Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We took care of the body.

Just in time for halloween one of the strangest and creepiest things I've done to date happened with my host family in Entre Rios. It involved opening a real coffin, dealing with a skeleton, and black trash bags. Believe me, it's just a strange as it sounds!

For the background of the story, we were spending the weekend at my host grandma's casa in Concepcion del Uruguay, Entre Rios. This house has been in the family for a very, very long time and they've had the same neighbors for all of that time also. About 3 months ago the man who lived in the neighboring house passed away. Instead of burying people in the ground like we do it the states, they put the caskets in wall crypts and they also don't embalm the body so you can sometimes smell them decomposing which is disgusting! The man's daughter, who now owns the house lives in the US currently and asked my host family if they could do a big favor.

Because Bob Ross
Like I said, they are buried in wall crypts that must be paid for, like rent, to keep your family member there. The daughter didn't want to have to pay for 2 crypts when she could just combine them into one location so she asked us to go and move her grandmother's body into the same crypt as her dad. I ASSUMED that meant that we would need to move to coffin to a new area, but then we had to stop to pick up black trash bags and I got a little worried...

We went to the cemetery and got some of the employees to open up the mother's crypt. The brought along a shove and a broom which made me even more worried than I originally was. The pulled the coffin out and laid in on the ground then pried it open with the shovel rather ungracefully. With no gloves they reached in and began pulling out the bones and shoving them into a black trash bag. I saw the skull and a foot that hadn't decomposed for some reason. It was a train wreck you couldn't look away from. I should also note that my family was a freaked out as I was this whole time.

After they picked through the decomposed remains of the fabric and wood they decided they had gotten all of the body and wiped their brows (EWWWWW) and knotted up the bag. They then opened the son's crypt and shoved the bag in beside the coffin, thank god they didn't open his!

It was just so disrespectful and gross and weird. That's also why I have no pictures, I didn't want to add to the disrespect we were already doing this woman. Her name was Argentina, which I found kind of funny and she died in 1958. Hopefully she doesn't come back to haunt us.

After that we were all kind of in shock as to what we had just saw and went to visit the grave of my host mom's father and some other relatives. As we were doing this we saw the three men pushing past a cart with the remains of the coffin on it. A piece of the once white but now brown and gross fabric flew off onto the path.

It was the most bizarre experience I've ever had in my whole life. My host family told me that, that is NOT a common thing and it was extremely freaky to them also but at least I have an awesome story now!

It's one of those things that just makes me say, only in Argentina!!

Happy Halloween!!! Celebrate extra hard for me since Argentina is silly and doesn't celebrate the best holiday of the year.


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