Student Journal: summer dispatches from the field Orphans in Mexico: expanding the boys' goat cheese and soap business

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The Dispatches

1- It is 6 a.m., time to get up and be introduced to the goats

2 - Lunch with the big cheese and a road trip to Cancún

3 - Gringos and luggage up to the rafters, and assessing the goat cheese market in Cancún

4 - Milking the goats, a business meeting in Mexico City, and 'stoptional' red lights

5 - A new wave of volunteers, spending time with the boys

6 - Our recommendations to improve the orphanage's business operations



The boys at play

The Dispatches
Milking the goats, a business meeting in Mexico City, and 'stoptional' red lights

ATLIXCO, MEXICO - Today was our earliest morning yet, with a 5 a.m. wake up. Doug thought this was his chance to observe the milking of the goats, but when he got to the pen, the chavos only taunted him for sleeping so late as they finished feeding the goats, dispensing the daily alfalfa. Brent claims that 12 chavos were singing "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys at 5:15. He also claims he didn't join in the performance.

Still groggy and without coffee, we got in the car and headed for Mexico City. The plan was to meet with IPODERAC's largest customer in Mexico City.


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Doug Brown and Joost Krikhaar have agreed to answer your questions, time permitting. Email Doug and Joost

Within 10 minutes, Brent was pulled over for driving without license plates. Thanks, Hertz! After a quick presentation of documents, we were back on our way. However, a group accompanying us in a lead car feared for the worst. Thinking we gringos had been hauled off to Mexican prison, they apparently went looking for us.

And so we were left to our own devices to make it to the center of the world's largest city during rush hour. Brent seems a little too comfortable making left turns from the right lane of a five-lane road and treating red lights as "stoptional" - or "altopcional," in Spanish.

We finally arrived at our destination in Mexico City and spent the day meeting with the executives of the company and poring over sales and financial data. Next it's back to Atlixco where more adventure awaits ...

—Doug Brown
—Joost Krikhaar
—Fabio Matsui
—Brent Mitchell


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