March 2013 Update

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

                One of the greater high feast days the kids enjoy is St. Patrick’s Day! So, on March 17, the kids will have their annual party, and we will have a wee drop set aside for the staff afterwards.  The kids took their final exams, and school will pretty much be over by March 15. I was at their graduation ceremony at Rosario school, and for me, it was, as usual, very emotional. From our kindergarten graduates, Nin Nate, the Hippo, Bunny, Nancy, May; plus junior high graduates all got their diplomas and are moving on. Now, we have about two months of entertaining these runts, day in and day out! The kids are excited, and the staff is resigned. This year, we have discovered that many of the kids have relatives who are willing to let the kids spend some time with them. The kids are happy that their relatives care, and we are anxious that the children are not exploited. Then there are some kids whose relatives will have nothing to do with them, since the children are HIV/AIDS infected. These kids sit sadly and quietly as their friends talk excitedly about having caring relatives and spending time at home. Two of the older kids graduate from college, and 5 others begin college. Kids that came in as broken and sick and desolate as they did in their early days, have really blossomed and for me, it is fascinating watching them develop and mature. Sometimes the process is not so good, but we have learned to live with and accept what we get and try to smooth out the speed bumps for them all.

                The two new bedrooms on the priests’ house are finished, as is the newly refurbished office for Father Ole and Bother Keng. Out little chapel is completed. I am also beginning work out in the fields, building a house for the boys who would not make it in college. We wouldn’t need the place for a year, but a rotary club in the Hague gave us money for furnishing the building, and we don’t have much choice but to build and furnish now. I might wind up spending my retirement out there! 

                We have begun making fertilizer pellets at the site in our fields. The boys are working hard turning the pile of manure, while watering it down with nitrogen and other good stuff to guarantee the quality of the pellets. We had a guest who was amazed at our pile of nitrogen bags, saying we could make bombs out of the stuff.  Right now, we are digging a 40 x 40x 3 meter pond to hold water. We have been dealing with drought for years, and we hope we will be able to use the water when the fields go dry. One thing I did not think of, where do you put all the dirt? I am offering free dirt to whoever wants it! 

                We have three German girls from the Lutheran Church in Oberhausen, Germany, who just arrived. I am closing Charlene House so as to renovate the bathrooms, so they will have to bunk with the Viengkhuk girls. They will be working with the staff, entertaining and monitoring the kids.

We pray for you daily, and ask the Lord and His Mother to continue giving you good health, blessings and love.


Fathers Mike and Ole, Bro. Keng and the staff and kids

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