The students are coming!

Sunday, 25 April 2010-After the last, slightly less than optimistic post, I am delighted to be able to say that we have managed to increase student numbers! 4 new additions to the first year, and 4 of the third year students are now regular(ish) attendees, which is helping to give more life to the school. Classes are being given, and the year plan is beginning to advance.

The first year students are currently tending to the vegetable production in the school, and the onion sprouts are growing well, now nearly 15 cm high.

Two weeks ago we held a very successful yogurt making workshop, taking the 6 students from second year into Villamontes to learn the process from a local small business woman. The students, under her watchful eye, completed the delicate process of pasteurizing the milk, weighing and mixing the culture and adding sugar, color and flavoring to the mix. Though we have yet to sell the yogurt, hopes are high that this new process will be a lucrative contribution to the school, as well as an excellent exercise in product placement, advertising and pricing strategies. Combined with a monthly dulce de leche production, we should be able to go a long way towards making the dairy business, if not profitable this year, at least break even.

Third year students have been scarce so far, being very busy with their final year in high school, but gradually they have begun to show their faces. Last week, 5 of them learnt how to check a cow for mamitis and administer deparasiting drugs. Over the weekend, all 7 were introduced to some very different farming techniques in a neighboring Mennonite community.

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