May 2017 Update

‘Tis the merry month of May, and so far this month, the Thai authorities are sending us 5 kids, arriving here just before school starts. A 13 year old raped by her stepfather, a little boy with HIV/AIDS, a little guy orphaned, a boy and a girl abandoned. There is also a very young girl who is 9 months pregnant with a baby girl, and we will take in mother and child.

As for the runts, they are about 10 days from the opening of the New School Year, and it can’t come fast enough! Most of our volunteers have gone home, and the rest are getting ready to leave. As for myself, I have less than ten days to go before I mount the silver coffin to fly home. I will be on Delta, and these simpletons have managed to add about 6 hours to the flight. Usually, going through Japan to Minneapolis is much quicker, but these rocket scientists have decided to fly to Korea and then to Detroit.

Not much exciting has happened here, save that the people staying in our guest house nearly got wiped out by a huge lightning bolt. It hit a tree alongside the priests’ house, plus a grass roofed pavilion, settling a grass fire despite the rain. Every security bar on every window at Charlene House lit up like a Christmas tree, and the power went off. Some German girls were crying hysterically, and the corridors were filled with smoke from the grass roof blaze. Needless to say, Uncle Mike has invested 20,000 baht in lightning rods for the guest house. There must be some mineral or iron in the ground, since we are getting hit regularly.

One of our lads, named Choke, has had his fractured thigh bone set and the doctors put in screws. He had a very serious motorcycle accident, and his right leg was amputated below the knee. The people in the accident came to wish him good luck and give him 50,000 baht. He immediately wanted that plowed back into his motorcycle, and the rest of the money used to pay off the loan. I nixed that real quick. This was his second accident in four months, and he will be very lucky if they don’t wind up cutting again, further up the thigh.

The four room bungalow for older girls with AIDS is completed, and three of the four rooms have since been occupied. The girls love their rooms and know they will be safe and have jobs right at Sarnelli. As the older house mothers retire, these girls will fill in. The builders did a quick job; really nice. The houses at the 12 rai section of the farm are hitting a slight snag. The Power and Light people have yet to plant electric poles. A rich guy from Bangkok bought up over 100 rai bordering the road, and won’t let us put in power poles and lines from the main road. The road, which we fixed in December, is turning into a quagmire again. Rains are coming with greater volume, FINALLY!

Both Father Ole and Brother Keng are taking college courses for degrees. Father Ghee is moving to the village of Pai Si Tong. Kate, our nurse, is going to Spain to attend a seminar on palliative care and give a lecture. Her husband Brian will be holding the fort alone for a while!

Again, thank you so much for your kindness and interest in Sarnelli House and its children, and God bless you! We pray for you daily!

Father Mike

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