Where does time go??? It’s been ages since I sent out a letter to sponsors, yet I have so many things to tell…..
We currently have 66 children sleeping at Bamboo School…. It is 4am,so they better be sleeping! A further 11 kids are at tertiary schools around Thailand. Bilay married his sweetheart and they are about to produce their first child. Lukai graduated from college with his engineering degree. He is working near Bangkok. Quarlar, Dang, Lewahtoo and Neeti are all working men in Bangkok. Rotasin (Oom) started working in Sai Yok hospital Srisook has started teaching at a school in Sangkhlia. Lisa married and has her first baby girl. Dong and Tuletoo have 2 little girls, and work to pastor to a church in the refugee camp. Malee also came home to marry her sweetheart. Thus they grow up.
A Christmas time, Goy tragically died after receiving massive head injuries in a motorcycle accident. Many of the students came home at that time, so it was a bitter-sweet reunion. We have had 3 young students with reoccurring PF malaria. They came back from visiting Burma family during the holidays, sick. They were initially treated at Sai Yok, but it returned. On their third time with it, they were transferred to Bangkok Mahidol University hospital for further investigation . It is a resistant to drug malaria, so these children are missing school still, 2 months later. We have two kids with active TB… they arrived here with it and their treatments are being sponsored by ARC (American Refugee Committee). We have had 38 kids with measles in the school, and now they have recovered and shared the infection with many village people!
As usual, many hopeful children arrived in May, wanting to stay at Bamboo School. Many were turned away, as education is available in their village, and they have parents. We accepted 24 new ones. After a month, it was revealed that untruths had been told, children’s parents turned up to visit on fancy motorbikes, etc….so numbers were reduced. We currently have 66 real needy children, with 12 requiring sponsors.
This year we have been greatly blessed with groups of volunteers coming in for projects. The roadway was paved up as far as the hospital. The sala was built for Sabbath School at the lake. The teachers’ dorm was built on to the end of the girls’ dorm. A new water system was established. An ambulance shed was built, a new air-wave radio aerial and the entry to the hospital was improved. Now we are preparing to purchase another ambulance.
Nine older children undertook their basic first aid training, with Dang being the highest scorer in the final exam. The work in medical response has greatly increased. Our skills need upgrading all the time. We have delivered 8 babies in the back of the car, assisted by student EMS kids. One was extremely difficult being a butt presentation. Mother and baby well.
This year we have tried to contain expenses as much as we can. Rice prices are up, now 1710 baht per 50kg bag …. Up from 1640baht last year. Rice is a basic commodity, so it affects all prices. However the early wet season, and gardens established at the lake have helped to food bill. The sponsorship is 8500 baht per year per child.. This includes school fees, lunch fees, transportation to/from school, food bills, medical fees and incidental expenses.. Some people faithfully pay into my NZ account every month. Some pay as they remember. Some think we have forgotten them, so they have forgotten us. Can you confirm your commitment to sponsor a child, so we can budget for any changes.
This year friends have returned.. John and Marecia Burt (NZ), Steve and Shirley Rees (USA), Jessie and Ryan Thomas (Korea), Cindy and Robert Stevenson(Hong Kong), Lyndsay and Jill (NZ), Keaton Song and her family (USA), Liz Torres (USA), Krystal and the ReLive Church (USA), Alan Newbold (USA), Leslie de Fluiter (USA), Tina Mitchell (Australia), and many more.
New project towards sustainability have been developed, including a chicken laying house with 41 chickens; EM cleansers; a tapioca crop; vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Its been a buzy year.
We hope you can visit soon, as your presence makes a difference in us….the first time you come, you are a visitor. The second time, you are a true friend…. The third time you are a part of the family!