November 2011


 Halloween has come and passed. It is, surprisingly to me at least, the most popular party we have! Each house (all 6 of them) makes food of some sort to bring to the party. This year, we had our new rice and it was sticky rice with “Rap Pla”. They had peppery som dum, fried chicken legs, two salads, and for desert, a big plastic glass of what looked like green goobers floating in cracked ice and sweet milk. The kids were all made up to look hideous. I had a 7:30 PM Mass so had to leave early. We had the party at Jon & Oscar this year. Last year at Sarnelli, Miss Apple got bit by a poisonous millipede (about 8 inches long) and wound up in the emergency room. Also, boys were in the cemetery fixing up traps to spring sheets with hideous painted coconut shells to scare the wee ones, when a huge snake glided over a tombstone and that emptied the cemetery really quick. The Jon & Oscar area is paved and has a basketball court. Next year, we hope to have the party in the “Joseph and Mary” hall. We have bids out on the building right now.

                We have already harvested quite a bit of regular and sticky rice. I am like the guy in Luke chapter 12, who builds a big granary, and the Lord calls him a fool and takes his soul that night, for being selfish. I am building a big granary to hold the sticky rice, and have the smaller one hold regular rice. I am also hoping the angel of death passes over me on this occasion! We had some fields flooded, but the flood waters emptied quite quickly into the Mekong River. We will have a great crop! What with about 45 acres of rice, we well may be able to feed ourselves.  

                The flood waters in the central plains and around Bangkok are the worst in living memory. Some say this huge flood will last for a couple of months. They are finding crocodiles and poisonous snakes in the murky back waters, and these creatures came from farms that got flooded. Someone sent out a photo of a big croc lying in a boat, trying to get it’s snout into a house.

                Almost all the kids are back in school. The college and vocational kids start next Monday. They are the ones harvesting these days, with workers I have rounded up. It is all about the girls’ complexions and finger and toe nails, and calluses on their hands from the scythes! CNN is running a series on child labor, and they are threatening to turn me in! But they are actually proud of their work in planting and harvesting. We bought a thresher mounted on a Thai “E Dtan” (Wasp) truck, with money we could ill afford. I have the lads out custom threshing and we get paid in money or rice. Hopefully, it will help pay for the machine!

                God bless you! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

                Fr. Mike


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