(This is part of an ongoing series chronicling memories of my life growing up as a missionary kid in Vanuatu. For links to previous posts you can go here)
As a child everyone has jobs. One of mine was to take the scraps down to the pigs.
The collage always had a few pigs - they are necessary for important feasts, like graduation. While we were at Talua they lived down the back, behind the married quarters. A little track lead through a bit of bush, and then there was a sheer drop, below us was where the pigs lived.
They lived in a sort of hollow of old coral and volcanic rock, with a large area for the pigs to run around. There were steep walls all the way around so they couldn't escape. Any fruit or vegetable scraps were thrown down for them to eat. The pigs would hear you coming, and would stand below you making a racket waiting to see what you brought them.
I wasn't a huge fan of feeding the pigs - I always had visions of falling into the pit, and being trampled to death. The pigs were huge and ugly and smelt.
But about once a year one of the sows would get bigger and then give birth to a litter of piglets. Then I loved going - the piglets were adorable! So little and funny as they squealed and tried to chase each other around the enclosure.
I once tried to convince Mum and Dad that we could have a piglet as a pet, I thought we could make a little enclosure near our house from chicken wire and keep it. (I may or may not have been reading Charlotte's Web at the time). Thankfully Mum and Dad decided it would not be a good idea, especially considering that piglets grow into big pigs soon enough.
Funnily enough my attachment to the piglets never stopped me eating them at a feast. Nothing tastes quite as good as a pig that has been cooked underground with hot stones. It's juicy and smokey and delicious.