April 2012

Happy New Year To All!

         Thailand has three new years; the regular one on Jan. 1; Chinese New Year which lasts at least three days around the beginning of February (depending on the moon) and Thai New Year, which is April 13-16. These are the days that tourists remember as the “water throwing” festival. Up here, they put cats in cages and have people throw water on them while the cats yowl piteously, since they don’t like water, and die of heart attacks right in the cage. I hide my Siamese cat during this time. The idea is the rain god will hear the cats yowling and remember to send rain. It is really cruel and barbaric.

Right now, we are coloring loads of eggs we buy, plus candy and prizes for the most Easter eggs found. The children are in school vacation and at least one house or the other gets into trouble. I had to gather the boys from St. Patrick’s and Jan and Oscar and give them a tongue lashing for smoking. Cigarettes are really dangerous for kids with AIDS, and are damn expensive. Then, the girls of Nazareth cursed their housemother, who quit in tears. I closed Nazareth and the girls had to sleep on the floor of Sarnelli House until the housemom agreed to return. The girls of Sarnelli were upset that the older girls had to sleep in their TV room, so I heard about that for an hour. A delegation marched up to me in the cemetery to complain about having to miss their favorite TV soap operas. They are 13-14 year olds, and enjoy getting in my face about almost everything. Their very latest march to my house this morning was to report that the small boys have binoculars and watch them bathe through the window.

We FINALLY have electricity running into our farm! I have the lads already building the first house for the workers. The second house is temporary; for the rainy season. After the monsoons, we will build the second house and then the boys’ bunkhouse and mess hall. I also just found out that I am going to have to find $75,000 to add on to Nazareth House, since the influx of fillies next year is going to require three more rooms. So far, the kids are all relatively healthy and seem to be enjoying their school vacation. They swim in the pool at appointed times, and the older ones work, and save money for clothes and other stuff they want; save for cell phones. The boys are working construction and on the farm, and the girls are making handicrafts, jewelry and other stuff, under Fr. Bird’s direction. Our soccer team went to Pattaya for a tournament (and finally won a game), while the girls are going to an area near Saraburi, for what reason I am not really sure.

Again, thank you so much and may the Lord grant you a blessed and happy Easter! We pray for you and yours every evening.

Fr. Mike  


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