Friday, 9 December 2011

Community members continue to enjoy pork on Sundays

In the last week or so I have felt the reality of the warzone intensify. There has been combat and shots and illegal armed actors threatening civilians and encroaching on Peace Community territory. I have felt this situation acutely as my mind and general wellbeing are affected by a reality which is entirely foreign to what I am used to. And of course the people here cannot understand this, as all they know is the warzone. All they know is violence encroaching on their space as they try to assert themselves and non-violently push back so that their community is not forced to collapse, as so many others have, under the constant pressures of the conflict.

But it’s amazing the way that life continues in this space, and there are moments when you can forget it’s a conflict zone and people dance and chat and life continues even under immense strain and pressures.

At random times we hear shots and military helicopters passing. But what woke me the other night was loud and intense, it shocked me awake and scared me. It was perhaps 3am when I heard the tormented squeals of what I later had confirmed was a pig being slaughtered. On Saturday nights a pig is often killed so that its meat is fresh to be sold as the campesino day begins (around 5am) so many of the families in the village can enjoy pork on Sundays. The place where they kill the animals is right beside my bedroom (our house is wooden and the first morning I was here, when somebody walked past I actually thought they were in my bedroom, just to give you an idea of how clearly you hear things). Of course, I had to learn this the hard way.