August 2017 Updates

I arrived back from the U.S. to Sarnelli House on Saturday afternoon, July 29. I was gone 10 weeks, and that was about 4 weeks too long, but I had a great time! I had a harrowing journey back. I flew from Milwaukee to Detroit, and the Delta plane was supposed to leave for Inchon Korea at 15:04, for a 14 hour journey. They announced an hour’s delay while they cleaned another plane. The plane we were to take had engine trouble. We finally set sail at 5:10, about an hour late. Trouble was, I had a one hour 20 minute window to make my way across a confusing, crowded airport. The pilot did make good time, and when we landed, three of us who were going on to Bangkok saw our names on a board as we disembarked, with a young Delta worker waiting. She was Korean, and had legs running up to her armpits. She took off like a gazelle, with me, another American and a Thai girl in pursuit. In my 80th year, what with my lurching and gasping and waddling, was hardly able to keep up. It seemed like we were running a mini marathon. Any doubts about my aging heart disappeared with that romp through the airport, down stairs, on a train, upstairs, down a long corridor, through security again, and down a long corridor, to a stairs leading to gate 19. The door slammed as I got on, praising the Lord  that I made my connection. Then I wondered about my bags. But when we got to Bangkok 5 1/2 hours later, my bags were the first off; having been the last batch loaded in Korea. Fr. Ole picked me up and returned me to the airport the next morning. I don’t care if I never get on a plane again.

Sunday morning I had the 7:00 AM parish Mass, and then went to Nongkhai for Mass with Sister Mary and the Good Shepherd nuns. Mary has been sick for months, and was very weak when I talked to her Saturday night. When I got to Nongkhai, though, Mary had left town and gone home to the Good Shepherd. I just hope she did not go with Delta Airlines. Mary’s funeral was on Friday August 4. She was 98 years old, and had a fabulous, though often tragic, life. She was a real saint.

The children seem to be doing well and are happy. We had a pizza party for them on Sunday. It was my 79th birthday, so they tied my wrists according to Lao custom, and we had a great time. Jet lag then reared its ugly head, and I spent the rest of the day fighting to stay awake!

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day in Thailand and we will have a party on Sunday. Some of our kids will be going back to their schools for celebrations, etc., but they will all be here on Sunday.

God bless you all!

Fr. Mike

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