Although goat may not seem like an everyday meal, missionary kids at John Brown don’t kid around when it comes time for the goat roast in Siloam.
“Chicken and sides offered for the less brave,” the invitation reads for those interested in feasting on goat at this year’s roast on March 2.
The event is held annually at the home of Billy and Mindi Stevenson. It involves a gathering of missionary kids, international students, and other students alike to enjoy goat and one another’s company.
“It’s not a time to just stuff your face and leave like the caf; it’s more a time of enjoying, talking, and spending time together,” said junior Tabitha Greenwood, president of MuKappa, the missionary kid organization.
Unlike a normal dinner gathering, the goat roast is a whole day event that involves purchasing a live goat, making the meal, eating, playing soccer and having fun.
“In Kenya, a goat roast is such a big deal and something you do for someone important,” Greenwood said. “The guys spend hours slaughtering the goat and cooking it.”
Stevenson and a few students will order the goat off Craigslist and take good care of the goat before it becomes the meal for the event.
For those worried about the treatment of the goat, Greenwood said the process is done humanely and the students in charge are responsible and experienced.
“It was definitely a new experience as I have never eaten goat before,” said sophomore Daniel Penner, treasurer of MuKappa.
Penner enjoyed his first time at the event last year and said it was good to interact and hang out with friends.
“I’m not super courageous when it comes to eating new foods, but it was a nice new flavor,” Penner said. “I’m super excited to go again this year.”
Both Penner and Greenwood acknowledged that this is an important event for the MKs and international students as it can hold memories of home.
“It’s something that every MK can relate to,” Greenwood said. “Not the eating of goat, but the idea of spending relaxed time together.”
Greenwood, an Ecuador native, said they do pig roasts where she is from, but it’s not quite the same experience. She encouraged all people to come and added that it is such a good representation of culture and the individuality that the University encourages.
“So many people have wanted to come that we’ve opened it up to everyone,” she said. “It’s appealing to people because it is so strange and exotic.”
“JBU is so into being different and I think MKs and Americans love being unique,” Greenwood said. “It’s fun to participate in something that isn’t normal.”
“The longer the goat sits on the fire, the better it is. This is such a picture of the goat roast, as the purpose is to have a great time of community,” Greenwood said. “It’s something that is going to be a memory even if you just go one year.”