Just some ‘goings on’ – Our team was here at 5 a.m. this morning to ready itself to take 40 of our senior citizens to ‘Make Merit’ (indulgences) at three well known Buddhist Temples in the outskirts of Bangkok. The bus is leaving at 7:30 a.m. and should return about 6 p.m. (depending on the traffic) You know… on pilgrimage
Recently, Bangkok city was said to have the most terrible traffic of any city in the world. Maybe that’s true – at least it feels like that some time.
And yesterday the International Rugby team from New Zealand came to visit our kids. What a glorious day and the kids were ecstatic and could not get over how big and strong the players were. The team manager gave us a donation from each member of the team, plus a signed ‘football’ and ‘jersey’ - personally signed by each member of the team… and these of course are true treasures. And the beginning of what we hope in the future one of our kids will get a scholarship to the Bangkok Rugby academy here in Bangkok.
And I didn’t tell you that a whole troop of international bikers came to visit, on their impressive Harley Davidsons with noise and smoke and all – and gave a donation, and ice cream to the kids and gave everyone a ride up and down the street on their’ choppers’ - and also some of the staff. An Amazing day for the kids – truly great guys.
And in the Mogan South, we have a nine year old girl who was born with a growth under her tongue and of course difficulty in eating and tasting and swallowing but most of all can’t speak clearly – so the other kids in school make fun of her, plus she already has a “Mogan” accent and afraid to go to school. Yesterday, after we struggled to get all kinds of special permission to leave the province where she lives on the Island, and go to a large Government Provincial hospital for an operation to remove the growth (from birth) about 150 kilometers away - and we had permission for her mum to go along also who doesn’t speak much Thai, so one of our team traveled with them.
Right now her mouth is a bit sore and even though the doctors could not operate in fear of her loosing ability to taste, she got some strong injections and medicine to kill the bacteria and hopefully it will shrink the growth.
And another one of our girls, a teenager – been with us since she was a year old when mum and dad died of Aids is an excellent student, and has passed three of the four necessary steps for a full four year scholarship in Chinese to the University of Peking. She would be our first girl to study in China, free of course, as we don’t have money for such things.
Also we are moving our very bright 7 year old twin girls to another school nearby because the school they go to is very weak academically – e.g. Slum kids from 6th grade cannot read properly, so we encourage parents NOT to send their kids to this horrible school.
Our ‘next to the Slaughter house fire’ of 53 houses and 71 families – the people are working night and day to rebuild. The authorities (who usually say NO you cannot rebuild) are still looking the other way. So we must finish building by next week (a time line we gave ourselves).
That’s all for now. Many things happening at once – exciting, a bit scary but gratifying seeing so many people collectively create a future together. No matter what – we work on – always together, hand in hand and heart to heart.
Fr. Joe and all of us …