Week 1 Reflections from Kelcie: Jose “Albertico”

“Albertico” playing “hot hands”!

One experience thus far in this extraordinary trip that has impacted me greatly is having the privilege to meet Jose, a boy who lives on the street/beach in Boca Chica. He is a tiny little boy who claims to be 11, but really is probably only 8 or 9 years old. He has lost all of his front teeth due to rotting. He has beautiful curly hair and an infectious smile. He is dirty, possibly carrying diseases, but I hug and kiss him every chance I get. Jose is ornery, likes to play jokes on you, and gets himself into trouble sometimes. He has the soul of a 40 year old man and is far too cunning for his age and lack of education. He is not the sweetest or cutest boy I have met so far, but to me he is absolutely perfect. If I could I would take Jose back to Ohio with me in an instant. He has stolen my heart and has shown me love that I know I will never experience again. He is an example of one of the thousands of children living in Boca Chica who do not deserve this life. Jose, at 8 years old, should not be fending for himself on the streets. My heart breaks for him and all the other children here who are in the same situation. When you meet the children here like Jose, who have nothing but give you everything, you can’t help but be changed forever.

-Kelcie

“Albertico” charming all the ladies! (this time with Cristina)

Added on June 4th, 2012….

It was brought to my attention that a few individuals, who are highly invested in the work that Caminante does in the Dominican Republic (but not on the Caminante staff), found my blog post about Jose “Albertico” offensive. Let me start off by saying I never meant to offend anyone by my post. My intentions when writing the blog post were to give my raw feelings and observations about a boy that I care deeply about. I wanted this blog’s audience to see that the appearance of children on the outside means nothing, and we should never judge any human being based on physical appearance alone. I love Jose for his spirit, resilience, and his true desire to be wanted by others. I am fully aware that taking Jose away from his home would not solve any real child poverty problems in the DR, but that does not mean that I don’t desire immensely a better life for this incredible boy. I thank those of you who responded to my blog post for your honest feedback and concerns. I care very much about the work that Caminante is doing and the children they are giving great opportunities to. I would never intentionally write something about a child, especially one that means a great deal to me, that I thought would be offensive towards them.     With Love, Kelcie

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