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.

Giving Thanks…


Still indulging in a relaxation theme and feeling like I wanted to do my part to celebrate Canada’s Thanksgiving, I decided it might be a fun idea to hire a car and driver for a couple hours and head up into the Wanale Hills that overlook all of Mbale and particularly the ‘Senior Quarters’. I thought some time in nature would likely be the soul soothing and enriching experience I was craving!

( ‘Senior Quarters’ is the area of town where I am staying, the name a throw back to colonial times…ok, yes, I am now 50 and considered a senior in some circles …ha!… however, ‘Senior’ in this case applies to the ‘Administrative White Ones’, the original planners of Mbale who settled and built homes in this area. The affluence is particularly noticeable when one realizes that most homes are quite large, built with lasting materials, have water plumbed in and enjoy the great luxury of electricity…I think the stat is that less than 10% of Ugandan’s have power in their homes…)

What a beautiful, luxurious ( very ‘unplugged’ ) treasure of a landscape hides tucked away up in the hills, certainly the most magical place I’ve seen so far in Uganda!

…huge boulders have fallen away from ancient rock faces; lush, vibrant prolific greens grow out of deep orange, red and brown patches of land; crop after varying crop is carved neatly into the hill and mountain sides; waterfalls burst forth from rock clusters creating streams that curl into and around hillsides and homesteads; compounds are spacious, neat and clean with mud and stick, clay brick and banana leaf homes; little coal cooking fires burn in shaded areas beside doorways and outbuildings producing feathers of rising smoke; ‘Jambo, jambo’ ( Swahili meaning ‘hello’ ) echoes out in happy, little excited voices from behind bushes and rolls down from the hills above as we meander around corners and through the small townships…

Harmony, community was everywhere I looked! 3 tiny goats were grazing together, a group of women sitting on the grass by the roadside were talking, teens walked along with sticks for firewood stacked high upon their heads. Families sat together in their yards Mom’s holding babies in their laps. Graying elderly men with hunched backs used walking sticks to make their way along zig zagging steep paths. Children were filling buckets at water holes or playing a game with a large ball that looked to be woven out of nature or some were just sitting minding the cow. Men sat together in shaded areas watching, waving, smiling…

It was late afternoon as we made our way up into the hills so by the time we did a u-turn and started our descent, the sun was moving closer to the horizon casting an incredibly warm, glowing light on the magnificent garden! Talk about a mystical gloaming…

Hopefully the pictures I will be posting ( Erynn is working on it…should be soon, I think! ) will speak to you about some of the natural beauty that certainly did nurture and Love me to great joy and peace!

Heartfelt happy wishes to you as we all gather together to remember the many many gratitudes we have…

YOU are a part of my very long list!

Love Love Love, Catherine

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