Introducing to Kate

Kate and Cebo

Last year, I wrote an introduction to our Belgian volunteers, Hans and Natacha. Hans and Natacha were with the children in a special way. Natacha is a linguist, and it was not difficult for her to learn Thai and help in the sponsor office. She also cooked at the House of Hope, and Hans was a skilled craftsman, making cribs and cabinets, repairing broken toys and bikes and household utensils, etc., for the children. They took children to the marke t; visited our sick kids in hospitals, and made themselves indispensable in many ways. Hans, however, had been in a serious car accident as a young man, and suddenly, he was experiencing excruciating pain and numbness. Multiple tests finally proved that he aggravated a serious neck injury. He was forced to wear a collar. Last September, they returned to Belgium to see specialists. They received various bits of advice from the medical profession there. By then, Hans was feeling better and they returned in December. It was not long and the neck condition again flared up. They reluctantly decided to return to Belgium at the end of the year. They first want to tour Laos, Malaysia, North Thailand and Vietnam before their return. We expect them back for some weeks in August, when we can thank them in an appropriate way, and assure them that they are always welcome at Sarnelli House. We will never forget their enthusiasm, sacrifice and love and concern for the children of Sarnelli House.

In the meantime, Kate Introna, who is no stranger to Sarnelli House or it's occupants, returned after a 15 month stay as a volunteer, 6 years ago. Kate spent several years in Aceh province, Indonesia, working with tsunami victims. She then applied to return to work for three years at Sarnelli House. The problem was that visa requirements in Thailand were tightened considerably (to get even with countries that were making it difficult for Asians to visit). But, since Kate is a nurse, and well known by officials in Nongkhai, she was able to get letters of recommendation from the governor, the chief medical officer, etc., and that got her a year's visa. She also was able to get a work permit.

Kate will be working with our other nurse, Ms. Ieu, plus case workers, caring for our runts and for people in our Outreach Program. She will also work part time in our sponsorship office. She teaches English twice a day, when she is not taking the sick to hospital. She is also, most importantly, learning to speak Thai. She also is trying her hand at writing grant proposals for Sarnelli House and its denizens!

Many, many, thanks to Hans and Natacha for their years of sacrifice and love for the children. A warm welcome is due to Kate as she takes on the task of keeping the children as healthy as possible.     

God has blessed Sarnelli House with these three dedicated individuals who really made and are making a deep impression on children and staff alike.

Fr Mike

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