October 2016



Sarnelli House is a pretty darn busy place! The 120 kindergarten, grade and junior high kids are on their midyear school vacation. The 24 junior high and vocational students have been on their break for a while now. All are working and playing. Volunteers are here, taking them on excursions, swimming, soccer, or to ice cream and shopping in town. 3 Thai girls are here, thanks to Brother Keng, teaching slow ones how to read. We feed 16 volunteers at Charlene House; not counting the staff of an extra six people. The kids love all the attention.  Except for colds, the kids are relatively healthy. All of them will be on vacation until the end of the month. College kids do not get a break until New Year’s.

The monsoon rains are slowing down. Once the wind switches from the west to the north, it means autumn weather here and the last of the rains. The roads are bad, and we can’t even get our tractor into the 12 rai field. We will haul in gravel to smooth the road at our own expense, despite a few families who live there and slog through the mud. We want to build another house of older boys there, since we have some great garden land on that property. The end of the rainy season also means much nicer weather. It has been hot and humid for months now, but that is what makes the monsoons, and keeps the rice healthy and growing. So far, the rice looks good, and the paddies still have plenty of water.

We are in the process of renovating St. Patrick’s Home. It is a mess, what with termites and collapsed roofs; broken tree limbs, etc. We cut down 6 eucalyptus trees with their acidic leaves and are re-roofing the pavilion and laundry room. The whole house has been cannibalized for TV’s, washer and dryers, and stoves, etc. I did salvage bunk beds, which we will install. The whole operation is going to be really expensive; at least $10,000. I did have the workers put up a cyclone fence between the fish ponds and the houses in the area, so no wee ones fall in and drown.

Both Fr. Ole and Brother Keng are in further studies. Ole is studying via the web and will go to the college for exams, etc. Bro. Keng takes week end courses in education at KhonKaen University, about 112 miles south of here. Fr. Ole has an assistant, Fr. Ghee, who is from the northeast and was ordained last year. Ole is the pastor of 4 parishes, and Ghee is his associate pastor, and I am the old guy who fills in when one or both are gone. This is going to happen almost all of November!

I hope and pray that all is well with you and yours. You will be always remembered in the prayers of the priests, staff and children. God bless you!

Father Mike  

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