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.

Miles Of Reflection


The bus rides continue, the scenery changes yet seems to stay so similar all in the same moment! Mile upon mile I pass alongside fields of crops, peaceful looking rural compounds and small villages where several huts nestle closely together, through busy trading centers… seeing women and babies wrapped in ‘vitenge’ (retangular pieces of fabric wrapped and tied around ones waist, ankle length, usually with a matching piece used as a shawl or to tie and hold an infant on ones back) walking with bundles of food upon their heads, children carrying firewood home or plastic containers for water or baskets filled with oranges, maybe little bags of gnuts to sell…

…sometimes little ones are playing, kicking around a home made ball of plastic bags all bunched together and tied. I see men sitting in shaded areas together sometimes playing cards or occasionally standing behind a bar-b-que roasting meat and maybe maize for sale, or at work building a structure of some sort… all accompanied by the almost constant sound of music wafting through the air… and the scenery that has become so familiar to my eyes over these months, provides the backdrop for my many thoughts these past few days…

My reflections are broad… I see Morning’s smile… I picture Betty at her sewing machine and I envision the maize and beans growing around Gideon’s new hut… I think of the children in care with ACIO in Sironko and see them playing happily in the field with the soccer balls we brought for their enjoyment… I recall the 70 pictures they drew in thanks that I carry home with me… sometimes I am asking questions about the way this world has come to work, how it is all changing now, other times I’m wondering just how and who decided the way in which the collective would define or understand some words, like for instance ‘career’ and how mine seems to be as a ‘care-er’ or how about ‘poverty’… and I remember hearing on the TV recently that the price of

oil has really jumped and people somewhere are scared, angry even protesting, and I consider this in the context I am and can’t help but contemplate paradox upon paradox as most people here have little connection with the need and consumption of oil and gas…

…and I think wow, if the fuel runs out somewhere else, I would guess most people here will be carrying on as they are now, growing their own food, fetching their own water, walking where they need to go, building their own homes out of materials from the earth, surviving in this ‘simple life’ that we all must have had a connection with once upon a time.

And I wonder about the big money movers and shakers on this planet and consider all those seemingly entrenched systems I have always sensed would break open one day and how so much is shifting now. I remember the final paper my Dad wrote before he passed that had much to say about our eventual evolution beyond a civilization built upon greed to one of LOVE… and I envision with him…

And my heart and the gratitude that fills it swells… I celebrate this time! I know I have learned and shared so much on this journey and as opposed to forging new deep connections at present, these miles I travel now (all through Mercury retrograde…) are providing me such comfortable time to consider the teachings from where I recently have come.

As the distance grows between Uganda and where I am, I hear very clearly the whispers from connections I made there, especially from the children… I daily feel their prayers and even their wonder if I really will return to their compounds one day as I have said I

will… I realize that by having been given this transition time between there and home to journey through a few other countries and see, feel and experience what I am in each, I come to understand I really found all that was looking for me in Uganda! Of course, all things being so, it is quite perfect I stayed there for the majority of this journey… it is there where I completely connected, it is there where I wish to return and continue, it is Uganda and the children there ( for now!) I have come to cherish and LOVE!

But you know… before returning to Canada in a couple weeks (wow! )to see everyone at home (oh Caleb do you know how soon it will be…?!), continue my reflections and focus on just how I will create what feels like my inevitable, eventual return to Uganda…

First… like one great Bob said so well…( get ready to dance!)

’I’d like to spend some time in Mozambique!…

(the final country between where I am here in Malawi and South Africa, from where I will fly home)

…The sunny sky is aqua blue
And all the couples dancing cheek to cheek,
It’s very nice to stay a week or two…’!

Loving you, Cath xoxo

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