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March 2006
Dear Friends,

Our webmaster, Brother Ole just finished the novitiate, and is keen to help us I with the website! I will try to get photos to him, when I find someone smarter than me to do so. Actually, any of my kids who are studying computer can do it! I have now been with the tykes for 6 years, and although we don't get ahead with a lot of money, we so far have been able to care of them and get them to school and make sure they get all the medical care they need. God has been good to us. He finds kind and concerned people like you!

It is good to have a house close to the kids. I will be removed from Pai Si Tong after Easter, which will give me more time with the AIDS work. I have to move 22 years of accumulated possessions from the house, though. I am also going to have to add on to the gym at Charlene House! I will make a porch out of the roof, where people can drink their coffee (or beer or whatever) in the morning. I doubt if many will be up there in the afternoon sun!

The bishop's office found a girl, 13 years old, with AIDS and TB. They want to help, but are afraid of contacting TB. So, we will be going down tomorrow to see the girl and bring her to SARNELLI HOUSE. We will have her begin her ARV medicine and also the long treatment for TB. It means she will be isolated at night, having to sleep in a single room, but she is a big girl and will understand. Not like the bewildered, scared, hurt little ones who can't understand why they cannot sleep in the dorm with their new friends for 60 days. We also found out she has a 9 year old sister, who has no papers whatsoever. We will take her and begin a torturous paper hunt. But, we are able to do these things for these afflicted people, thanks to the generosity of people like you!

Last Thursday, the school graduation ceremonies for kindergarten, grade school and junior high. Then, two months of vacation (March 9 to May 7). Six of our girls are graduating from junior high, and are going to senior high. One girl is going to Korat to be with her family (her uncle is a Buddhist abbot in one of the temples down there and has the family set up with a house and land). Only one was accepted at St. Mary's school in Udorn. I warned her that the nuns are hell on wheels down there, and they are very strict. Another three girls plan to go to JBEC vocational school for training in book work and computers. Girl number six is going to vocational school. Another two girls go to college, making 4 girls and 2 boys in college. I really feel old.

But, there are always the imps in the House of Hope to keep me on my toes. Their zest for life warms the cockles of my old heart. The babies are developing lovely personalities. The only dark cloud is little Jo. She continues to slip, and never really gets back to where she was. Her ability to swallow is slowly taking her away.

Before New Year, the staff bought loads of tents at reduced prices. We hope to take the kids to Phu Rua Mountain for a couple nights of camping. We have to contact the forest rangers first. It will be hot during the day and cold at night. They will have to swear not to whiz in their tents this time, however.

The hot season is rapidly approaching. It seems to get worse every year, and villagers themselves complain. The cold season was a disappointment. Villagers say if the cold season is mild or even hot, it means a drought, and not enough rain for the rice paddies. I hope they are wrong!

Again, thank you so much for your kindness and generosity in helping us keep these runts happy and healthy! They pray for you every evening at Holy Innocents chapel!

Father Shea
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