July 2010

Greetings from the Don Wai desert!

The monsoons still have not arrived to this part of Thailand! The Surin province is devastated. This is the province, east of us, that plants the famous Hom Malee rice. We have seedlings that have to be planted, so we will try in a field that is low and muddy. Rice should be planted in at least 4 inches of water. If no water, rats and paddy crabs will eat the rice. Also, ground water is dropping below the level of drilled well pipe, and if volumes of rain do not rectify this problem, it could be a real disaster. The monsoon rains are nearly two months late!

              The political scene here remains tense. There are criminals and thugs on both sides, and some Milquetoasts on the both sides who are really naïve about consequences. Everyone is praying for the good health of the King, because life beyond him looks really murky.

              I took some Tootsie Pops to our 4 babies who are too small to go to school. The youngest of them is an unbelievable lovely Miss, named Maggie (??!!). Maggie had her first Tootsie Pop, and her little teeth were grinding away, and she was so excited she kept slapping me with her other sticky little fist. We will be getting two babies in three months or more, and poor Mags will not be the Queen Bee anymore.   

              The Redemptorists still have their home week every month. It actually lasts 3-4 days, and guys come in to visit, relax, shop, retreat and have a common Mass and meeting. Life is different now, being the only round eye Redemptorist in the northeast. When I came 44 years ago, there were no Thai upcountry. Many of the young Redemptorists are going to the north of the country, working with hill tribe people such as Hmong and Karen. We are getting quite a few vocations from the Karen.  

             What with all the miserable heat and humidity (BUT NO RAIN) WE ARE ALSO GETTING BLACKOUTS DURING THE DAY. The grid is so overworked, that we wind up without electricity 5-6 hours a day, or more. We have 8 computers in two offices working nearly all the time, and if they pull the plug on us, the ladies wind up working until later at night.

             Once more, thank you for your interest and concern for the children of Sarnelli. The kids Catholic and Buddhist all pray for you each evening.  


Fr. Mike

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