The World on our Shoulders

As I looked at 10-year old Peter before me engrossed in the assignment I gave him, I wondered what else he thought of outside the realm of pressure from Mom and Dad to be a good student of the English language.  Peter seems small for his age unlike Bosco who is his age and towers him like a basketball player does of the average person in the Philippines.  For someone so little, he looks like he already has the weight of the world on his shoulders and he comes fully-equipped to challenge his intelligence  – an  electronic dictionary,  fancy stationery and everything else necessary, all stuffed in a backpack almost as big as he is.   I hardly remember my own schoolbag or that its weight was a concern.  How long will this continue?

Peter looked at the 35-year old before him engrossed with the piano he spends his afternoons on.  It seems a new-found pleasure to her or at least he thinks so.  How he wishes he possessed the same energy for the instrument as he had for soccer.  The days drag.  He does not understand why he was sent to the Philippines; a strange land full of brown people, brown garbage and brown water.  Yet there is a lot of laughter around and smiles on people’s faces no matter how ugly their teeth are.   It is amazing! His mother is too busy with house chores and his little sister to notice anything outside the house.  He is unsure where his father is but he is not in the Philippines.  Peter misses him but he is a boy; the man of the house.  How long will this continue?

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