HOGS AND HYGIENE
Hats off to the hogs! They are sure to conquer the world. When the advanced nations have blown each other to pieces and the impoverished nations have perished in a sea of disease, it will be the pigs, fat and healthy, who survive!
What a failure are we human beings by comparison—physically at least. How careful we have to be with our diet, with our hygiene, not to collapse with diseases.
After a day of treating the sick, when I go to the “monte” (in this case, the bushes above the river) to relieve my bowels I am impressed by the unvanquishable health of these shit-eating swine. One day when I met José returning from the river I asked if he had been “bañando,” and he replied, no, he had been “batallando con los coches.” There could not be a more apt phrase to describe “going to the bathroom” here where there are no bathrooms. The process is always a battle. If one does not carry rocks with him to fight off the hungry hogs they are apt to knock one over where one squats, so impatient are they for their dinner! If the grown men of Ajoya carry slingshots in their pockets it is not to shoot at birds, but rather to defend themselves from the hogs when at stool. (On my first trip to México, before I had learned better, I hurried out one night in the dark, and was nuzzled in the backside by the wet snout of an over-eager pig.)
The, hogs in Ajoya perform the function formerly assigned the Harigeri or Untouchable class in India. It is hard to imagine what a stench there would be in the “alrededores” of the pueblo without this self-appointed and ceaselessly active clean-up crew. Yet when I see infants with distended bellies and worms coming out of their nostrils, or children whose stools are bloody with dysentery, while the pigs returning from “el monte” wander happily into the casas and into the cocinas, I cannot help thinking that somehow there must be a better solution.
It has not been my intention to try to change any major factors in the village life, but I have found myself making an all out campaign to construct to construct “escusados.” * So far it has done no good.