Peter was here yesterday. He sat in the sun as we grilled burgers on my terrace. He really is a good looking guy. I wouldn't describe him as muscular, but he's solid. I look at his arms....they look so powerful.
He has really opened up to me in the last month. I am learning a lot about the challenges in his life. Since arriving here about eight years ago with nothing, he has been working in a number of low paying jobs, just keeping his head above water. Now he has a franchise for a small food concession. The problem is that it's not making enough money. He works 66 hours per week on this business. Given that he is the entrepreneur and risk taker, I think he should be making minimum $20 per hour. He is not. I told him that if he brings over his records I will help him figure out how much he is making. Step two is how to get the business to a satisfactory level of profitability. He doesn't have a great location either. He knows other people who have this franchise who do ok. I'm just trying to help.
He told me that sometimes he feels so depressed about his situation that he just wants to end it all. I'm trying to get him focused on solutions. I'm trying to show him another perspective, and get him redirected to fixing things. He's not an educated business person. He just doesn't know what to do.
Compounding the complexity, he feels so much pressure to send money back to Myanmar. $500 USD is a lot of money in Myanmar. It's critical to his family. The recent military coup was jarring to the country. It hasn't affected his family yet, but eventually it will.
I've let Peter into my bubble. Maybe that's foolish, but this small amount of human contact has been good for me. I continue to play it safe, staying mostly at home. Besides work, walks, bike rides and a bit of shopping are the extent of my excursions.
"Thanks so much for everything Rob," and he hugged me tight when he left.