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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last year she watched with a bit of horror ...

Each year, when we travel to Ethiopia to work with the kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory CarePoints, we provide a big feast for the kids and staff, and we help with the preparation, serving and clean-up.  Although sponsorship provides nutritious food for the kids everyday, this feast goes above and beyond with lamb for savory stew with large chunks of meat - as well as vegetables, fruit and a very rare treat - Coca Cola.

We work with the cook to plan the menu and to get the best prices for all of the ingredients. 

She requested 4 lambs, but we provided 8 so that the CarePoint had a few extra lambs to use over the next few weeks.  Until then, the extra lambs will graze around the CarePoint until it is time to become stew.

Lambs are purchased in different areas throughout the city, where herdsmen congregate with their fatted flocks.  A lamb typically costs about $40 US dollars if it is healthy and plump, and once it is purchased, it's ankles are tied together and it is loaded onto a roof rack or in a trunk for transport.  Almost every part is used for food, and even the hide is used for bedding (for sleeping on a dirt floor and providing a layer of protection from cold and hardness).

When the time comes, the lamb is slaughtered and bled quickly with a quick cut to the neck.  It is then skinned and hung from a rack to cut it into chunks of meat.  The guys on our volunteer team were happy to help with this preparation and even showed some of the kids from our volunteer team how to skin and butcher an animal. 

Even the vultures could tell there was a big feast at Kind Hearts and flew down for a closer look, hoping to score a chunk of meat.

Last year, Emme watched this entire process with a bit of horror ... this year she helped skin and butcher a lamb.  We tend to take the preparation of food for granted here in America because we are so distant from the actual slaughtering and butchering process (we get our meat in neatly wrapped white packages at the grocery store) and if we are in a hurry, we can have it served up immediately at any fast food restaurant.  Being involved in the entire process of food preparation (an all day event) in Ethiopia is very enlightening for all of our teenage volunteers!

Emme, watching in slight horror at the slaughtering and butchering of a lamb last year.

This year Emme, and the rest of the teens, helped skin one of the lambs.

Once the lamb is prepared, select pieces of meat are roasted over a fire while the rest is used to create a savory, meaty stew for injera.  We created a long assembly line from the kitchen to where the kids were sitting in the shade, so we could serve the kids quickly and not keep them waiting. 

Everyone's mouths were watering from the delicious smell of the stew.  Many of the kids asked for seconds and even thirds - and the little boys giggled as they showed each other how to shake their soda to get it to explode. :)

Once the meal was complete, the kids had a little time to play on the playground equipment, before they were ushered back into their classrooms for the afternoon.

Ryan helped wash the dishes after the meal so that the kids could get back
to their classrooms for an afternoon full of fun learning!

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