October 2013

 School is out and the natives are restless! I find herds of little boys trudging through our orchards, looking for fruit and bamboo shoots. Older boys are heading out to fish and hunt. Girls, young and old, sit morosely demanding trips to anywhere. This is a typical school vacation, and their thirst to hit the mountains and malls will be sated soon. Gone are the timid, tremulous runts of yore. The older ones unload advertisements of vacation spots and spas with their computers, and goose step into the offices with their demands for action! 

                Our little Miss NuNa is eating well, and Miss Peh, the head honcho at the House of Hope, massages the wee one, and blends fruits and veggies and meat and fish, and although the mixture looks like something someone arfed up, NuNa drinks it all from a bottle. Peh also takes her to the farm, and NuNa gets to pet cows, calves, pigs, chickens, ducks and listens intently to their sounds. We have no idea of what she is thinking, but she loves those trips. She has a lovely smile and also roars like a bull when she is not satisfied. She is God’s blessing to Sarnelli House.                                                                              

We have had nice rains, so the rice crop looks good, except for 6 acres we bought last July. The quality of land is next to useless, and the land was not fertilized in time, and they also planted 90 day “Miracle” rice. Well, the yield was well short of miraculous. I am now thinking of planting mung beans in that field, and then plow the beans under before they develop barriers. Then, when we prepare of plant again next year, we can load the fields with our home made fertilizer. We have too many chiefs and not enough Indians on this farm job.

Since school is out, I have work for the boys; planting trees and shrubs out in the fields at the new bunkhouse and also planting coarse grass around fish ponds so the soil does not erode down into the ponds. The days are growing shorter, and the winds are beginning to shift, coming from the north over the Lao mountains. Rice will head out and ripen, and the cows will be brought back to a “winter” pasture. Brother Keng went to Bangkok for his operation to staple his stomach, and will be there for many weeks. Brother Dtic is in Laos, teaching seminarians for two weeks. Fr. Ole has a lot of his plate these days, and is currently in Bangkok attending a seminar.

May God bless you for your kindness and interest in the lads and lasses of Sarnelli House!  

Fr. Mike

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