We have four holidays here in July, since it is the beginning
of Buddhist Lent. The kids hope of a trip somewhere were dashed when I
announced the rice shoots were ready to be planted. The older boys had
prepared the paddies by pumping water (other areas of Thailand are doing
well this rainy season, but we are in a drought area again), using a new
pump I bought and one of the Kuboda garden tractors to run the pump. We
pumped from our fish ponds, and the older boys plowed and dragged the
paddies. Small kids pulled up the rice shoots, and some tied them in
bundles, and the older kids and staff planted the fields. I have a few more
rai of rice field, since the guy who owns fields next to the ones we are
doing told us to go ahead and plant his fields. The kids understand that
this is one way they can help themselves, and the older ones teach the
younger ones. Rice fields up in Pai Si Tong will be planted next week.
Hopefully, the monsoons return and we have a bumper crop.
We have just two big mama pigs left, and I think they took
vows of virginity. Grandma Wan is putting mysterious herbal remedies in
their swill, promising swift action, but they are just getting fatter and
meaner. We put a young boar in the pen, and he barely escaped with the
family jewels. There are puppies and dogs everywhere. We don't let the kids
of Sarnelli House who have AIDS raise any animals, since many of them are
allergic to so many things. But the kids at the House of Hope have puppies,
but there are at least two babies and toddlers there with AIDS as well. St.
Pat's boys and Viengkhuk girls have dogs. I have been threatening to have a
barbeque of roasted dog, but the girls anxiously point out that the dogs
won't let anyone in the compound after dark.
Miss Lyn is fiercely clinging to life. I take her and blind Ta
Dum to the Star Mart, etc., to buy food and snacks, but she is not putting
on weight. I just found out the doctors took her off ARV medicine to
concentrate on the TB. Sick as she is, if the truck is going, she wants to
be wrapped in a blanket and taken along. She has two months to turn it
around, or she will just fade away.
Up in the mountains near Nong Seng, I have a small parish,
named "St. Eileen", and 3 acres of land on the side of the mountain. There
is still no electricity, but just vague promises. I have a small chapel and
a tiny house up there, and now thanks to a very generous donor, we will
build a pavilion with a kitchen attached, plus toilets and a bathhouse for
the kids. We have tents, etc., and it is a nice grassy place for our kids
and even village kids to camp out. There are mountains and waterfalls,
etc., to tour in the area. I have a sign made: "KERRY HILLS", which was the
name of our Aberdeen Angus farm in Wisconsin. My mother named the farm, and
it is gone now. So, it is now Kerry Hills of northeast Thailand!
Again, thank you so much. May the Good Lord and His Mother
continue to bless and protect you. Please pray for Lyn. We do not want to