So…I killed a sheep today. Well, I helped Baltezar kill one, and then sort of helped him kill another one. For some reason dissecting my formaldehyde-soaked frog in 9th-grade bio didn’t quite prepare me for the whole cutting the jugular and whatnot. I didn’t have much of a role in the whole process, except helping Baltezar hogtie the sheep’s feet together, holding the pan under the sheep’s neck while it bled out, and then holding up it’s legs while he pulled its skin off.

The whole thing started when Baltezar asked me and Mads what our plan was for the day. No, we didn’t reply, “hmm, great question, I feel like killing some lambies.” No, we said we planned on heading to the big city — Cusco — for a taste of high society, and mostly wifi. He said, “ok, that’s great. I’m going to kill some sheep and sell the meat to pay for our electricity bill, do you want to watch?” Here I like to think my espanol is good enough and I could pretend that this whole conversation elicited a “wiki whhhaaatt?” from me. But alas, I only nodded along at the recognizable word oveja — sheep. Once Mads translated however, we both were a little dumbfounded. As Baltezar headed to the nearest town, Izcuchaca, to see what the market-rate was for a kilo of sheep, I decided, why not try my hand at killin’ some livestock?

I think the best part of the whole process was watching Baltezar essentially jump on top of the fattest sheep he could pick out, grabbing the scruff of their necks, and then flipping them upside-down to tie their feet together. Somehow Babe skipped over that part. The whole killing part was about as much to be expected. I’m glad all I had to do was hold the pan to collect the blood. Baltezar the butcher, as I shall now call him, was quite masterful. He worked with basically a kitchen knife that looked like my old Ikea standby, and kept sharpening it on a nearby cinder block. The whole thing took about two hours, but it was really bizzare how quickly the sheep went from an animal to meat. Once we wrapped and washed up, I told Mads I wasn’t sure if this made me want to eat meat more, or less…

Eventually, we did in fact make our way to Cusco. After checking into our trusty Dragonfly Hostel, we absorbed as much wifi as possible — once I (sort of) figured out how to work apps on my netbook. We also treated ourselves to dinner, at a restaurant, where I did, in fact, order the local hen. It was pretty damn tasty.

Las palabras del dia

Las garrapatas – ticks
El hueso – bone
El sangre – blood

August 17, 2013