March 2021 Update

March 2021

Dear All,

    Thanks to Covid, the children are making up for missed school days, so when the semester and school year will close is anybody’s guess. The kids are patient, though. They have been through so much this past year that they seem slightly shell shocked. Thailand is due to start injections by the end of the month. The government had jumped the gun and ordered vaccine from China, only to find out it proves only 52% effective, while American and some European doses have proved 95% effective. They also ordered less than 50% of what is needed. Now, they are worried about the South African and English viruses that have complicated matters. So, only God knows when the borders will open again. We need to get Brian O’Riordan, our fund raiser and school mentor back here with his wife Kate, who is our skilled nurse. Both of them are trapped in Ireland right now. Not to mention our other volunteers, especially in Germany, Holland, England and America. 

    What with the hot season beginning sometime this month, we will be plowing and preparing gardens for vegetables and condiments like chili peppers, garlic, onions and such. Also fertilize and prune our banana trees and papaya trees. We will also be culling big fish out of our ponds. Our chicks and ducklings will be fed and we will keep a sharp eye out for pythons who would love to get at the fowl. The boys like to eat smoked snake.

    Vacation time is when older toddlers leave the House of Hope. If they are boys, they go to St. Patrick’s House. If girls, they go to Jan & Oscar House. Older girls at Jan & Oscar go to the Our Lady of Refuge House, Older boys from Sarnelli House to Gary & Janet House in the fields, and older girls from Our Lady to Nazareth House. Since we now have 24 babies and rug rats at the House of Hope, moving some older kids out will help. We probably will have more babies coming, what with Covid and the economy being so bad.

    We have had mixed luck dealing with young ladies from Our Lady of Refuge House. I built a wall around the compound, but a few of the girls found ways to get out, to meet boys. We put barbed wire on the top. I told them if they really wanted to get out, I’d teach them to pole vault. We have a new young lady running the Social Services of the Mother-Child Home in Nong Song Hong, about 5 miles away. She explained about how hormones sometimes change a girl’s personality, and what steps to take to prevent blow ups, etc. I didn’t realize we were raising potential terrorists. The Social worker proposed bringing in a trained staff and giving the girls some seminars. I was going to ask if salt peter sandwiches would help, but then reconsidered. Our latest runaway eluded cops, social workers and our staff, with two daring escapes. The second escape was on the back of a motorcycle owned by a kid named “Golf”. She is 15, going on 50. I decided that after two escapes to the embrace of Golf, she is the concern of the state now. 

    We hope that spring arrives early for everybody, and that everyone stays safe until the vaccine is available to all! God bless you!
    Fr. Mike

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