Over the 6 months I was at Nkoaranga I saw Dainess grow and mature; she showed that she was way ahead of her years (5), as she took every opportunity she could to help the Mamas with feeding and caring for the younger children. She loves pleasing everyone else and, like any little girl, loves receiving praise. She loves to dance and if there is ever any music on, I can guarantee that she will be up, giving it her all, shouting your name to show you her energetic and impressive moves. She quite a tomboy and is extremely loud, but every so often, she would tap me on my shoulder, not saying a word, but pointing to the pretty shoes she has put on or the scarf she has wrapped around her head, and I will respond with ‘una pendeza sana!’ (you are very beautiful!), and she will run off with a massive grin on her face.
I will never forget the day that he was chatting away to us in Swahili, when one of the other volunteers, whose Swahili was much better than mine, started laughing. When I asked them what he had said, they replied with, ‘nothing, he is making up words to confuse you’. The cheeky little monkey was making up Swahili to try and muddle us up! That’s the kind of smart, cheeky and inventive boy Stevie is, and his incredible imagination is going to take him far in this world. He is always making everyone laugh and, as this story shows, has a wonderful sense of humour.
Now don’t get me wrong, Stevie wasn’t a troublemaker, he was a bit cheeky sometimes, but he was also incredibly kind. When Mirium first came to the orphanage, she was very shy and terrified of the other children and it took a while for her to settle in. One day when I was sat with her on my lap, trying to encourage her to play with the toys, Stevie came and sat down next to me and handed Mirium the toy he was playing with. He then showed her how she was supposed to play with the toy and they started to play together. This was such a magical experience to see, as not only was Mirium beginning to feel more comfortable in her home, but it also showed me the mature, selfless and beautiful boy that Stevie is.