November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

                I hope this letter finds all of our friends happy and healthy. The kids had their Halloween party on the evening of November 2, and it was a bit muted. We stopped the night stuff in the cemetery. There are scorpions and some other poisonous creepy crawlies out there. We also have cobras around, since they are digging up the marsh in the valley. So, they had a costume party, with games and lots of food. On the morning of November 2, we had a Mass in the cemetery with four priests. People come from all over, to clean and decorate the tombs of their departed, and to share food and conversation afterwards, while the priests bless each family and their relatives’ tomb, and of course, the graves of our little angels that went home at early age.

                The children are safely back in school, and the staff are relaxing and unwinding. The children get irked at the joy and celebration of the staff, and they board the “buses”, taking them to school, for the new term. They glare sullenly as the bus passes the priests and brothers, who also are showing unrestrained glee at their departure. But, they also are happy to get back into routine, and meet their friends from school.

                We have sold two young bulls, and bought a cow with a young heifer calf, and a turkey in the oven. We have little bulls, but they sell well! We get around $1,000 for a Brahmin bull, which is good money over here. We would rather have heifers born, though.

                We recently picked up an 18 year old girl, a Catholic, from Nakonpanom province, east of here. Her folks died of AIDS, and she was taken by her uncle’s family. She was discovered to have HIV at the age of two, they dumped her with the Welfare department. The Welfare people sent her to the Northeast Girls’ orphanage, south of Udorn. She has been there for over 15 years, and she had been kicked and beaten by the staff. Dr. Pope, from the Srinakarin University hospital, was treating her for AIDS, and saw the bruises and dried blood. He is a great doctor, and when he asked me to take her, I felt obliged to take her, although we usually only take babies and small children. She is a very nice looking girl; kind of dejected and sad looking at first. She is now in school, with her new friends, and looks much happier. I corralled the woman running the place in Udorn, and asked her why they had this sadistic cretin on their staff. Like other countries, she is a government employee, and they say they can’t fire her.   

                Winds are coming out of the north, which means the monsoon season is over, and the rice  has headed out and is ripening. Everyone’s fields are choked with weeds. No one knows where they came from so suddenly. Some think they came from the monsoon rains, but I doubt that.

                Again, thank you so very much for your generosity, kindness and concern for these kids. We continue to pray every evening for you and yours! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Go Back