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A few words on my second assignment

To speak of my second assignment, I have decided not to speak of the treatment, the children, the suffering encountered: others are much better with words than me for this purpose.

I would like to talk about US, those of us who take part in these missions, and who come back from these travels as changed persons, who find it so difficult to share what we have experienced there with our loved ones, our friends, who know that we will go back some day. We’ve all had to deal with: “So how was your trip?”

How can you answer that? How can you describe, in just a few words, all the sensations felt, all those emotions during the treatment, our difficulties, our joy, those tears that well up at times, the confrontation with distress, death, being abandoned, but also the will to live, to come through?

How can you explain that even if we are taught to strike up a neutral position in our treatment, sometimes we get “caught out” and overpowered by a magma of emotions for the person who, even if he doesn’t belong to us, comes through our hands, into our heart, and touches our deepest being?

How can I explain the energy that kindles the group? Our merging, so that a simple glance is enough to know when someone is in difficulty, even if he is in control of the treatment, we can see a frown, treatment that goes on a long time…too long. Sometimes without a single word exchanged, we offer our help, and if this help is accepted, we gently join, without any rush, this treatment which has reached a dead end.
Who, apart from a therapist, can understand the magic of treatment with four hands – when two caregivers place their hands on a patient and immediately work together in harmony? Some of us speak, others don’t, and sometimes we don’t even look at each other, our hands see each other and that is enough. We reach a triple balance with the patient, and just have to wait for the tissues to free up. Then we share our sensations afterwards and they are often very similar.

How can we share here what we experience there? Our moments of doubt, the pride in what we do, the fibres we weave together, our faces marked by fatigue or a difficult treatment, by the suffering we are in contact with, the unshakeable commitment of those who created Docostéocam, our naive glances as we watch the Battambang show, the extraordinary people who live and work there: Sotikun, our precious Daneth, Sopheam and Patrick of Goldensilk, all those who look after the children.

I just don’t have the words to say all this in a straightforward answer to such a question, so if someone asks me how the trip was, I just say, “It was great”, and if the conversation continues, if people are curious to know what we experienced there, we try to explain all that… a little, as best we can. We can feel that a part of them would like to do something similar but …

Few of them will ever really know what we are looking for there; what we found there, what makes us want to go back, to give “our share” in this world, like Pierre RABHI’s Hummingbird.

But it doesn’t really matter, because that belongs to us.