Olson* has an unfailingly positive attitude and is blessed with a kind heart and a gentle manner. However, his quiet kindness is often accompanied by a keen sense of fun that is surprising and delightful.
Olson regularly greets me with a welcoming smile and a polite, “Hola, Miss!” He dutifully answers all my questions about his future school plans, and laughs good-naturedly at my attempts to play soccer with Jesuan and him. Olson puts his whole self into playing soccer; he never gives up or stops putting forth a tremendous effort, even when his team is losing.
That positivity carries over into his interactions with the children here at Amigos. I often see him sharing his breakfast with Alexander or another younger boy. In addition, Olson is more than willing to help younger boys like Josecito wash their clothes when they are struggling to wring them out at the pila; Olson is a wonderful mentor and big brother figure. He also shares a noticeable camaraderie with the other jovenes (older boys) here at Amigos. Olson can often be found entertaining them at the pila on a Saturday morning by singing along to his favorite songs. Although he sings quite well, he says he only sings on Saturdays when there are less people who can hear him sing.
In addition to singing, Olson has an affinity for dancing, which allows his playful nature to emerge. At one point during a recent celebration, a suave-looking, sunglasses-clad Olson was grooving to Michael Jackson on the dance floor. At the celebration of the Three Kings this past January, Madrina Marta and I found ourselves doubled over laughing at Olson and Chango’s dance routine, which could best be described as an over-exuberant bachata in which Oscar almost ended up sprawled on the ground more than once. Rest assured he was smiling and laughing the whole time. Olson’s kind, brotherly, willing, and generous heart—and his love of fun and ability to make people laugh—make him a true Amigo de Jesus.
~ Genevieve Volpe, 2015-16 volunteer
*name changed to protect privacy
|Oscar and friends on Three Kings Day|