December 2021 Update

A frosty hello to all!

    Days are shorter and colder, but nothing like the days I remember from my youth in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin! But here we have no way of warming homes or heaters in cars. The wind from the Lao mountains just north of us is usually a damp cold breeze that keeps me old bones creaking and my body unwilling to get out from under the covers and prepare for the new day.

    The last half of November found us infected with Covid 19. I was always worried about Covid getting into our little nursery since many of the babies came to us quite sick and with compromised immune systems. So, our streak of good luck ended in the middle of November, when a housemother, infected by her son, in turn infected 5 babies, out of 25 wee ones. All the babies had to be taken to the hospital for further tests, and two housemothers, a driver, and cooks had to be quarantined. Some of them also caught Covid. 5 senior high girls rode to school in town together with a girl who had Covid, and were locked up for further testing. Our office workers also took over cooking jobs. Girls who worked in the nursery were quarantined, and some of girls readily volunteered to take their place. Thank God all our workers and kids 12 and older had been vaccinated twice, the second time with Pfizer. We had folks who really did heroic work. Nurse Kate was everywhere organizing, testing and nursing. Her co-workers Khru Noi and Oum worked tirelessly with the hospital and health officials. Kung, who previously badly hurt her leg and knee in a motorcycle accident, hobbled from house to house, organizing and consoling the sick. The only useless cog in the machine was me, who, not being vaccinated, was quarantined. But I will finally get my first jab on Dec. 6 with Moderna.

    Christmas is approaching with blinding speed and nothing has really been prepared, except for the crib scenes that the kids put up at each house. The older kids shop online, so we will give all the kids money as a gift. We will help the smaller children pick out their gifts and buy them what they want, within reason. Hopefully, we can have Christmas Mass and a Christmas meal together without fear.    

    As we do every year, we will offer Christmas Mass for your intentions and good health. We will pray that the New Year brings better news, and that those who lost jobs early this year will get much needed employment. And that everyone stays healthy!

    God bless you all, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Father Mike and all of us at Sarnelli  House


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