Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Every year on June 13th rural Paraguayans celebrate San Antonio Ara (St Anthony’s Day).  San Antonio is the saint of lost pigs.  Our friends here have told us that if their pig goes missing during the year they pray to San Antonio (a figurine that they have in their house).  If he helps their pig to return they promise to kill a pig in his honor on his day.  If the pig continues to go missing, they put a black cloth over San Antonio and/or stand him on his head until the pig is returned.

            Thursday we went to visit friends who were in the process of butchering a pig in preparation for San Antonio Ara.  I jumped in and helped them cut up fat chunks, scrap hairs from the skin and grind up a few meat chunks.  They invited us to return later to join them in a meal.

My kids are such troopers.  This is what we ate: fried pig fat, blood sausage, enrollando (pig parts wrapped in boiled pig skin, fried pig innards, and pig’s head stuffed with vegetables.

Our host giving us a little bit of everything

Even Josiah got in on the food action…and loved it

 Dried cow intestines waiting to be filled
pig tripe

CULTURAL LESSON: We always try to bring a gift when we visit.  Usually it’s brownies or cookies or bead of some sort.  This time we brought coke to add to the feast.  During the dinner, however, they turned down the coke and insisted that we drink wine.  And so it went a couple rounds – them declining the coke and us declining their wine.  When Jeff offered coke to their children they spoke up, “We cannot drink Coke because it is sweet and our pig is salty.”  My memory replayed a scene several years ago when I bought a chocolate cake to our friend’s house who grilled us a wonderful pig dinner.  I hadn't understood (until jut this moment) why she never served my cake.  Yes, to a Paraguayan, a combo of sweet and salty would for sure make you have stomach problems for life.    

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