Chances are, you don’t remember the first time you rode in a car. In fact, unless you’ve just taken a newborn home from the hospital, you might not remember the first time you rode with someone who was in a car for the very first time.

As the ceremonial speeches that mark every Building Tomorrow academy groundbreaking came to an end in the tiniest of villages this afternoon, our team climbed into our car to drive the short distance to a beautiful five acre plot donated for the construction of our 13th academy. Alex, a ten-year old from Bugabo inquisitively looked at the tinted windows, dejected he could only see his reflection and not what lied inside.

Joseph and I looked at one another, he stopped the car, and Kenneth moved to the other side of the back seat in anticipation of our new rider. Joseph pitched his door open and nodded to Alex. He approached hesitantly, climbed up on to the sideboard and made a move to enter the car.

He was now in Joseph’s lap. We said nothing.

Everything was new to Alex. Brand new.

Joseph and I exchanged glances once more, probably wearing really goofy, anxious smiles. We didn’t know was coming next. Alex, in Lugandan, asks Joseph for directions on how to get to the back seat. Alex hops out, Joseph follows, and shows him how to grab the door handle, pull up and open the back door.

Our Land Cruiser all of a sudden transformed into Alex’s classroom and the glee on his face for our ten minute, five-mile-an-hour drive gave us all one more thing to smile about. Next time he’s riding shotgun.


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