24 December 2010


We had a block party outside the hostel for Christmas Eve. The neighbors ordered a lechona, a roasted pig stuffed with rice and pork and vegetables. Chairs were set up in the street and the celebration began with a number of prayers, the singing of hymns, and then religious recitations that ended in many hail Marys.

I had not eaten much all afternoon thinking the pig was to be eaten around 8pm. But we did not eat the pig then and when the religious part of the evening ended after midnight we did not eat the pig then either. We ate sweets and a bit of cheese and a Colombian breaded ball with cheese that is traditional for Christmas. I sat near the pig smelling it and getting hungrier and I worried that the pig was getting cold. It was torture to be so hungry and to sit so close. We watched the neighborhood children open their gifts and we were told the pig would be eaten soon, very soon, and that a man who was gifted in the cutting pigs was on his way.


It was after 1am when the pig was cut. The pig was served in a small box with a square of crunchy pig skin and an arepa. The rice and pork was delicious and I had a few more servings. Fireworks went off and the party was on in Cali, music pumping all over city and people filling the streets and drinking until the sun came up in the morning.


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