November 2021 Update


    October saw a hurried response to the Covid outbreak in the Nongkhai province. The staff received their second jab of vaccine, with no one having any severe repercussions. Our children ages 12 on up received the second jabs, of Pfizer! None of the kids had adverse reactions to either vaccination. Rumor has it that they might also vaccinate kids 7-12 in the near future. Most Thai are willing to be vaccinated. The lack of vaccine was the problem. Also, the Chinese Sinovac was found to be inferior, and the government had ordered 12 million more doses of the stuff. The only one at Sarnelli still not vaxxed, besides the kids under 12 years old, is me. I signed up for Moderna, and should maybe get my first jab sometime around Nov. 10.

    Over a week ago, we made a stab at harvesting rice. Then it rained and rained. The harvested rice was soaked and the threshing was not a success. So, now we will wait to see how long it will take to dry down the paddies. We plowed several paddies where the grass and weeds choked off the rice, and will plant squash during the cold season. At least we were not flooded like the lower part of the Northeast. Towns, villages and highways were under 3-4 feet of water.

    The school kids have to put up with school schedules that are to say the least, intermittent. So far the first semester has seen 3 closures of at least one month each. The kids were told to study online, but the younger boys are hard to tie down in front of a computer and have to listen to a teacher drone away with no give or take from the class. The lads would rather be out on their bikes or the soccer pitch than a boring couple of hours listening to a lesson they only partially understand.

    One young lady who was with us had left us with a boy. She was afflicted with AIDS, and like others, stopped taking her medicine, and died the last week of October in Bangkok. She had a baby less than a year old. Another girl also stopped taking the ARV medicine, and wound up with 2 severe cases of shingles, and is severely malnourished. The Good Shepherd nuns have a care center where they take in the poor, and nurse them back to health, so we will send that girl there. In the past, they took in two of or boys who were critically ill, and both boys got well. The nuns do great work there.

    In the past, all the Redemptorists in Thailand and Laos would go to Pattaya for our annual November meeting. This year, the meeting will be online. Everyone was warned not to skip the virtual meetings, so we will find out how the school kids feel sitting in front of a screen for hours. If it was a football game or a good movie, no one would complain.

    We hope this letter finds you all healthy and safe. God bless you!
Father Mike


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