Just today, the Aman Dusun farmers paid a visit to a school in Hulu Langat which housed about 350 kids. They ranged in age, height, and milk preference! They were going to try goat's milk for the first time and make Aman Dusun history!
We decided to donate our milk to the Sungai Lui school; this, hopefully, was going to set a precedent for future donations to other schools. But our little experiment started off on the wrong foot.
Arriving at Aman Dusun at around 7:20 am, the Aman Dusun farmers--well just one of them--were completely drowsy. They knew that today was going to be a quite a change from their regular farm schedule. As they prepared to box the milk from yesterday, they realized that most of them haven't fully reconstituted or had become completely frozen overnight; they weren't able to pasteurize that morning's load for the school. The farmers began frantically soaking milk bottles in lukewarm water while the saanen goats began their morning rounds. The boxes were filled with a mixture of Glamgoat and Le Naturel milk bottles and a clumsy load of ice. By the time the farmers managed to fill 6 massive boxes of milk bottles, the sun had already covered the plains. Time was not on their side today.
It was 9:30 am, and the Aman Dusun farmers arrived at the Sungai Lui School. The classrooms came alive with laughter and chatter. Unbeknownst to most of the students, one particular class was going to get a taste of Aman Dusun's milk before the rest. The kids were about six years old, and they seemed eager to discover what lay behind the 6 large boxes. One after the other, the kids waited in line while teachers and the farmers began pouring milk into little-colored cups; the farmers didn't want to overwhelm the kids with big bottles. The greatest thing about these kids was their enthusiasm; they were not afraid to try goat's milk--something that even the people of Hulu Langat were not accustomed to. Funnily, the teachers were more hesitant to try our goat's milk, assuming that it probably smelled and tasted bad. The kids didn't agree with the teachers, and the teachers eventually followed suit!
The farmers watched in delight as these kids grew white moustaches; some teachers teased them by not telling them to wipe their lips. It made for some great pictures! This class, however, was only a fraction of what was going to come. Recess was fast approaching and so was a stampede of children.
They came from every corner of the school, flooding the canteen with energy. The farmers struggled to distribute the milk, and many children asked us to help them open the bottles. It was hectic, but the teachers at the Sungai Lui School helped us. The teachers directed the kids to recycle our bottles, encouraged the kids to finish their drinks, and cleaned up some of the mess they left behind.
Some kids--notably the boys--were able to drink two full bottles of milk. Even I couldn't imagine doing such a thing! Most of the girls left their drinks untouched, but we encouraged them to share with their friends. After finishing their drinks, many ran around the school compound--to the disappointment of their teachers. The teachers were afraid that the kids would vomit if they played immediately after having lunch. Good news: everybody went home with happy stomachs and white moustaches.
The whole experiment was a struggle from the time the farmers got out of bed until they returned to Aman Dusun. Some milk got wasted in the process as many kids weren't willing to finish our milk. Nevertheless, all the farmers thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As we visit more schools in the future, we will try to serve kids with little cups rather than our bottles. That way we won't waste our milk in the future. Until then, these kids have made Aman Dusun history: the white moustaches!
All thumbs up!