March 2014

A blessed Lenten season to all!

The cold season is now a fond memory, and the hot season has moved in. The temperature will continue to climb rapidly, with April and May just horrible, and then high humidity with the heat, and hopefully, rain. I realize that folks in the U.S. and Europe will be wondering why I am whining about heat, as the Arctic Vortex, or whatever it is called, comes howling down from the Arctic Circle.

Anyway, I am not writing about weather reports, but to thank you so much for your kindness, interest and support. Most of the children have finished their exams, and then about 30 of the girls will go to Northern Thailand to live with and work with hill tribe children. The kids are anxious to go; it is some members of the staff who are whining. I think they will be gone for 30 days or so. Other older kids will try to land part time jobs. They dream of being able to live outside Sarnelli and be with their friends from school for a while. I don’t know if that is going to happen to all of them or not, but we shall see how the dice roll after exams. Anyone who fails courses and needs to study for a re-exam or two to make up is not going anywhere!

We have three older kids leave us. Man and Hiew, both older boys, have completed their course in diesel mechanics, and we bought them their tools, and they are off to seek their fame and fortune. They have had doctor’s appointments and are cleared to go and they must return every three months, so we can take them to the Srinakarin hospital for their blood tests. A new girl, who was delivered to us by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Pattaya, is 18 years old, and quite infectious from AIDS. She is a pretty girl, but the fleshpots of Pattaya and the dusty village of Don Wai are worlds apart. Also, the food here, and the language (Lao-Issan) are different from the Eastern Seaboard. We were trying to bring up her CD 4 tests, etc., prior to sending her to school. She took off with a boy, but did return to get her medicine, etc. If that boy does not have AIDS as yet, he is in for a helluva surprise in about 6 months.

The University girl who had her baby went back to school nearly immediately. She is breast feeding her baby, and he is a healthy looking runt. All babies look like W.C. Fields to me, but this one looks kind of healthy. As for Nuna, she went to Srinakarin hospital for tests with some other kids, and she has a really high CD4 score of nearly on thousand, which is super. She is a healthy little thing. When the curtain climbers of the House of Hope all came down with colds and the flu, Nuna was the only one untouched. Peh, the lady who cares for her, keeps her well massaged and well fed. On our Outreach Program, there is a little girl just like Nuna, who is cared for by her mother, aunt and grandma. Our nurse Kate makes sure that that little one gets plenty of nourishing food, and that she is taking her medicines at the correct time.

Again, thank you so much for your support and kindness and generosity. We pray for you every evening at night prayer, and especially at our Saturday morning Mass with all the kids, Catholic and Buddhist. May the Good Lord bless you and yours!

Father Mike

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