This blog(post) is part of the documentary film project Back to Paradise in which my beloved, director/cameraman Thomas Ceulemans, and I follow a special little girl. Her name is Amy.
The text below was delivered to me by Kristien Van Camp, Amy’s mother. I asked her about her past and got a fascinating life story to read. This is what Kristien writes: ‘As a child, I was already very fascinated by the African continent. I only wanted barbie and baby dolls with a brown skin and dreamed of running a large orphanage where I could take care of twenty African children as a mother.
When I was twelve years old, I wrote to Médecins Sans Frontières asking what profession I could do best to have the biggest chance of going to Africa, to work for the people there. Once a student of Criminological Sciences, I immediately grabbed the opportunity to do a foreign internship with street children in South Africa. Wow, I immediately fell in love with this country, with these people, with these children. Despite the many problems that lived here, I felt pure vitality, openness, wonder and gratitude for what they had here. This is where I belonged!
After years of working as a volunteer, I also found my dream job as an NGO cooperative in Plettenberg Bay, the little paradise on earth. We could realise so much with and for the people… We were in our flow and got to know so many different cultures and customs (we lived with no less than seven different nationalities in one house). My view of the world expanded. At sunrise we jogged next to the beach, swam with the dolphins, took a lovely shower and were fresh and ready for our new working day. Energy level at one hundred percent! My (then future) husband, James, also belonged to this picture.
James showed tourists around on elephants and knew the tricks of the nature and animal kingdom which revealed again a totally new world to me. I could never have imagined that animals knew and felt so much intuitively. James was a fantastic storyteller. Every night I looked forward to another story his grandmother had told him around the campfire.
We married in Zambia (my work expanded to Southern Africa) and nine months later we had a treasure of a little daughter. With our family and a super sweet nanny who belonged to the house, we lived in a very warm area in Mazabuka (sometimes above forty-five degrees), where we very often had no electricity or running water. Our diet changed (for hygienic reasons) and the productive life we knew in Belgium/Plettenberg Bay was replaced by a peaceful and quiet life where we learned to deal with the seas of time that you could not accelerate by your own actions. Waiting was always and everywhere the message. For me it was quite an adjustment, but my husband and daughter enjoyed this slowed down world where we only learned to live in the here and now. When I took on another big project in South Africa, study and work were high on my list again. Until I became (unexpectedly) pregnant with our second daughter.
What now? Two children, no home of our own, no family in the neighbourhood, with a busy career and no security regarding good education and health insurance for our girls, … we found it very risky. Perhaps it was time for us to reconsider and settle down? We decided to take the step towards my native village of Lommel in Belgium. In spite of the very warm welcome from family, we both fell off our ladder very quickly. We felt so rich in experience and intensely happy in sunny Africa, and now we ended up with both feet on the ground. People said, ‘How? Haven’t you brought your own gadgets/furniture after 10 years and not built anything up? How do you think you will survive in Belgium with a man who doesn’t speak Dutch yet and soon two small children? Surely you’re not going to be able to work full-time …’. Things we had never thought of in Africa. We suddenly felt an enormous pressure of ‘survival’ in Belgium (on top of that, we lived temporarily with my parents).’
Kristien concludes: ‘We are going to have to stand our ground, be able to prove to ourselves that we are going to succeed’.
Curious about her first ‘mystical’ experience, she told me the following: ‘Since Naomi naturally popped out as a baby, I was sure it would be even easier with our second daughter. Nothing could be further from the truth. A stargazer that was completely stuck and needed extra contractions inducers. Nevertheless, I insisted that it had to work without an epidural. After hours of pushing, our fully-grown girl finally came out! Amy was a good and curious baby. But once I stopped breastfeeding after eight months (or was it the beginning of awareness?), the problems started.
Allergies, eczema, headaches, fatigue and abdominal pains started to appear. Eating and sleeping was not easy either. With the many visits to doctors and hospitals, who couldn’t make a fixed diagnosis – all problems also changed from one visit to the next – we asked the question if we were doing something wrong. ‘We give all the love and protection a child needs, don’t we?’
Not knowing what else to do, we went to one of our next helplines: an energetic osteopath. Amy was then four years old with varying moods. The osteopath said: ‘Dear Mommy, I give you only one piece of advice: put all your own beliefs and educational values aside for a moment and listen to your daughter with all your mother’s heart. Follow your feelings, not what they have taught you’. Medication was phased out and the biggest bright spot came when the osteopath said: ‘She’s not a sick girl at all, believe me. You’ll find out for yourself’.
So we took our daughter in our bed, laid her on my chest for days, let her walk barefoot in the winter looking for stones and stopped stressing about what she should or shouldn’t eat and drink. She stayed home from kindergarten many afternoons to recover from her tiredness.
A whole new world opened up for us. Out of a little four-year-old mouth finally dared to speak a soul that had already had so many lives behind her and was not in the mood for a new life on earth. Reincarnation? Galactic worlds? Auras? High-sensitivity? Crystals? Special stones? Not one single hair on my head that had ever heard of this, let alone believed in this. But when a little girl, your own flesh and blood, is telling you with all her heart, emotionally and in detail, about her farewell from her previous life and what she came to do here on earth, you start asking yourself some questions.
We fell from one surprise to another and let ourselves be guided into the wonderful world of natural healing, crystal circles and stories of our dear daughter. In this way our immune weak girl with mood swings became a lovely, healthy and powerful girl who felt like embarking on her mission, with people around her to support her.’
‘Waaaw!’ Kristien sighs, ‘What a connection, what love, what a paradisiacal life it could be if we learn to stand in our strength. Not above or below someone, but everyone’s unique puzzle connected to the great flower of life. And not only humans, but also nature and animals play an equally important role in all this. I have already started my own inner awareness process after getting a tip of the veil. I am passionately looking forward to the sequel, to which each of us will make a great contribution. Because the future is not fixed… we make it ourselves.’
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