Cashews are the main source of income for this poor country. The good thing about cashew season is there are all kinds of foods available in the village, clothes, jewelry, and everyone is happy. The unfortunate thing is everyone spends all their money as fast as they earn it and they are left with nothing at the end of the season. In a few months people will be back to begging for money for rice. Another unfortunate part of cashew season is the amount of drinking alcohol that goes on. The cashew fruit turns into wine overnight and it is widely made, sold and consumed.
I have enjoyed working alongside some women in the village to help them collect cashews and Michael has even helped to take the nut off the fruit. It has been a good way for us to practice our language and to form relationships.
One thing I have learned is that cashew season may be a lot of fun because of all the fun things going on in the village, but it is a lot of hard work. Collecting cashews is back breaking work, as you stand bent over for hours walking through the orchard picking cashews off the ground. I have a new appreciation for the people here, and for the price of cashews in the states. They are every bit worth the amount they cost.