After my trip to Cafayate in March -with my friend Lorrie- I was convinced that the house was trying to kill me. That sounds a little crazy and dramatic, so let me rephrase. I was convinced that the negative spirit or energy inside the house was trying to drive me away. (not sure if that sounds any better?) Perhaps this is because every time I am there, weird things happen. Less so when I am there with Bevan. Many of you have heard the details – but I don’t want to put them in print incase someone from the Psychiatric Association reads this and feels compelled to have me committed!
So super long story shorter – I was recommended to see a Shaman. This lady, Karen, “travelled” to our house (via astral projection), and told us that Pacha Mamma was angry that we hadn’t asked permission to build on the land. She (Pacha Mamma) was also annoyed that our land was uncared for and desolate. (I wonder if the Shaman was actually speaking to our neighbour??) Pacha Mamma is “mother earth” in S. America and she was a big deal with the Incans. We have been told that it is a custom to do a Pacha Mamma ceremony in Argentina prior to building. The Shaman gave us clear instructions as what to do for the inside and outside of the home. Considering all we have gone through with the house, and the hope of trying to make the house work for Bevan’s sake, we booked a flight down although the timing was not great for us.
We almost didn’t get there! The flight out of Calgary was delayed due to mechanical issues. United Airlines thought it would be a 15 minute delay – but time kept on ticking. We decided that the latest that we could leave YYC would be 3pm – getting us to Houston on time to run to the next gate and get on the flight to Buenos Aires (BA). I had said 2pm – as this would be the latest time to arrive and still be able to get my favourite salad at Pappadaux…but I agreed to 3. If we missed the connection in Houston, the next flight out would be 24 hours later – and seeing that the trip was short to begin with, we decided we wouldn’t go in that case. Three o’clock arrived. We said this must be the universe telling us that we shouldn’t go to Cafayate and Bevan said we should sell the house. We told the United agent that we would not be flying and to have our suitcases removed from the plane. As he picked up the phone to have our luggage removed he was told the problem was fixed and they were ready to fly. “Board the plane, board the plane” (think Ikea commercial – “start the car!”) So, then, we weren’t sure if this was karma/ pacha mamma saying to keep the house??? Oh this spiritual -energy- universe- stuff is so confusing! We still knew the connection would be tight. We landed a little late, and had a long slow taxi to the gate…then a delay at the gate! The stewardess said it was 9:03 and our flight left at 9:10 – she said if we ran quickly we would make it….although the other couple sitting further back on the flight, would not. We ran as fast as we could. I am fairly certain that one of my lungs exploded as I could taste blood and what I am sure was lung debris in my mouth. We arrived to the gate – and the flight was an hour delayed – so was just about to start the boarding process. I didn’t think it mattered as I was sure I was going to die.
I didn’t die – so we boarded the plane, had some wine and a nice meal, and slept all the way to BA. We took a taxi to the smaller airport – which was now a tight connection seeing that the flight out of Houston was an hour delayed. Not sure why they can’t just put the pedal to the metal to make up time? Our friend, Brent, was meeting us at the small airport. He alerted the airline that we were on our way, met us at the taxi and took us to the front of line 13 – where the agent knew what the storey was. We were processed quickly, went through security and boarded the plane right away.
We had a great supper and sleep at the Finca Valentina in Salta. I had been waiting to hear back from our Shaman – as she was to travel back to our house before I got there to ensure that the negative energy and grasshoppers (disease) that she cleared previously, were still gone. Her email message came only partially through – and what I saw was, “I wasn’t lead to the house…” Gulp. Why? What was happening?? Couldn’t she just lie and say that everything was good? Is it possible that I am starting to believe it this stuff?
After our drive to Cafayate, we had lunch on the town square before going to the house. Thankfully, the Shaman’s message downloaded – the rest of the sentence was “..at first. Initially I was taken into the garage, then to the back corner of the property where there is the wild shrub, then into the house.”…all was clear. Our lot is completely desolate except a big weed that turned into a bush! Not sure how she would know this.
