March 2022 Update

We were getting all ready for a nice Valentine’s Day party for the children, when Sarnelli House was hit by Covid again. The son of one of our staff passed the virus on to his mother, who then infected some of the kids and staff. Other kids were infected by schoolmates and teachers. But, thank God, everyone returned from the Covid field hospital healthy and although they then had to undergo a further seven day quarantine and be checked twice more for Covid, at least they had mild cases. We had four heroic ladies; Meh Mawn, Yaht, Gan and Bowling who quarantined with the kids, and in the case of Gan, accompanied a little girl to the hospital, and stayed with them, risking exposure to the virus while with their little charges in the hospital or isolation rooms. Gan and Yaht and Bowling all have underlying health issues, and their fearless self sacrifice was special, since they have vulnerable immune systems. Gan accompanied a little girl from the nursery, named Khampeng, to the hospital. Gan did not have Covid at the time, and knew she might get the virus in the hospital. Gan has completed university and Yaht is in her last year of college. Bowling also came to us as a young girl. Meh Mawn has a family and did not get home for weeks because she was with the children in quarantine. The staff and children who had to go to the field hospital slept on cardboard and returned to us with raging appetites. They ate like wolves while in quarantine back at Sarnelli House. We hope that this is the last we will see of this virus, but I kind of doubt it.

On Sunday February 27, a local foundation came and had a field day for the children. It actually looked like a military boot camp. Some of the boys said they were practicing to go fight the Russians in the Ukraine! But at least they got out and enjoyed themselves.

Every year, we have a financial audit done in Pattaya, a 9 hour drive from here. Some funding agencies won’t consider giving us a grant without an audit. I was preparing a request for a grant, when we found out that the auditors never finished the 2020 audit. And they hadn’t done anything on the 2021 audit. (They are a little Mom and Pop type of company, and did the audit fairly cheaply). Brian O’Riordan is our fund raiser (one of many jobs Brian undertakes), so he wrote the Foundation, explaining our predicament. I sent two of our office ladies, who do all the books, down to find out what went wrong, and to bring our books back and get another auditing company to hurry up and do the 2020 audit, and immediately move on to the 2021 books. So far, I have received no answer as to what happened, since our van has not yet returned with the books and an explanation. The window of opportunity to request funds from some Foundations has opened and closed, without our ability to furnish them with audits.
We had quite a cold season this year, but now the days are warming up, and soon we will be complaining about the heat. But Lent is upon us, so we will have the opportunity to offer it up to the Lord. Stay safe and healthy and God bless you!

We hope that everyone is safe and healthy, and that you can enjoy life from now on! God bless you all.

Fr. Mike Shea and Staff and Children    


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