May 2022 Update

Not that much has changed in the past two years. Covid continues to roam our seven houses here. The most disappointing recent case is that of a lovely young college girl. 
Back in December, when one of our little girls from the nursery contracted Covid and had to be hospitalized for 14 days, Gan was the one who volunteered to accompany her to the local Covid field hospital, putting herself in the line of fire having never had Covid. Her decency was rewarded with the good fortune of not catching it. On April 22, some of the staff and friends accompanied Gan to Mahasarakham, where the ranking royal Princess was to hand out degree certificates to college graduates. All the graduates had to take a Covid test beforehand, and poor Gan tested positive. A disappointed Miss Gan wound up back home, in quarantine at our little guest house, with two other girls, until they all tested negative. Everyone feels sorry for Gan for missing her big day. I would love to have her stay with us and work with the kids. She is fabulous with them, and all the staff, and the wee ones, love her and appreciate her firmness and kindness.

We are in the hot season, and it is miserable. Once and a while, though, we do get rain, which cools the temperature for a while. The problem is that when it gets really hot, and a storm comes in, it can be quite violent. Like last year, when we lost trees, roofs, smaller buildings and fences, thanks to a “twister”. Many of the older farmers tell me to plant regular 5 month big kernel rice, because it will be a good monsoon season. We haven’t had one of those for many years. I hope those old geezers know what they are talking about!

Our Easter was low key again this year. After our work force of 13 boys came down with Covid, we had Easter dinner at each house, and not all together at the big hall. Despite that, office ladies, my driver Haew, and Gung, the head honcho of Sarnelli who is a real leader and decision maker, all came down with Covid. The virus was kinder to the kids than the staff. Some of the older workers are negative now, but are still coughing, weak, and with headaches. I wound up in a 5 day quarantine during Holy Week, because I was talking and laughing with one of our girls named “Bunny”, who turned out to be a close contact of four more girls who tested positive for Covid that afternoon. This was my fifth time in quarantine. So far, so good, but my luck has to run out sometime. Since I am diabetic and have high blood pressure, I don’t think it would fare too well for me if I caught the bug.

On May 17, the new school year opens. The staff will be beside themselves with joy. School had closed in February because of the virus, and the staff and farm workers were stuck with the kids, who were thoroughly sick of Covid restrictions. I just hope it does not resemble last year. School opened, and then closed after a week. It went on like that for the whole year.

Everyone stay safe and healthy. Have a lovely month of May!

Fr. Mike, the children of Sarnelli and staff


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