June 2015

Dear friends of Sarnelli House, 

The gym in Donwai is so silent and lots of Hieneken left in the fridge at Charlene House without Fr Mike and Kate. Fr Mike is in the States hunting for shekels (his term) for the children and Kate is on 2 week vacation.  I, Fr Ole, seem to know best what is happening here in this month. Actually I just returned from 3 weeks in Europe to attend the 10th year anniversary of the  Jan and Oscar Foundation in Switzerland and visited Manu & Irene Hiralal in Gland, Ben & Angeliquen Ummels in Maastricht and the wonderful people at APO church in Oberhausen, Germany. I had a lovely time there. After recovering from jet lag and arriving at Sarnelli House I called the head of each of the children’s houses  for a meeting, updated myself and will gladly update you on the latest news.  

The kids returned to their schools. We have only babies at House of hope who stay home now. Yesterday I attended the meeting with the Rosario School board. They have two new Sisters starting working  this year who seem very nice. They will be serious about getting  students to be able to read and write, and will have extra classes on Saturday for those who cannot read and write. We will send many of our kids to keepthem busy. 

Muay, our 11 year old girl with Down Syndrome now goes to school. She has been accepted at Nong Bo School, a kilometer from Pai Si Tong. Our big Boy sends her and picks her up at school every day because the school is in different direction to the other schools. It is lovely to see her sitting at the back of Boy’s motorcycle. She holds him very tightly every journey. Last night two small girls, Dottie and Awn, came and asked me if they could study at Nong Bo School with Muay. I asked them why and they told me many reasons but I discovered the truth was that Muay has a Friday holiday, and they wanted the same. So I said to them -  No Way! 

I have promised the kids who had good marks from last semester that I will give them prizes. I will reward them during our mass this Saturday. It seems we get less numbers this term, but surprisingly there are 7  boys at Sarnelli House who got good marks. Very good!

All the children are going well. This is only the first month of school after a long holiday. Some kids who finished the compulsory schooling and who would not be able to continue higher education help us at Sarnelli House. There are two girls who now taking care of the smaller girls at Jan and Oscar House and three boys joining the farm team. However they still study with non-formal education which has classes only on Sunday, and they can get a high school certificate after two years. 
The beginning of the school year is the beginning of rice planting season. We haven’t had much rain yet but we have already planted the baby rice. It will take about one month to grow and to be ready to be planted. The fish ponds have dried out and all fish were caught a few months ago. Now rain becomes our daily prayer. It will depend on the rain to grow rice and raise fish for the year. Last year we did quite well. We have had enough rice in the past year. We wish for the same this year. 

We plan to extend the pig farm and buy another mother pig. We slaughter one pig per week for food, and 40 – 70 chickens every other week. This project is quite successful. The oyster mushroom project has ended. It yielded great results since November last year. We will take the sawdust in the spore bags and use it to make fertilizer. 

Everything is going well at Sarnelli House. It seems everyone is getting into their work. Kids go to school. The staff look forward to rice season. Fr Mike works hard to get funds for the children. I keep my eyes out that all will work well.  
Thank you very much for your interest and constant support! Without you we could not get this far and the kids would not have such a great chance in life. We do keep you all in our prayers daily. 

Sincerely yours,
Fr Ole

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