My second mission with DocOSTEOcam: back to Cambodia two years after a first epic journey that had helped me grow; that of a purely manual osteopathic journey, without words, beyond privileged Europe.
Discoveries of new wonderful companions in this marvellous travelling troupe; new places for care, and a return to places I had already experienced.
Evidence of this was immediately apparent in my hands and those of my fellows in the group. Certain children were already touched by Osteopathy a few years ago, and others not; not yet…
The difference was striking!
I re-read my handwriting in a teenager’s health journal:
I’ve been here before.
I treated this youngster two years ago.
What I perceive under my fingers has nothing to do with my earlier account. What this boy is conveying is immense.
What has happened?
What had I done or not done?
What has become of this Being, and how has he developed since the last time?
I find him changed in the same place; nothing has changed around him; except him.
Those new to the mission easily discover those children who have never been treated and those who have.
What do our hands find now?
What are these children expecting as they climb onto the tables?
And what have we shared?
What is this recognition?
In the West we seek methodological proof of Osteopathy, with often complex and analytical protocols. Here we find obvious, repeated and surprising answers. One axis, one breathing, one movement and one development.
Comeback, with apprehension, to this centre for the handicapped in Phnom Penh we visited two years before.
Silence in the room, calm bodies, exchanged glances, support from the nannies, ample movements: I was amazed.
It was just the opposite, so violent, so tense and noisy beforehand!
Exchanges with staff, and educational, social, medical and administrative reports all indicate significant changes in each area as a result of osteopathic care.
These come-backs are magnificent and dispel my doubts about occasional humanitarian action renewed remotely over time.
So here, babies, children and adults demonstrate the evolution of their state of Health – stable over time, in their bodies, in this country of terrible contrasts.
“The Children’s Restaurant” where every morning kids from the streets of the capital flock to get a good meal in exchange for some education and hygiene.
A busy courtyard, covered with a protective net for the sun, and opening out onto the noisy street, with the backhoe nearby, the kids shouting, the agitated games, the attempts of the boldest to approach the treatment tables.
Under my hands: misery, violence, and fear.
And this mistrust of survival that scrutinizes me, in order not to relax too much, not to be vulnerable: – not moving, showing good will and waiting for the go-ahead…
A tiny young woman, former streetwalker and now an intern with the association, leads us into the slum where she still lives. Wooden footbridges over dirty, polluted water lead to shacks on stilts, made of sheet metal and wood. During the monsoon and the floods, half of the home is under water: everyone migrates higher up into a single room and leaves through the only opening …
Deep silence overcame me.
Back to the association by Tuk-Tuk, taking with us many children hungry for everything. My gaze changes, and I now see from behind my eyes.
The strength of these children is immeasurable; and I now have firm and free-flowing confidence in them. This will make me come back here to Cambodia to share, to give and receive straight in the eyes and under my fingers, and to pass on other comebacks.
In this shaded courtyard opening out onto urban chaos, where these children are impatiently happy to live their lives, later on there will be a new time to meet each other, and to recognize how by then we all have changed.
Here in this immense plain flooded with rice that is so green; abandoned children, young shoots, princes of the kingdom are all living witnesses of the benefits of Osteopathy.
To perceiving Hands, to open hearts, these revelations are fully available to everyone.