I knew that spending my birthday in the Philippines would be different than anything else I had ever experienced, but I had no clue what would actually happen.
Let me start with a question. What is the most unique birthday present you have ever received? Not necessarily the gift you liked the most, but rather what is that one present you will not forget.
I have my answer to that question for the rest of my life. I watched a goat go from the farm to my plate all within a few hours! The goat was a present from a goat raiser for my friends to enjoy for my birthday dinner. Talk about a great story!
If you just ate, are about to eat, have a weak stomach, or simply throw up easy, don’t read any further.
With camera in hand, I got to witness a goat get slaughtered, skinned, and cooked for my birthday celebration. The strangest part of the ordeal was that I could see and hear the other goats from the skinning site. This goat sort of served as a warning to the others saying, “If you are a boy who is not going to breed, you will be killed for dinner as soon as you get big enough.”
The first 30 minutes was sheer amazement for me. I could not tell you the last time I knew my supper had been EATING lunch just earlier that day. It was about as fresh as it could be.
I filmed the entire ordeal and took lots of photos. If you want to see them, let me know.
The locals around me were laughing. I am sure they were thinking, “Why is that crazy American taking photos with a grin on his face of supper being prepared?”
About an hour later, the goat was quartered and put in a bucket. I carried it to the kitchen about 150 yards away and began to put pieces on the chopping block (a spare 2x4 piece of wood laying close by) to start hacking away.
After it was all cut up and thrown into the boiling pot of water, vegetables were thrown in and mixed with ginger plus other spices to create a unique blend of tastes.
Fast-forward a few hours. We gathered all the necessary supplies and headed to the beach for dinner. Twelve people crowded into the back of a very small truck that would make a Ford Ranger look like a monster truck.
It was pitch black and low tide by the time we arrived at the beach. Rather than making a fire, we passed out plates and served up dinner in the dark. Enjoying each others company and looking out over the ocean, we ate the meal that had been prepared. It was peaceful bliss. There were no iPhones, laptops, or even electricity, yet it was a moment that made me feel completely connected. I was sharing an experience with friends and nothing else in the world mattered.
After a short devotional, we packed up and returned to our place for the evening.
There was a goat slaughtered because I was born 23 years ago…and it tasted delicious.