Empowering HIV/AIDS orphaned children in Africa to a self sustainable future

Catherine Koch

Catherine Koch

Founder and President of Love Is The Answer, a Canadian registered charity serving orphaned children in Africa.

A Dreamy Green Van!


Was it 10 years ago, yes, almost to the month, that I had a dream about a green van?
Noticeable immediately to me in the dream, the sliding door was on the left of the van and it looked kind of like a late 70’s VW only somehow ‘beefier’. It was parked somewhere in the tropics on a gentle breezy sunny day in a bright grassy clearing, bushes and trees with gigantic, moist leaves all around. Butterflies frolicked about, birds were singing sweet melodies… You know… ‘Eutopia, Nirvana, Heaven, The Garden’… the van was definitely camped out in LOVE! As ‘I’ watched the dream unfold the side door of the van opened, 2 golden bears emerged and I knew in that moment I was one of those

bears. There were children giggling, dancing and singing happily in the clearing around the van, ‘me’ and my ‘no-name 4 legged’ golden partner. The children each with dark sparkling eyes and a gleaming white smile, looked like crystals glistening radiantly in the sunshine.

It was a fulfilling dream, an awakening and familiar one and felt to me at the time as though it was, yup, pretty meaningful! It seemed to hold the destiny of my heart and the seeds of my soul all safely within it. I’ve had a few such powerful dreams over the years… I am one of those who is so grateful for the gift of dreaming and I take notice of them as being ‘matter of heart’ ( a reference to Carl Jung and the same titled movie I once saw about him…) Since awakening

from that dream I have remembered, honored and even at times, actively pursued it, following inspirations and guidance prompted by it, all of which have informed and ultimately empowered me onward over many a wonderful mile. During the times when I have tangoed intimately with fear and/or hope on the outside in my life I have naturally and without effort been held constant on the inside, within that dream. And the other times when neither ‘partner’ has been present and I have danced freely and wholly with my self I have felt the Peace of a simple knowingness contained in that dream.

moment and it would probably have a door on the left as all vans here do; and the environment of lushness, well, it’s nearby too at places like Sipi and Wanale and locals do say consistent rains that will green up everything are coming again soon… but most often, like yesterday, it is dry, dusty compounds where we are parked; and I’m not really resembling a golden bear but rather seem to be a hat and sunglass carrying muzungu whose light skin turns pink

Reflecting on the day I had yesterday, I am these days quite simply (as a friend who I shared the dream with 10 years ago suggested may be the case when she heard I was coming to Africa) within a literal kind of realization of that dream…

Almost every ingredient is becoming present for me here… well, ALMOST! Ok, the van has yet to show up… but it could, at any

in the sun, and my companion isn’t a bear either but a dark skinned African man who apparently moves to the beat of his heart of gold; and we don’t emerge gracefully amongst brilliant butterflies and symphonic music performed by winged lovlies… but rather, coughing, clumsy and awkwardly stiff from a couple hour ride straddling a motorcycle seat dodging potholes and large overloaded careening trucks, through air laced with black vehicle fumes and smoke from garbage burning along the way, into the blowing sand and dirt surrounding the mud and grass huts… but… and here’s the whole point…the children are HERE! The wide, happy bright eyes, the beaming smiles, they are here and they are rejoicing in LOVE… they are singing and dancing, giggling and belly laughing and my heart is huge with Gratitude and Joy and Peace and LOVE to be in the ‘clearing’ of their beautiful presence…

At least that’s the way it was yesterday when we spent time first with Gideon, Naume, Martha, Helen, Lillian Grace and Silis, and then moved on to visit with Betty, Moses, Morning, Peter, Rose and Stella…we played, we talked, we touched, we hugged, we laughed, we ate (hmmm…note to self…once ingested, heavy, glutenous, did I mention heavy ‘cassava bread’ seems to transform into a frenzy of frogs with the most robust, resounding ribets…!) we took photos, we filmed and watched home movies of the children singing and dancing having a very happy Sunday… treasured footage indeed! In the last video of the day and summing up everything quite perfectly is Morning…he moves, completely covered in carefree happiness pirouetting round as if the memory

of generations of rhythm makers who have danced since the beginning of time is emerging freely from within him with this enormous ear to ear beaming smile that lights up, well, absolutely EVERYTHING…!

Sing it IZ…’Dreams really do come true…!’

Loving you, Cath

Ps…Some other details… A 2’nd job for Tom paying 50,000 shillings per month has Gracefully landed in our laps… we are also working on a plan to support him by expanding his current small ‘side business’ raising poultry… 3 of the orphan children he cares for are going to school in the village nearby where there are no fees and we’ll have them in uniforms and shoes soon, carrying books, pens and math sets in their

backpacks… the other 2 children will be enrolled here in Mbale and we are sponsoring their fees, uniforms etc…we think the mother of 6 will relocate with her children to the village from where they came and we plan to support her getting them all equipped and into school ( there are no fees charged there) and help her re-invent her former family business of either pig or poultry rearing to generate income for them all… and, I really am working on a project’s page update… it’s just seems to be that things are happening very quickly these days and as soon as I get something written it morphs or manifests or…!

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