The Next Meal. . .

fisherman on a raft

His bamboo raft launched and nets on board, a paddle, a hat… he’s off – out to sea on his daily net fishing

The South China Sea knows. He visits his favorite fishing holes everyday. Way out there – a couple of miles maybe – his bamboo raft tossed up, down, fore and aft and sideways by the slightest of waves.

The sea is generally calm. Sometimes he can use a makeshift sail to speed things up. He heads toward the edge of the reef where the schools of fish dwell. Mango snapper, yellow perch, amberjack, barracuda, belt fish, even the small but tasty Spanish mackerel – they all live. The wealthy folks in town await the day’s catch at the public market.

The next family meal literally hinges on the fisherman’s daily catch. No fish, no rice, no meal. Simple as that. Still, the fisherman perseveres. His wife takes on other people’s laundry to wash and iron for a few cents. The kids eat twice a day; the parents – one meal maybe if there is anything left.

How about school? What if one of the kids turns out to be bright, promising and talented? Should this bright kid just accept his or her poverty-stricken family situation and waste his or her brain, potential and future? What ought we to do about it? Anything? Can anyone help?

Can you help? Would you help?