Friday I was off from school since Friday was the start of Biaram. Biaram is a 4-day Muslim holiday amazingly enough quite similar to Thanksgiving. Friday you rest, and then on Saturday and Sunday you eat… sheep of course. But, part of the thing is you have to give at least 10% of your sheep away to those who can’t afford to buy one. Traditionally, you give this meat away to 7 different families so this is how my Saturday morning got started…
Good Morning Muganlo! As soon as I crawled out of bed on Saturday there was my host dad and brother slicing the head off a sheep and requesting my assistance in the butchering. I was more than glad to help, but I would have loved to have had the chance to at least have some coffee first. The butchering took about an hour and a half and my participation was somewhat limited to holding back flesh or holding up limbs while my host dad cut away skin and various parts. My family here decided to give away way more than 10% and I would say that nearly 1/3 of our sheep was cut up and put in seven different piles to be distributed. Half of it was put away for Sunday and the rest we put on skewers for lunch. These were the parts that need to be eaten right away so they don’t go bad. Liver, lungs, heart, kidneys, and yes… testicles. Still no coffee at this point, but I sure was presented with some grilled balls on my plate before noon. (Not as bad as you would think and at least they don’t eat the eyes like in Kazakhstan.)
The rest of Saturday was spent chopping and stacking wood. I thankfully was in charge of stacking since they don’t like how I just hack away at the wood with no regard for uniformity. My idea is if it burns, that’s good enough for me. Unfortunately the power went out for the third time this past week sometime during the night on Saturday so when I woke up Sunday morning I was freezing. The weather has really turned cold this week. Thursday is not supposed to get above freezing here.
A friend of mine came and visited on Sunday and the power was still off till about 4pm Sunday. But, it did come back on and we all had a great feast of… lamb. Again, the power went out in the middle of the night so Monday morning was also very cold. It was about 30 degrees when we got up to get ready to go to school and probably only 40 degrees in my room. My friend went to school with me to observe my classes and check out my school which he agreed was a POS building. He was also impressed that he could see his breath while walking down the hallways. I don’t see too many warm and happy moments coming up this winter that’s for sure. The power did come back on Monday after I got home from work around 5pm and I’m just hoping that it stays on for the whole night tonight.
So that’s it on the update for this week. Lots of funny stories from this week but no time to type them up. Below you’ll find the next episode of Muganlo TV but I warn you, if you don’t want to see sheep guts, just don’t watch it.