First let me start off by saying that I’m a terrible photographer. Not only do I take some pretty bad pictures (my finger always seems to be in front of the lense), but I just don’t take pictures. There are several reasons for this. First, I always feel that when I’m taking pictures I’m missing something. Having to worry about how the picture turns out is something that removes me from fully experiencing or enjoying what I’m doing. Second, here in Honduras I try to blend in as much as a 6’3″ gringo possibly can. Nothing eliminates that quite like standing in the middle of the street taking pictures. I say all of this to explain why I forgot to bring my camera to document my Thanksgiving and pig roast adventure. However, thanks to the internet contributions of Mark Zuckerberg, I was able to steal some pictures of the two events from volunteers who are top of things. I figured I keep this post light on words and let the pictures do the talking.
Thanksgiving in La Paz
Thursday I was fortunate to participate in serving a dinner at an orphanage in what has become an annual tradition Peace Corps tradition in La Paz. Glenn did an amazing job this year , not only with organizing everything but producing amazing Martha Stewart esque pies like these
Props go out to all the volunteers who spent a lot of time cooking up some delicious food. The turkey was amazing, the sides just as good, and the desserts probably made me a diabetic. My contribution ended in a disaster, so much so I don’t want to talk about here. Let’s just say it was so bad I ended up tossing the container I brought it in, it was that rancid. It was a lot of fun playing with all the kids and, needless to say, they were bouncing off the walls. They devoured the turkey, but were weary of all the side items. I’m sure if I were a Honduran kid and saw something foreign like stuffing or sweet potatoes, I’d be reluctant too.
The nun in charge of the orphanage was amazing. She has to be Mother Teresa reincarnated. The whole time kids were hanging off her, vying for her attention and yet she never tired and always had a smile on her face. She left her convent about ten years ago to start this orphanage and all of her work is devoted to this children. Definitely a very humbling experience, next time I complain about Honduras I’ll just go ahead and punch myself in the face.
The next day myself along with Brett, Tiffany, Jessica, and Cruz headed up to chilly climes of Yamaranguila for an epic (oh I mean epic) pig roast. Seriously, every time I’m in Jacob and Lauren’s site a little tear runs down my face as the weather (especially compared to the inferno that is Pespire) is absolutely incredible. This time of year the temperature is in the 60s during the day and down to the low 50s maybe even high 40s at night. So jealous. As soon as we got into town, we headed with Jacob to the butchers shop to pick up the pigs, that’s right, two pigs. One was a 50 pounder and the other one 40. After almost losing our hearing from the elderly butcher shouting at us, we loaded the pigs in a wheelbarrow and brought them back to the house.
Then we started my favorite part of the process which was the cutting of the vertebrae down the middle so that the pigs could be placed flat on the grill. Like a scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jacob held a machete and hammered it down the middle while we held down the swine. It got a little bloody, so much so it splattered on the wall a little.
After we got ‘em cut and cleaned up some blood, brains, and teeth that fell out; Ryan forsake his Jewish heritage and rubbed down a split hoofed animal. He’ll have to do a mitzvah or something for this
Once we finished with the two little pigs, one named Snowball the other Wilbur, we set to work on finishing the structure used to cook the pig. As the water table is high in that area, Jacob decided to forgo a pit and, like a boss, got some concrete blocks to build an above ground pit to slow roast the pig.
We also built a double side grate that allowed us to flip the pigs during the roasting. Again, Jacob pulled off a marvelous feat of engineering, this should be on Modern Marvels on something
After five hours or so, it was finally ready to be devoured. As we pulled it off everyone gathered around and like vultures started picking off the meat (you know who you are Ryan and Tiffany). Let me say this, I’ve eaten a lot of pork in my life, but nothing compares to the meat that came off this pigs. The tenderloin, pork loin, and cheeks were incredibly juicy and succulent. The ribs and skin were also amazing. I had one of the eye balls which was about how I expected an eyeball to taste, a little chalky. Once we fended off the wolves, Jacob and Brett got down to carving it up and we pulled pork for some sandwiches. I could go on and on describing it, but just take my word for it, it was awesome
So that was the pig roast adventure. Massive thanks go out to Jacob and Lauren who hosted us and did all the dirty work. Also, digital fistpound to Brett for his inspiration and knowledge of roasting pigs. This upcoming weekend I’m heading to Yuscaran to play some polo on donkeys. I’ll explain later.
Also, less than two weeks from now, December 17, I’ll be in Gringolandia! Again, if any of you loyal blog readers are anywhere in the lower 48 (I’ll even say Alaska), I better see you . I’m counting down the days and can’t wait to see everyone!