June 2011

 Let the monsoons come! We have our fields all plowed and disked down. Our two new fish ponds are gathering water. We are just waiting for a bit more rain and we will plant rice….two months earlier than last year!

     The three newly ordained Redemptorist priests will begin filing through Don Wai for training by me, and next year Fr. Joe Ole will begin to be trained to take over Sarnelli House. By the end of that year, it will be in the hands of the Thai. Being one of the new priests ordained, Fr. Ole is a great guy, and capable. He knows the staff, is cool headed and runs our web site (www.sarnelliorphanage.org)  Kate plans to pull the plug at the end of 2012, she says. Maybe we can prevail on her to stay. We will see. I will be close to 75 (if I live that long) and it is time to grease the bearings of the wheel chair! If I am still compos, I will help write foundations for help, and gather information for newsletters and troll for shekels. 

     The latest group of new kids; Fert, Off and Dtay, have fit right in and are attending school. Nut, our blind girl, is in the hospital with illness related to AIDS. She is starting her ARV medicines, and we want her under supervision. A lovely little girl named Pawk also joined us and although she has the HIV virus, does not have to take ARV meds right now. Bank is a 13 year old blind boy who also is at Sarnelli. We have a new girl in Viengkhuk named “Awn”. Her father was raping her repeatedly, and he will be in jail for a really long time. The girl is 13 years old, I believe. She is a nice looking, sweet little girl, who fell in love with my Siamese cat, Stinky. She is happily in school, and the Welfare Department is monitoring the situation for her. She joins 5 other children at Viengkhuk who suffered the same experience. We pray she has a miraculous recovery, like the others. Poor little Dtan is still at home, unable to go to school, since her CD4 blood level is bad. She has sight and speech problems from complications due to AIDS. Her dad has remarried, and there seems to be no room for her at home. 

     Other than that, things seem to be running smoothly. We have problems with discipline, but that is natural, what with the kids growing up and not really liking the rules and regulations we have; no individual cell phones; no smoking; no drinking and a decent dress code, among others. Like kids everywhere, some feel that rules are made to break.

     We are about 6 weeks or so away from the annual CEBORIDE in Wisconsin. Dedicated riders return year after year, bringing new friends, to ride 126 miles in one day and collect funds for sick and broken children. This is the tenth ride, and I won’t be home for it this year. But next year, God willing, I will be home. May the Good Lord bless you all and give us peace and comfort in this cold world! Again, thank you!
Fr. Mike

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