School is out, and the kids are all over the place. Climbing mango trees; trying to pull down coconuts; biking, swimming and going on mini excursions whenever the chance arises. We have a great group of volunteers during this school vacation, and they keep the kids occupied. We have about 165 kids, with 4 more boys with AIDS due in a few days. This does not include the 40 some kids in the OUTREACH program.
I had two friends and four O’Connor relatives come and visit for three weeks. It was fun and a welcome diversion. Then my nephew Mike came from Atlanta. He is on the board of trustees for the “Friends of Sarnelli House” foundation. He had a good meeting with the staff here, and explained stuff to them. They voiced concerns, mostly about what would happen when I died. It was weird sitting there listening to people talk about me in the past tense! They finally understand why, in normal years, I have to go home for fund raising.
We also had an earthquake here, centered in Burma. The walls of St. Cornelius in Pai Si Tong show cracks (I will take this parish over at the end of April). Floor tiles buckled up at Sarnelli House, and some windows were broken and stuff tossed about in the medicine room. Some of the women were organizing a firing squad to eradicate Little Boy, Kate, Auhn and a few other naughty little runts. The little girls insisted it had to be their work. I rescued the boys and chastised the little girls for bearing false witness. As if that made any impression!
Once more, our Jan and Oscar and St. Patrick boys went down to the annual soccer tournament in Pattaya. They have had their butts kicked for the last three years. This year, one of our lads named “Off”, who finished Teachers’ Training College and has been hired by Rosario school as a sports teacher, trained them every day. They still got their butts kicked!
As I mentioned, the government has asked us to take four more orphaned little boys with AIDS. The price of food has risen to new heights, and we are trying to get the government to at least give us their food allowance (36 baht a day; about $1.18). So far, no success. They say we are a Catholic organization, and we say we are taking in Buddhist kids. Somebody is pocketing the children’s food money.
Again, thank you so very much. Have a blessed Easter and an early spring! We pray for you daily!