December 2020 update

Happy Holidays!!

    We have one month left of what is, I think, the worst year since the Second World War. In Thailand, we were spared the ravages of the Covid virus, but not the economic fallout. The drought killed about 70% of our rice crop, while south of us floods killed off crops. But we survived. The kids put up with the limits of freedom to travel and lost the ability go to the mall, to movies, waterparks and other amusement parks.  All were very helpful and responsible, with a few exceptions. 

    The villagers are beginning to decorate the churches in the area early this year. They want the year to go out with some joyful and upbeat themes. Our kids who have never experienced Christmas are getting worked up and excited. Some ask if Fr. Chuck is coming and will there be a Santa Claus. Some ask why Kate and Brian, our lay workers, have to stay in Australia and Ireland for Christmas and New Year. They remember the years we always had volunteers from Germany, America, the UK, the Netherlands, and other countries here at Christmas. Now, they are stuck with this old man, and not satisfied. So, I hope things will be back to normal well before Christmas 2021.

    Our 22 babies are doing well, and growing rapidly. Some are crawling, others taking their first steps. The kindergarten boys are getting along well this year. Their house is next to the older grade school girls, who often get irate at their rowdiness, and corral them to pound them into submission. 

    We had some sick kids near the end of the year. Don Rak had her appendix removed, and when I listened to her recount her experiences in the hospital, it became apparent she is a true Drama Queen. According to her, her appendix removal rivaled a heart transplant. One of our young men, who is head honcho at the Gary and Janet Smith house at the farm, wound up hospitalized for weeks with a serious lung problem, which is the experience of anybody with the AIDS virus who stopped taking their medicine.
    I imagine Christmas will be a tad bleak for some families this year. But maybe with the solitude and expected loneliness, we can become more attentive to the meaning of Christmas and what it is trying to teach us. May the Infant Jesus bless you abundantly and give you hope and confidence, love and the ability to really enjoy the New Year!

Father Mike


Go Back