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
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|