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Oktober 2004
(19.10.2004)
Dear Friends,
I have a bit of good news to share with you! The government has strung high voltage light poles in the village of Don Wai and this week we have full power electricity: both SARNELLI HOUSE and the villagers. So, no more burned out refrigerators, fans and light ballasts from insufficient power. I was running around like Uriah Heep, praising officials unctuously and bribing like a mad man. They also brought in a grader to fix the road in and out. Hopefully, they will work at it again in the dry season. Since bribes seem to grease the squeaky wheel, our next target are the government phone people, to get phone lines run into three villages that do not have phones, and into SARNELLI HOUSE.

One problem has crept up. When Sister Godzilla of Blessed Memory was head honcho of the school, she would brook no talk of kicking out AIDS kids. She was strict with the teachers, and got in the face of any parent who objected. There is a new pharaoh in town now "who knows not Joseph". On Sept. 24, the new superior and new head mistress of the school asked me to pull my 38 AIDS infected children out of school. A couple mothers saw the van delivering the kindergarten kids and demanded that either AIDS kids be barred from school, or they will take their kids somewhere else. The superior was sympathetic to our plight, but the head mistress Sister Josephina (dubbed "Mona Lisa" by a priest further upriver) is a quiet person. (Pa always said ""Never trust a calm dog"). Well, I have at least 130 kids in this school, paying full for each one. They are my kids and poor kids from other villages who want to go to school but their folks can't afford it. So, we help. I asked them how the score 130-3 sounds, because if I have to pull out my AIDS wee ones, I pull out everyone. The kids are normal with no scars or signs of AIDS, and love going to school with their lunches and backpacks. The nuns, teachers and parents don't even know which of our 90 plus kids have AIDS. So far, there are 3 mothers demanding rejection. Please pray they change their minds.

We received into our home two more little kids. A boy named Sawn, who has AIDS and TB, and looks like a wizened little old man. We just put him back into the hospital to begin taking his ARV medicine. He was taking TB medicine first, so as to be sure he has no reactions to both TB and AIDS medicine, we have him in the hospital for a week or so. Another is a 7 year old girl named "Nuke". Nuke has no skin condition, etc., and we are waiting for the results of her CD 4 blood test. She is a sweet little thing who already has buddies. Both have joined 11 other youngsters quarantined at the House of Hope. We now have 113 kids under our care.

Thank you so much for your help and interest in these kids. They are a wonderful, tough, resilient and cheerful little band. I don't want them hurt anymore, especially by a group of women who need to crack the Holy Book and do some serious Bible-thumping among themselves. Every night at our four houses, kids gather in front of little statues of the Holy Family, to pray for those who took their parents place, especially those who help them so, but never met them. Rest assured that you are remembered in our daily Masses and prayers.

Gratefully,
Mike Shea
Father Shea
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