Last month’s letter had bad news on poor little Muay, and this month, bad news continues. One of our boys who is studying in Nongkhai got into a bad accident. His motorcycle was hit by a pickup, and his leg was broken in three places, plus his right arm. He severed an artery, and if the folks in the pickup did not rush him to the hospital, he would have bled out right on the pavement. The doctors sewed up the artery, but after 4 days, it was apparent that gangrene had set in. Yesterday, they amputated his leg, just below the knee. Our boy has HIV, and his viral load is very high. We are praying hard for him.
School vacation has arrived, and we have the runts running wild for another 6 weeks, at least. The boys on the farm work every day, and they will get a trip together, when they finally decide where they want to go. The Nazareth girls just painted the new wall around their property. They wanted to know if the wall was to keep boys out, or keep them in. They complained that when the gates were shut, it is like a prison. I offered to teach them how to pole vault, but they were not amused. The girls at Viengkhuk are busy making jewelry and all the smaller kids spend their time working, swimming, playing badminton and football (soccer). Everyone seems healthy and happy.
Every year, especially when the kids are out of school, and roaming around looking for action, we always seem to get volunteers from various countries; usually young people, who step in to help the kids paint, repair and clean the houses and gym, etc. We also get some older folks who enjoy the kids and teach them some skills. One of them is an artist named Wang, who has no legs below the knees, and no hands. He paints with his forearms, and does an absolutely wonderful job. He will be here to teach the kids, and give them art lessons. The influx of volunteers is a chance for the staff to relax a bit as well. They work hard, especially the ladies at the House of Hope, and welcome any help. Our own girls also pitch in to hold and play with the babies at the House of Hope.
About 6 weeks ago, we began building a four room building for our girls with HIV, who want to stay with us, and are afraid to go out on their own. They are lovely girls; responsible and good natured, and they work hard. But most of them don’t do especially well in school, and the anti-retroviral medicines have hindered their mental growth. Most are dyslexic, and have some memory troubles. The rooms will each hold two girls, and it is on the same piece of land as our Jan & Oscar House. I hope it will be finished within the next three weeks or so.
Also, we have broken ground and are now building some buildings at the 12 rai field, which is further east of our 35 acre rice fields. What with three separate buildings, we hope to begin an experimental farm for boys who have HIV and similar problems that the girls have. With this project, however, we are having some troubles; with the electricity, most of all. I hope to have these problems behind me, when I head home in late May.
Again, thank you so very much! We pray for you and yours every evening, and at our Saturday Masses with the children.