November 2022 Update

November, 2022                            

Good morning from Sarnelli House!
The cold season and harvest time are approaching. The winds have switched to north and south, bringing chilly mornings to the northeast. Usually, there is an early morning mist hanging over the rice fields, which reminds us bitter weather is on the way. People would laugh at what we consider cold weather, but if you are in a house or hut without heat or insulation, with the damp and chilly winds, you would understand. And the rice is now heading out, so harvest is not far off. But the weather right now is ideal. Cool days with a nice breeze.

Today, the children returned to school to start their second term. Foe the kindergarten mob of toddlers, they will begin studying at a new school, Rosario Catholic School. We had them studying for years at a government run kindergarten, but they were learning nothing, and brought back Covid, the flu, head lice, and mouth and hand disease (akin to Hoof and Mouth for cattle), and infected many other younger infants. Hopefully, they will learn the alphabet, and stay relatively healthy. We are deeply grateful for the donation that allowed us to make this move.

In the last month, we have been receiving little baby boys, as young as 2 months old. Their parents are either in prison for drugs, or just abandoning them. The staff at the House of Hope (our nursery) were complaining there were no girls coming. One of our own girls, who had left us after school, came back with a turkey in the oven and had a safe delivery last week. Her boyfriend had left her for another girl. She has AIDS so can’t nurse the baby. He is a healthy-looking little guy, whose nickname (given by the mother) is “Crystal”. I told her that Crystal is a girl’s nickname, so to find another. It reminds me of a Johnny Cash song “A boy named Sue”!

In November, Catholics in all the churches or chapels have a Mass in the cemetery for their dead. Afterwards, Priests fan out and bless each grave. Then folks settle down to eat and drink near their relatives’ grave. So parishioners from all parishes get together to cut grass, wash tombs and clean up any debris in the cemetery. Here at Don Wai, we have a children’s cemetery adjacent to the village cemetery, so every year the kids gather respectfully, as we bless the graves of their mates buried there. 

After 2½ years of Covid, in which we had Saturday Mass for the kids outside in the sala, we moved back inside the Holy Infant’s chapel this past Saturday. It was nice to get back. I have no doubt that Covid will hit us again, but during the semester break, it was great taking our kids to the zoo, or to movies and other places without fear of Covid.

We want to thank everyone for their support of Sarnelli and especially the babies and kids!
God bless you all!

Fr.Mike, staff and kids


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