It was Sunday, our first full day in Tanzania. Our safari driver pulled off the long stretch of road on our way back to Arusha from Ngorongoro Crater. One the seats in his vehicle had broken at the frame, so in an effort to keep us comfortable for the remainder of the trip, he swiftly identified a group of mechanics in an open-air station to weld it back into place.
We had no idea where we were or how long we'd stay, but we quickly became engaged with a group of young children kicking a make-shift ball around a dusty open space just beyond the mechanics at work. Without hesitation, our friend AJ inserted himself into the game, while eight-year-old Carter moved tentatively toward these children. It was his first opportunity to communicate with African children and he wanted so much to do just that. Flipping through pages in his book of Swahili words, he selected and struggled to pronounce a few. But it was awkward. And frustrating. He didn't have the words, yet his desire to connect was so genuine and strong. I felt for that sweet boy. But he didn't give up. Putting the book down, he ran back to the vehicle... returning with a grin on his face and candy in his hands.