly exist. I saw my parents, and their parents, and their parents. I saw the planets and the stars and the depths of the ocean and the core of the earth. It was like Zach had said; I was experiencing the secrets of the universe and becoming one with it. It was intense, scary, difficult, enlightening, and amazing. It was the best and worst things I’d ever done all at once.

Zach and I snuck back into the hotel where our school was staying in a daze. I didn’t know how I could act normal for the rest of the trip. I felt changed.

And I definitely knew I wanted to try that again.