This is a reality post. What I am going to share with you, including the pictures, can be quite disturbing to some. Read at your own risk!
Dear Family and Friends,
I told you in our last blog post that we were headed to Santa Rosa for a fiesta. Well, that is not what it turned out to be for us. Yes, there was a fiesta in Santa Rosa...it was a celebration of Saint Rose (I think this is the same saint as Saint Rosa de Lima in Peru). The town was filled with the typical celebration festivities, vendors, fireworks, and artisans.
We, Chuck and I, were invited to Santa Rosa to be part of a family reunion. I misunderstood Lourdes when she was inviting us. What we got was an experience like none other.
You might remember our trip from before. Lourdes' mother lives right smack dab in the middle of a very large banana plantation. She does not own the plantation, she does not even own her own house. The house is a very basic concrete structure. Lourdes and her six siblings were lovingly raised by her mother in this house.
Since there is no living or family room, the covered packing shed is used by the family for sitting and entertaining..
When I was putting this post together, I didn't know if I should sugar coat things or tell it like we saw and experienced it. I have decided to do the latter. For all the complaining I hear from people back home about how rough it is, I think people living in the U.S. should be aware of how some people in other countries live. There are many poor families in Ecuador...this is just our experience of spending the day with this special family.
Lourdes' mothers name is Rose. Her children chose this day (day of Saint Rose) to come together, honor their mother and celebrate together.
The brothers and sisters pooled their money and bought a pig, butchered it and spent all day preparing a very special meal. This is a really big deal because buying a whole pig is expensive.
Luckily, we did not arrive until after the pig was ready for cooking.
The following pictures are of the preparations for the big meal.
Below green bananas are being peeled and cut into chunks.
Inside the kitchen Lourdes, her mother and other family members are chopping onions, garlic and cabbage.
When it was time to get started cooking the pig, the heavy duty pots were brought out.
Chopping up the pork.
Lourdes' little brother took great pleasure in showing us the pig's tongue. Every part of the pig was utilized.
The men were in charge of cooking the meat.
Like I said, nothing went to waste. William is holding up the pig's tail.
The intestines were cleaned and stuffed with a mixture of I am not sure what.
Some of the intestines were stuffed in the kitchen with the onion, garlic and cabbage mixture.
I kept reminding myself that this is how things were in the U.S. over a hundred years ago. People lived on small farms, butchered their own meat and made their own sausage. I felt that I was taking a trip back in time.
It was a whole day affair. Like any family reunion, some of the family played soccer and volley ball while others watched.
The kids enjoyed teasing the puppies.
Everyone came together about 6:00 pm for the grand finale..."chauncho" fried pork, corn, fried green bananas, and fruit juices. This was the feast that the whole day was building up to. Would you believe I forgot to take a picture of my plate ... sorry.
It was a day we will not soon forget. Lourdes, our housekeeper, and her husband are very special to us. We feel so fortunate that they included us in this special day.
Here is a picture of Lourdes, her mom and brothers. Her sister was not able to be there. What a beautiful family.
Chuck and I returned to Cuenca the next day. We have been home a week now and for some reason we have not had any pork to eat all week.