The original plan with my one-night stopover in Lima, was to stay at a friend's house, and then rise early to catch the 7am flight to the jungle. But since Pablo has recently moved farther away, I figured it will be easier to just crash for the night near the airport. He warned me about staying only at a particular hotel, for my safety, and to only get into a specific type of taxis. While I appreciated his care and advice, I went with my gut, and found a cheap B&B with great reviews, at about 20% price of a hotel stay. The owner wrote to say he'd pick me up. I waited patiently at the airport, not knowing who the man is, but in my heart being sure that all will work out. Leon arrived 30' late, saying that his car broke. He was lovely and friendly, and we chatted and walked to the main junction, where a random car waited for us. I got in, and we drove to a gated residential area. When an anxious narrative tried to appear, I dismissed it by reminding myself that I am being guided and loved. I asked Leon about a food store, and was told that we will drive to one after dropping my bags off. The B&B turned out to be his old apartment, with two female travelers occupying other rooms. I left my bags on the floor, passport and phone on the bed (why take them shopping?), and - since there were no locks in the doors anyway - figured, might as well leave the door ajar. Off I went to shop. Leon was waiting for me outside in some car, with another man. For all I knew, having only my wallet on me, I was getting into an unknown vehicle, with two strangers, in a foreign city. I laughed and opened my heart. TRUSTING. We arrived at a huge market, Leon said that he needs the technical department, and I went grocery shopping, agreeing to meet outside. Again, for what it's worth, he could have never showed up again, and I would have been stranded, 300 Peruvian soles to my name, having no address or even slightest idea of where his B&B was. But again, I simply bought my food, and in my heart knew everything will be okay, I am guided and taken care of. By opening my heart and acting from a place of love and trust, I invite love and care into my life. I didn't allow even the slightest impression of fear or distrust to appear. I smiled at people as they curiously stared at me, a blonde gringa eating lettuce out of a bag, in the middle of a mercado. When he finally showed up, we stopped by a street stall, got some chocklo and chicha, and ended up chatting about the plant medicine (of course), and then hailed a rickshaw back. On our way, Leon told me that a girl who's staying at his B&B also works with the plants. Just as I went to the kitchen to make myself tea, all belongings intact, I bumped into her, and we spent the next few hours talking raw and real, heart to heart. She was about to leave for the airport, flying to Mexico that same evening, but actually lives and works near my Temple. When we hugged goodbye it was like a send off from a closest friend. What are the odds? One thing led to the next. I felt connected, on the right path, aligned, fully in the flow.
So, what's the moral of the story? I am blonde, green-eyed, tattooed. I speak Spanish enough to get by but not enough to mould in, that will never happen. But I smile at people, make eye contact, do my best to speak their language, ask questions, listen, try foods if they offer, hold their children if they ask, stay curious and open. I am not naïve or stupid - I don't wander through dodgy areas, stroll alone by night, or wave my phone around. But I also refuse to see the world from a place of fear and suspicion. I refuse to be a paranoid traveler, worried that everyone approaching has an agenda. I refuse to distrust other humans. I choose to see the best in them, to remember that I am loved and will always be taken care of.
You can't fake your vibration. No one can. Staying receptive and reading the energies of others is the best navigation tool. As my dear friend, Chrissie, once poignantly pointed out: "Wow, there is a lot of good people out there. Hmm, and I guess some not so good." Duality means embracing both, walking the middle way, heart and mind wide open. Gracias Leon, for taking good care of me, and proving me right. Love wins.