The cow slaughter consisted of three initial phases - the tying and securing of said cow, a carefully placed knife cut at the base of the skull, and the opening of the jugular artery. It was not nearly as gruesome or as loud as I expected. Also, I was surprised to see that a cow that size does not have nearly as much blood as I would have guessed.
After the jugular was cut, and the cow was laying on it's side, our butcher stood on it holding it's tail and kind of riding it like a surfboard. It created a rocking motion which served to keep blood pumping out of the neck. Very strange. Here's where it really got interesting, though...next a small hole was cut in the front calf just below the knee. A piece of re-bar (iron rod) was then shoved into the hole along the leg and up to the spine...but passing just under the skin to separate the membrane holding the skin on. Then the butcher put his MOUTH on the hole and started BLOWING. (I told you it would get interesting) After he had filled the pocket between skin and muscle with as much air as he could, he tied the leg off with a rag tourniquet to hold the air in. He then proceeded to hit the skin with the re-bar repeatedly until the air forced itself to spread out and loosen more skin. The rag was removed and this process was repeated for at least an hour to loosen up all the skin and get it ready for removal. At one point it started blowing up like a baloon. I won't go any further.
The convention is going along very well, a few glitches and surprises - but nothing out of the ordinary when you are trying to "plan" something in Haiti. Each service grows in size, the music and preaching have been well-received, and we haven't had any major security or health problems arise. Britt did put some stitches in a head last night from a rock cut, though. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's baptisms and the showing of "The Passion of The Christ" movie.
There are currently a few hundred people sleeping here on the grounds and in all the classrooms and in the church. Supposedly tomorrow we'll have many many more. All I can say right now is this: It is loud here. Apparently Haitian people NEVER sleep. The singing started this morning at four a.m. and the noise hasn't stopped since. It is a joyful noise, though, and the convention has been blessed. I'm sure it is all directed to the Lord and pleasing and glorifying to Him...but it does make it a little tough to sleep. Or think. Again, more details to follow when time and energy and quiet allow.