Two new arrivals and some hail

So you thought that it did not get cold in southern Bolivia! Well, our thermometer proves you wrong, as does the hail that nearly broke the sheet on top of our greenhouse in July! A lack of heating and a broken shower led to us spending much of the middle two weeks of July hiding in our kitchen, wrapped in blankets and huddled round the stove. Or a fire outdoors.

Not a nice welcome for our first volunteer, Amos, who arrived on July 4th though the ice on the mountains was very pretty! Because of the cold, school holidays were extended by two weeks on a national level. This meant that there wasn't any teaching going on for his first few weeks, but we did have plenty of time for planting and building – as long as you don't mind cold fingers!

Our second new arrival was Chinplin – a baby goat that we found abandoned in a field when we went to pick up our third cow from the ranch where it had been staying. After a few nights settling in, during which none of us got any sleep because of his crying, Chinplin has become the most famous member of the team and a big hit with the students.

Classes started again on July 26th with a consultation meeting with the student to ask for feedback. We talked about their motivation and impressions of the school, what they like and do not like and are currently trying to get them more involved with the school businesses and spending more time working in the field rather than in the classroom. Attendance is up on last term, with 14 students attending daily. A good start!

We also had three training workshops in July, two about organic fertilizers and one on making mineral based fungicides. These were held in conjunction with the University of Vallecitos in Santa Cruz and attended by 30 people from various communities as well as our students.

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