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7 October 2010

Dear Friends,

This will probably be my last news notes before I fly out of Chicago on Thursday 14 Oct. My original plans were to fly out on 29 Sept. and be home by now. However, God had different plans and I’m trying to adapt to them. I wrote earlier that I went to Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. I traveled with Wally Orzechowski who is the executive director of the Community Action Program in Southwestern Wisconsin. We talked with 15 students in the Department of Architecture for medical facilities along with their two professors and then I gave a “lecture” to a larger group of students and professors. It was our opportunity to kick off a month-long project for the students.

Each student designed a hospital to more or less fit into the space that we have available where we already have a dispensary, inpatient wards, maternity ward and laboratory. They presented their finished projects on Friday, October 1. Wally and I flew down on 29 September to hopefully help and not hinder the students in their last hectic days preparing for the presentation in the Gallery of the architecture department. They put on a wonderful display of posters, pictures and actual small scale models of their plans. The models were built on a satellite map of our parish that was placed over a board about 2’x2′. It was very impressive and represented 100’s of hours of work. Now I have to get back to my parish and not only see how I can work these great designs into our space but try to get additional property to the west of our medical facilities.

We have sort of been in the chicken and the egg mode since deciding to build a Health Center that would someday be a hospital when proper staff was obtained. We can’t build a hospital without funding, and we can’t get funding without an architectural plan. Now we have lots of plans but until I get back, we will not know how best to use them. Southern Ellis, a graduate student of architecture of medical facilities at Texas A&M may take our project as his final research before finishing his studies. His help would be very valuable. I hope that funding will be available to actually bring him to Nkololo where we can make final plans.

Perhaps that will be the easy part. Major capital funding will be the real challenge. But as I have said, God has all of the money in the world, our job is to make sure that we are worthy to have Him grant us a share of it in order to help those in need. To be sick without adequate medical care is real poverty. We plan to do something about it.

My fishing days were quite limited this year and they ended abruptly when heavy rains hit northeastern and central Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota. Both the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers are still at flood stage as I write. So today I made a big move, I gave my night crawlers their freedom after weeks of being boxed up in my refrigerator. Now I have to fog out my outboard Mercury engine, take out my battery and put the boat away for the Winter. I usually don’t spend time cleaning it as it would just get dirty again next year.

So much for now. It would be great hearing from you. My email address works wherever I am, so please drop me a note.

Prayers and love to all,

Fr. Paul

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