August 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!

                This Friday is Mother’ Day in Thailand, and also the date of the Queen’s birthday. It is a bittersweet holiday for almost all of our orphaned children. Some still have mothers, but the mothers are too sick or too disinterested to take care of their children. The first couple years, our kid sat stony faced or sobbing, as they watched their class mates go up on stage to “wai” their mothers and give them flowers and hugs. We then had our kids form a dance team and they would do Thai classical dancing during the ceremony. A couple of girls made the mistake of taunting one of our dancing girls for not having a mother, with other choice insults. The result was that our dance troupe turned on them fiercely and beat the pee right out of them. Needless to say, our girls are not invited to dance anymore.

                Here at Sarnelli House, we are making plans to build a hall for the children. The donor wants it called the “Joseph and Mary Hall”. He says there is not mention of a wedding party for Joseph and Mary in the Bible. So even if they didn’t have a party because of poverty, we can celebrate their union with a building. It will be a hall with a basketball court; a stage; bathrooms and a kitchen and a storeroom; 95 x 65 feet.  We hope to begin construction right after the monsoon season. The lady architect, Puei, and her husband came back the day after I showed them the property and stakes, and they changed the area to build the Hall, after we went back to the original 95 x 65 feet. There is enough room on the property for the building. Once she finishes the plans, we will mail them all to the donor for any adjustments and advice he might have. Putting construction out for bids here isn’t always too good, because the contractors will underbid and then cheat on the rebar and cement mixtures, etc. So, I will contact a company that just puts in piling; another that pours the pillars and builds and anchors the roof. Then, we can get the walls and floors done by others. My guys can lay tile, but other work will have to be done by good masons. The building will not have any lumber because of termites. I want it to look really good, and be airy and comfortable. Excitement is high, and the boys are talking about forming a band to play at the opening. Our blind kids have a guitar and ukulele to strum, and the kids love to put off plays and skit and dances.  

                We just picked up a 14 year old girl that Mercy Centre in the Bangkok slums sent to us. She got mixed up with a 16 year old boy, and Fr. Joe Maier sent her up here for me to watch over, bless and protect. I figure she will be back in Bangkok within a month, by hook or crook! She looked me over and kind of sneered. We also have two girls who came to us when they were in puberty. Both are pregnant and both were taking “Ya Ba’; a powerful drug from Laos. I am weaning them off the drugs now. I now know the meaning of “power pukes”. 

                Again, thank you for your interest and kindness towards these kids. God bless you! We all pray for you every evening!


Father Mike

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