The next few days we enjoyed Brent’s company and just relaxed. No weird things happened in the house – although I experienced an increase in my neurological symptoms! Oh – and the furnace wouldn’t work so it was very cold at night. We went shopping to get the items we needed to do the Pacha Mamma ceremony. We went to the “Pulperia”. It looks like a hardware/grocery store from the early 1900’s. Think Little House on the Prarie, but not as fancy. There are animal feet, skins, twine, open bags of lentils, dust (not sure if it is for sale), cheese, and men older than the dirt sitting around chatting. I proudly asked for some herbs – the kind needed for Pacha Mamma ceremony. I thought this would ingratiate me with the elders of Cafayate. He answered really quickly – my understanding of Spanish when spoken at the speed of light, when I am extremely tired, is poor. I asked for some string. It seemed like he was saying no. My friend, Brent, took over and was speaking as quickly and pointing to approximately 1200 rolls of string. The man charged me an outrageous amount for the string…perhaps it has been there since the ice age, so considered “antique”. Later Brent told me he was not impressed that I wanted herbs for Pacha Mamma ceremony. He said that they don’t believe in that around here and I can go buy it from the “Bolivians”. So much for trying to be culturally sensitive. So much for flying half way around the world to honor their age old tradition!! We found what we needed at another store – not sure if they were Bolivian or Argentine. Don’t really care. I do know I will not be doing a lot of shopping at the Pulperia. (like I planned to anyways!)
After Brent went back to BA, Bevan and I had lunch with our new neighbours, who we really enjoyed meeting. We came home to do our Pacha Mamma ceremony. The front door key would not work as the other key was left in it on the inside. Usually this is still okay and works, but not today. (I think She is playing with us again!) I told Bevan that I had asked that all the exit doors be keyed the same – and I had paid a pretty penny to have it done. For those following the house saga – you won’t be surprised to hear that that didn’t happen. Thankfully we accidentally left one of the doors open at the back. We began our ceremony by planting 4 trees – 1 in each corner of the yard – as per our instructions from Pacha Mamma. We also did a smudging ceremony in the house – we lit santa palo wood and waved the smoke into every corner of the house. I didn’t realize how big the house was until I had to put smoke into every corner! It took a long time. Spiders seem to like to make their webs in corners. I am sure all the negative energy was dissipated (some of the spiders were). I was hoping nobody would pop by to visit as the house smelt like a rock concert, if you know what I mean.
Bevan and I headed back to BA for a day, as we wanted to see our lovely friend, Julieta, in her first musical. She played Morticia, in the Adams Family. It was fabulous. I was so proud of her. After the play, and photos with fans, (Julieta that is, not me and my fans….) we had supper at a great restaurant in Palermo. I would highly suggest you go there – I just can’t remember what it is called. We left the following night – thursday – as we needed to be back to Calgary friday morning to meet our 7 house guests who would be staying with us in Calgary while attending our cousin’s wedding. The flight was an hour delayed – we boarded – sat on the plane for several hours – before the announcement that the flight was cancelled. Unfortunately – because it was a holiday in BA, no hotels were available. Apparently taxis too. Bevan and I grabbed a cab outside (which is a taxi no no there) but for 40 pesos more, we avoided the long line and wait. We made some calls to some boutique hotels, our friends, and our apartment. No availability, no answer. Our cab driver was 90 if a day, and had droopy or sleepy eyes. I decided they were actually closing – pre-sleep kinda closing – as he was literally veering between 3 lanes on the highway. There were no seat belts, and I thought for sure we were going to die, and then we surely would miss the wedding. Every time I saw the man’s eyes start to shut – I would make very interesting conversation with him. Considering this was 2 am (and we had left for the airport at 5pm) I cannot say that I was the best conversationalist ever. It kinda went like this: eyes closing, “Hola Senor. Are you tired?” one word answer, no….eyes closing, “I have a dog”…..eyes closing, “Do you live in BA?” (because I am sure many taxi drivers commute!)..eyes drifting..”I like practicing speaking Spanish”…..eyes closing…”I like monkeys”…. He started to wake up and drive faster – perhaps the stimulating conversation did the trick! (Bevan thinks he wanted the crazy lady out of the car). Whatever works. We woke up the porter at Poetry Building and he graciously let us into an apartment that had just been vacated. We were lucky to be able to have lunch again with Julieta and Brent and use their home to get ready for our flight.
We landed in Calgary at noon – and miraculously cleared customs, got our luggage, and got home in time for a 2 minute shower, and made it to Kyle and Megan’s wedding that began at 2pm! Yeah!!!!
So, overall, I think Pacha Mamma has a quirky sense of humour and was testing us a little bit, but I think we have made her happy and now we will be able to enjoy the house. (and hopefully the heating / air con will finally get fixed!)
….next planned trip to Cafayate – New Years with Tonya and Cal!