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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2007-07-27 11:58:00
Subject: Friday July 27, 2007

     Work ended at 8 PM last night as we put the final cuts on the pig before sending it to the freezer. We had a gilt (female swine before it has a litter of pigs) that could not conceive after a year of trying. I have been patient with her as she came with a hefty price. She was the first gilt we expected to have any pigs but it was not in the cards. Anyway, last night she brought home the bacon.       Given that she was about 18 months old, she was full grown and probably close to 400 lbs. It took three men and four teenagers to lift her up for cutting. Paula had the young children go in the house while we were working. John was with me and eager to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and great-grandfather, whom probably butchered more hogs in their lives than you'll ever see on any given farm. I am so proud of that boy as he reminds me so much of my own father; hard-working, soft-spoken, content with anything and would give the shirt off his back to anybody in need. I often see John pass over food not because he doesn't want it, but he does not want to deprive someone else of seconds or thirds.       Anyway, many of us helped and the older boys were eager to have a hand in it. Needless to say that in Honduras, not much is "wasted" when you slaughter an animal. The head was a much fought over prize that went to Ada (one of the single mothers that works here). A local boy brought the skin and legs to his family for who knows what. Jose took the heart and I'm not sure what else was taken while we worked on the parts us spoiled Americanos would eat. Ada was also busily scraping fat off the skin for use as lard (manteca).      Lauren, our Summer intern and future doctor, was eager to explore the internals of large mammals. Once we removed the intestines, she was busy identifying, poking around and moving the organs around. Jose let her cut the heart open, which she thought was really cool. I don't mind butchering but doctoring was never an ambition of mine.      Today we have the difficult task of trying to find some way to celebrate Paula's birthday tomorrow. In America it is so easy because there is always some item available that ladies want. Here in our small town, there just isn't that much available that holds any special appeal. So, like all things here, it will be pretty simple. With all the hardships she's had as a child as well as giving up her life in America to come here, I know there is something very special waiting in eternity for her.      Thanks to all of you that make our mission down here possible. Most of you will never know how different the lives of these children and single mothers are now that they have a home or jobs. You are true partners down here and the Lord will not forget your help!      We will be preparing for the big BBQ and welcoming of our church family from Texas and Colorado on Monday so I probably won't be journaling again soon. After Monday we'll be hosting them for some projects and then joining them with the boys for some swimming on Thursday.

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