Although not from Hawaii, I get a lot of localness transferred to me by my significant other who is not only born and bred here but is actually Hawaiian. For as long as he can remember, his family has cooked pig in the traditional Hawaiian way, in an imu. Despite being a vegetarian and feeling not so great when I see a giant 400 pound dead pig waiting to be put in the imu, I know quite a bit about the process. So I knew a friend of ours was really in a bind when she called frantically earlier in the week because her cousin’s fundraiser for kalua pig, the one that they had already sold 200 tickets for, was pig-less. The guy who was supposed to deliver the pig didn’t and the Tai Kwan Do Club ticket holders who were supposed to get their kalua pig last weekend hadn’t.
Keanu called his Dad and they figured out how to get the imu going with short notice. Cousins were mobilized and beer purchased. The gentleman from the Club was in charge of picking up the pig, not something that most folks have experience in. It was supposed to be going into the imu at around six but when the pig was picked up the people who provided it were not going to gut it. Keanu’s Uncle, apparently a pig gutting maestro, was contacted and the guy with the pig in his truck met him in Waipio. The Uncle ended up cleaning the pig in the parking lot of a relative’s apartment complex. Yes, the visual is stunning!
I love this story. I love that there is a go-to pig gutting guy in the family. A guy that just says, sure bring the pig over and can get the job done in fifteen minutes. This is part of the magic of Hawaii. The extensive family which typically can provide any good or service, on either side of the law. I have come to be part of this family. It is one of the things that is so opposite from my tiny bitty N.Y. family and one of the things that will help me know that Keanu is OK here in Hawaii for six months without us. And, let me know if you need some emergency pig gutting, I got a guy in my family.