Hello from Sarnelli House!
I have been back home in Thailand for three weeks, and it feels
like three years! It was great seeing all the kids and know they are doing
so well, health-wise. Maggie, our smallest runt (2 months old), is healthy
but still has to get her HIV/AIDS blood tests. She is a solemn looking
little thing who is healthy, but never smiles. I keep kidding her housemom
Peh that Maggie is retarded. But Maggie is smart enough to start to yowl if
I hold her too long! Kaen, our 7 month old baby whose teenage mother gave
birth and then skipped town, is healthy and putting on weight. His
grandparents are very poor and had him on sugar water. Kaen has a cousin (or
aunt), about 3 1/2 years of age, who was also orphaned, so we picked her up
as well. She is a lippy little thing who is afraid of no one! The family
lives in the Nongbualampoo mountains, southwest of here. We have been taking
these old people rice and food, and the local St. Vincent de Paul society,
run by Fr. Peter Inthi, CSsR, is petitioning the government to give these
people some land so they can grow a garden and build a decent house.
During this past week, we also were given a 12 year old girl
named “Nook”; an 8 year old boy named “Tay”, and a 6 year old lad named
“Mawk”. They are nice looking kids, and Nook is Catholic. They have
different fathers, all who took off for other women, and their mother died
of cancer August 25. They have two older brothers who are married, whose
wives didn’t want the kids. They were scared at first, but now fit in and
have friends. I often wonder what kids think and how they feel when they are
rejected and abandoned by family and friends.
Our rice looks good, but we need more rain. The crop has a long
way to go before harvest. We have our fish tanks, huge ones, ready to raise
Pla Duk. The pigs are bought and people are muttering about swine flu. The
stud pig is named “Rol”, after the friend who donated to the whole project.
We also bought more chickens and ducks. I refuse to allow geese, stemming
from a terrified childhood when Grandma’s ganders would chase me and peck me
on top the head, and pound the poop out of me with their wings. The bucolic
life kind of sucked right from day one.
Little Mimi was given us by her mother as she took ARV
medicines, and tried to settle down with a job. We rented a shop for the
mother and helped her buy stuff to sell. This is part of our Outreach
Program. But she wound up borrowing money from people and then could not pay
back. She came one day for her day out with Mimi and took off with her. We
think she is with her mother in Khon Kaen. We have no rights over Mimi, but
the little girl eats like a wolf, and we want to make sure she is O.K. Also,
we are not sure what happens if Mimi’s mother has a turn for the worse. Mimi
is half Japanese.
That is the latest from the northeast. Thank you again for your
help, prayers and interest in these children and their lives.