Toni's brithday

     Just after Christmas on Dec 28th is Toni's birthday. To celebrate I wanted to throw a party and following tradition provide a nice meal for our guests. Since Antoinette is allergic to poultry; the food staple of chicken was out. I decided to buy a pig to serve. However, here in the jungle buying a pig is not as simple as going to the grocery store and buying a ham, or pork chops or ribs. One of our co-worker's mother raises pigs about 45 minutes up river. The morning of the 28th he left and picked up a pig, i thought a 30-40kg pig would suffice, he came back with a 62kg pig, and although it cost more than I was expecting to spend it was very cheap in comparison to the same amount of meat back home. He came back in the early afternoon with the hog tied and hanging froms it legs on a post.  We carried it outside of the kitchen and then proceeded to prep the pig. It was the first animal i have ever killed (other than a bird with our BB gun a long time ago...even then i think it was my brother that pulled the trigger- we both felt very guilty afterward for killing a living animal). They first boiled a huge pot of water then showed me where to stab the heart, after a few loud wails from the pig he took his last breath. (warning some more graphic pictures below) I felt as if i was re-enacting images that were evoked while reading "The Lord of the Flies" in high school. Then the other guys teaching me the ways of butchering and preparing a pig did the rest. They poured the boiled water on the pig and scraped off all the hair leaving only the skin, then they opened up the underside from neck to rear and took out the viscera. Then we sectioned the pig and cut away the fat. That night we prepared a rub and let it sit overnight in various fridges as it was a large amount of meat; the next day the whole pig was cooked for the party on Sat night.
     It was a much different feeling eating this food, as i think about the whole process, i did not feel guilty as I did with the small bird killed during childhood. People here learn to hunt, butcher and prepare food out of necesity, and it is a ton of work. I reflect on the way of life for the Native Americans in our country who hunted buffalo in a group and working as a community to butcher the meat and drag it back to their camps. How the government and white people took their way of life away from them by killing all the animals for sport or fun. Here it is a pure form of living, one much more atuned to nature and the abundance the earth can provide.
     The pig tasted as delicious or better then the meat back home. At the party, we ate the pig, drank some beer and danced; it was a fun night and I think Antoinette liked the present of a pig. It is a present neither one of us is soon to forget.......yes I also bought her a nice new umbrella, not just a pig.  Below are some pictures, some a little graphic


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