June 2022 Update

Dear All,

I am writing with some good news, for a change! Schools are opening up, and the cases of Covid among the young remain mild, so I don’t think that the schools will be closing so easily this year. The start of kindergarten didn’t go so well though…

On Tuesday, May 17, the new school year opened. Our prekindergarten and kindergarten kids were loaded into the 6 wheel truck, sent off to school, and within two weeks, 22 of them came down with the Covid virus, thanks to six kindergarten teachers who partied a few days before, and caught Covid. The kids are currently in quarantine in our gym, and all of them are recovering well. Five housemothers who care for them also caught Covid, and one or two have stronger symptoms but will recover.

Rains finally came and broke the stifling heat. The rice paddies are full of water and are already plowed. Now we are preparing to plant the rice. Hopefully, the rains will continue, and the weather stays mild and cool. We are lucky to have a lady who has three of our teenagers working with her in our huge vegetable garden. The price of food and fuel is obscenely high. I filled my truck up yesterday and wound up paying 2,000 Baht ($66). Food prices are really high too. Soon we will be back in the Stone Age.

In the past, the largest population of Sarnelli House was 165 children. Today, it is about 120 children. We lost many who finished high school and decided not to continue study, but go out to work. Some returned when Covid took their jobs away, and returned to Sarnelli House for two years. Most of these kids are now gone back to work. We have 25 babies in the nursery, but the rest of the children are in school; from kindergarten to college. Other than that, we have many kids who either have AIDS, or were born of parents who later contacted AIDS in our Outreach Program. We take care of their medical needs, and put them all through school. One girl who has AIDS has been accepted in nurses training school, and I told her never to give in to getting a blood test. We have one girl who has AIDS, and studied to be a nurse, and is doing well at the provincial hospital.

We will soon be entering our 24th year, and God has blessed us beyond belief. There have been rough times and disappointments, but all in all, the Lord has blessed the children of Sarnelli with wonderful, kind and generous donors. And for this, we are grateful. God bless you all!

Fr. Mike Shea CSsR


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