November 2015

October was not a good month for us. Besides the death of Teep, we at Sarnelli House saw a sudden influx of abused and abandoned little girls in October. An 11 year old girl was given us by the courts, who was raped by an in-law. The cops are said to be “chasing” him. Two other little girls saw their drunken father repeatedly beating their mother, and terrifying the girls. He finally broke her back, but was afraid to take her to the hospital, for fear of going to jail. We had her sister, who works with us, bring her back home to the town of Chayaporn in the Bungkaen province. The two little girls were handed over to us. They still have nightmares of the beatings, which scares the devil out of the other little girls, in the dormitory. One wee girl with glasses and a sweet, sad smile was abandoned, and brought to me. I asked her kiddingly, “Why me?” She looked down and quietly said “Because no one else wants me”. I felt really terrible about my gaffe. But she is now happy and finally has other scruffy little friends to adventure with, at the Jan and Oscar House. A fifth little girl also joined us, who has a sister Min, who is infected and already with us. This little sister also has AIDS.

As if that were not enough mouths to feed, we picked up a junior high school mother who gave birth to a little boy. Another girl just joined us who gave birth baby girl, and there is a pregnant young mother with AIDS staying with us. That girl, Cola, does not want her baby. She has absolutely nothing… no house, no furniture, and no friends. She is a very nice girl though, and we will help her with a job or whatever she wants and needs.

A few months ago, we lost little Miss Gate, who drowned while saving her half-wit cousin, who jumped into a fish pond. Then, Teep succumbed to his burns and died. We had the yearly Mass for the Dead in our cemetery. It was a beautiful morning, with hundreds of people, but the closeness of Gate’s and Teep’s departure from this life was more than many of the kids could bear. 

The winds have shifted from the south and west to the north. Cool winds coming out of Laos, with a hot October sun during the day, matured our rice, and the first week of November saw the staff, helped on the weekends by our horde of children, harvesting what will be a bumper crop for us. We have a lot of rice to harvest. I think we might have at least 45 acres of rice paddy to harvest. Some of the paddies around a few fish ponds will be re-plowed, and we will plant vegetables as soon as possible. Once the hot season arrives in late March, the garden produce has to be taken up, since high temperatures will wither whatever is left.  But, school has opened once again, after a long vacation, and the staff is ecstatic. 

Fr Mike

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