Why the ‘Van is about more than tea and sympathy

The clients who visited me in the Caravan had to put up with some pretty dodgy cups of tea. Brought up in a strict Mormon household, it was another of many firsts for me in the Van: I had never made tea or coffee before. Sitting in such close proximity to such a wide range of people over three years was an education like no other.
The memories will always stay with me. Two young men and their dogs who looked out for each other on the streets, a 40-year-old woman who stumbled across the ‘Van having just been diagnosed with cancer, a regular attender who I couldn’t stand and who bored me rigid – how fond I was of him three years down the line. The man with schizophrenia who would talk in poetry and prophetic gibberish that had such beauty, how he wandered off dancing to his own private orchestra.
My time in the ‘Van steadied me and grounded me. I was 24 and impatient, so the quiet (sometimes deserted) Sunday slot was perfect for me.  The ‘boring’ times watching pigeons, people and kicking stones around were good for me.
John and Zak’s supervision was wonderful, the other students generous and supportive with their sharing and learning.
I loved that green ‘Van.
I hope the tea improved over time!
Thanks all.
Andrea Harber-Kelly 
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