February 2010

 February has so far been a cruel month. My best friend over here, Father Larry Patin, who was running the Redemptorist social work in Pattaya returned home and was diagnosed with cancer of the brain. That really devastated me and all Larry’s friends and admirers here. We are all storming heaven with prayer for Larry. We did almost everything together, from lifting weights to power walks to the same type of work.  Then, my shingles returned, covering my entire chest. If that was not enough, both my loxinfo and gmail accounts were compromised and I lost mail and my address book from gmail. Then I decided to give up drink for Lent, so as to offer it up for Larry and a couple of our sick kids. This may not have been the best time for this decision!!

            Fr. Chuck returned home after three months with the kids. Chuck really gets energized by them, and the kids and staff really miss him. He is not like “Old Grumpy”! Cousins of mine, Michael and Janet O’Connor were here for two weeks, and we had a great time. It all went too fast.

            On Sunday Feb. 14, Bishop George came to open and bless the Jan & Oscar house. Swiss donors were here, and the staff did a great job of decorating, giving opening talks (Peh and Jit) and the food was super. The kids were able to sell a lot of their handicrafts and were quite proud! We no longer loaded the Swiss up for their trip to Bangkok when the Dutch came in, and the opening of the clinic by the Dutch was on Saturday, and a Thai family donated a full 8 course Chinese meal to the kids and workers. They were here for the meal as well. Andrew Scadding and his wife and entourage also came from England (Thai Children’s Trust) to talk about the projects and funding. Charlene House was full most of February, and will be full for all of March as well.

            Little Miss Dottie is home and doing well. She loves being pushed around in her little wheelchair (instead of walking on the bad leg) and the other day came rolling up to me yelling brusquely “Get out of the way!” She no longer wants to be called “Bai Dtuie” or “Baby Buffalo”. She sails by, waving regally from her chair yelling “Dottie! Dottie!” It really saddens us when her blood count drops. Noot is home but continues to fight infection. She needs to get to the University hospital but must wait several weeks to have her kidney dialysis working well. She told me that she wants to study English and compute and be my secretary some day. She is a lovely girl and AIDS is such a cruel, relentless disease.

Fr. Mike

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