Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ruth and the Silence of the Lambs

(Tuesday evening, 9:41 pm)
So, it's the night before LEid and I've already seen two sheep heads, on the grill, on fire, having their fur burned off their faces. That's dinner tonight. And the feasting hasn't even begun - technically there still another three sheep that my family are going to slaughter tomorrow, although I don't know exactly where those are being kept.

(Tuesday evening, 9:53 pm)
Now I know where the sheep are. There are in the wood shed, but way up on top of all the wood, so they can't get out when you open the door… And they all have that look in their eye… they know what's going to happen to them. Poor sheep.

(Wednesday afternoon, 4:54 pm)
Something I've discovered: it was goat innards I was eating last night. Fact.
It's interesting to think just how many sheep have been killed today. My family killed three (plus two goats), the family next door killed two, two other volunteers have two that I know of, family friends have two, plus 4 chickens - in this town of 2500 people alone, there must have been hundreds of sheep slaughtered, not to mention hundreds of goats and chickens. Now multiply that across Morocco…

So, I woke up this morning about 7.30, got dressed in my finest (which is not that fine by standards these days) and went to my family's house (my family lives in two houses, but that's another story), where is was absolutely packed with people, maybe 30% of whom I actually knew. I have no idea who everyone else was, but greetings abounded, no matter that I had no idea who they were. Apparently I missed the mass breakfast, so I was promptly given my own bowl of hrira (the rice with milk kind) before my host-nephew led me to his house to find his sister. No luck, so we went visiting. The morning of LEid is spent doing just that - visit everyone you know! So, I was fed all sorts of sweet heluwa (cakes) - and we're talking at 9 in the morning still. Then the fun really began. On the walk back home I saw a huge number of sheep in any given stage of the process - being led to slaughter, just been killed, hanging in garages, skins being peeled off, heads and feet being burned. At my home I in fact missed the first sheep being killed (but no matter, there's two more), since I stopped in the street for more greeting and to watch a sheep have it's insides pulled out. My family and I sat in their large shed, and my host my burned the head and feet of the first sheep, while the insides were pulled out and cleaned, and the fat dried. Promptly the liver, heart, intestines, and I'm sure some other bits and pieces were put on the grill, and everyone feasted on liver wrapped in fat and fat sandwiches. Then sheep two was killed, and not long after, sheep three met its maker.

Lunch was all sorts of innards - stomach, liver, intestines, and other unidentifiable pieces. Meanwhile, all of this was being washed down with copious amounts of tea - I think I've drunk more tea today than in the last two months combined. Not sure what dinner's going to be, as I understand the meat is not served until tomorrow. We've got three livers to get through though, so I'm guessing that will be on the menu. The intestines that I ate last night, by the way, not all that bad. I only had a couple of small pieces, but I can tick that box now.

It quieted down considerably after lunch, and it's now picking back up again - more people visiting the house. Since I live with one of the leaders of the community, its seems that everyone visits here at some point or another. In between people visiting, my host mum gets out a big basket that holds all the dried fat, and the livers, and starts wrapping them up…

If I had ever watched silence of the lambs, I'm sure it would be just like that. A very intense and bloody day.

Tomorrow is another day of holiday - not sure what that holds in store, but whatever happens, I'm pretty sure that there are going to be more innards in my innards before the end of the day.

On that note…


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