I had asked some boys at the children's home to wash my car today. It was very muddy, and before leaving it under the care of a colleague, I thought it would be good to get it cleaned up.
When I got to the children's home to move my car, some 4 or 5 kids were sitting on my car's steps, just waiting for me to show up, likely so they could see the look on my face when I see my clean car. I praised them for the great work and asked, "Would you like a ride?"
Of course they did!
I let them (plus a few extra kids) hop in and took them for a fun ride, literally driving in circles on the open field by the children's home.
They giggled. They squealed. They laughed out loud.
They were having a blast. As was I. Some of them may have remembered the day I had picked them up in the village two years ago and brought them to their new home. On those drives, we sang songs and drove through mud puddles. We laughed a lot.
Today, little Dennis kept saying my name, even after I dropped them off. "Sema, Katonye" I'd respond. (Literally, speak, but it's kind of a "yes?" when someone addresses you. Katonye is the name he's given himself. It doesn't mean anything. He just has been using that as his name...)
All he'd do is smile. Maybe he simply doesn't have the words yet to say what's on his mind. But maybe it's just a way to say, "You're my friend. I know you're my friend."
I'll miss him and his buddies.