Thanksgiving Roast

by John Cropsey

One memorable moment growing up in Togo was when my dad, the son of hog farmers, decided to roast a whole pig on a spit for one of the holidays.  I was pretty young, so I can't remember if it was Thanksgiving or Christmas or some other shindig, but I do remember that it was an all day affair that none of us boys ever forgot.  It was a special memory. 

At one point as I walked around the edge of the fire pit as us four Cropsey boys tended to the fire, I slipped off the log and my foot briefly entered the coals.  Fortunately, it was one of those rare moments this MK (missionary kid) was actually wearing shoes.  Unfortunately, these were "holy" shoes, and I don't mean spiritually.  A coal weaseled its way into one of the holes and lodged itself nicely onto my little pig toe.  That little piggy got roasted.  I yelped and ran like a banshee as apparently I hadn't yet learned the American mantra of "Stop, Drop and Roll".  My older brothers had to tackle me and rip my shoe off.   

Thankfully, the next time I was involved in a holiday freak fire accident, I had learned my lesson.  It was at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya 2010 when one of our Kenyan colleagues had her dress catch fire while lighting a sterno chafing dish heater that then exploded.  She pulled a classic "Cropsey" maneuver and took off running, her dress in flames. I full-out tackled this dainty Kenyan woman on the spot like a Michigan linebacker and beat the flames out with my hand while another doc ripped a tablecloth off of a fully set table like a magician and smothered her. Her dress was a bit worse for the wear, but she suffered only minor burns. She can thank my big brothers for teaching me "Stop, Drop and Roll" so well.

So, fast-foward 10 years, and you better believe I jumped at the chance when a fellow missionary here in Burundi, Isai Torres, offered to slaughter one of his pigs and have a pig roast at Kibuye for Thanksgiving.  What follows is a photo journal of the event.

The good "Dr" Isai Torres prepping the subject

Pre-salting, subject resting quietly

Transfer to the operating table

"Dr" Torres opening the belly for insertion of the secret herbs

"Dr" Torres closing the belly with a perfect, running suture. 
Someone may have missed their calling in life as a surgeon!

Preparing for the rigid sigmoidoscopy

Dr Jenn at work as several Kibuye children simultaneously vow to become
life-long vegetarians (until they tasted the final product)!

Let the roasting begin... Note, the childproof pit sides so no one gets hurt this year;)

Pop, sizzle x 3.5 hours . . . the skin was the most amazing part!

A happy Thanksgiving crew...

We have much to be thankful for at Kibuye. But our biggest Thanksgiving blessing was hearing the news that our much awaited teachers who had been delayed 3 months in the USA due to airport closure and visa issues could finally make the trip to Burundi! They just arrived yesterday after finishing their quarantine in Bujumbura. Now they will finish another 10 days of quarantine here in Kibuye. Welcome Wilands and Erica!!!

During hotel quarantine

On release to the wild!


Aunt Star said...

You are one special person!

Sarah said...

Wow, now that is a Thanksgiving feast! Amazing! And so glad to hear that your teachers have arrived.

Rebekah said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Kibuye! And welcome, teachers!

Stephanie said...

Wow! Way to take the Thanksgiving feast to a whole new level. My Kids had two quotes this Thanksgiving that showed how Kibuye culture has become their norm. 1st) "It feels weird celebrating Thanksgiving on a Thursday." 2nd) "I miss the ham."

Unknown said...

Perfect doctor description of the prepatory details! Thanksgiving luau!!