March 2012


                A year ago, I had O’Connor cousins here and they brought corn beef to cook with cabbage for all our workers, especially the drivers and farm workers, etc. We cleaned out every liquor store within driving distance; not because we bought some much Demon Rum, but there was not much to be had. It was a lovely evening. This year, the St. Patrick’s Day meal will be hosted by Roland O’Eckstein, from New Jersey, a friend of Fr. Chuck’s, and a great benefactor to Sarnelli kids. The kids have no idea who old Patrick really was, despite some explanation. All they know is, it is pig out time!

Right now, we are bracing for a big influx of volunteers during school vacation. The kids are now officially on vacation and roaming around looking for action. Thank God we have a place for them to swim and a farm they can roam. There is a big fair in Nongkhai they are attending, truckload by truckload. 

We have a new little boy of nine years old who has AIDS and a terrible eye infection. His grandfather was “raising” him, but 50-year-old Grandpa is the town drunk, and they slept outside and in culverts, etc. Any money the guy received from using the boy to beg went for rice whiskey. The boy (who looks like he is six) eats like an animal, afraid, obviously, that someone is going to take his food away. We have a couple little bullies at Sarnelli who got their butts kicked early for trying to lean on him and scare him. (Grandpa is being treated at the  University hospital for various ailments and they are drying him out and put him on the government dole).

                We are finally building two huge chicken coops over the empty fish ponds we just dug. Once the coops are done, we wait for rain. Once there is water in the ponds, it takes a while for the water to support fish. But the chicken feed and chicken poop that is wasted will feed fish. I will also put lights over the 5 ponds so the fish can eat all the bugs out there. I am building a cattle corral right now on another plot where we have our gardens and a natural pond with water for the cattle to drink. We still don’t have electricity because the cretins at Power and Light took our money but haven’t strung three phase wire and poles from the main highway. We can’t proceed with the “Plan” without electricity. There is always something important beyond our control.

                The Joseph and Mary Hall is progressing and the floor is mostly poured and the roof is going up. We had a crane in to lift the 8 big spans in place, and now the workers are connecting the spans and getting ready to roof the building.

The kids finishing senior high are racing around, taking entrance exams in various colleges, hoping they can get in. It is an exciting but anxious time for them. Again, thank you so much for the prayers and aid for the children. We pray for you every evening at Holy Innocents chapel.

 God bless you!

Father Mike


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