24 feb. 2015

Fascinating Fabulous Friday

We got to visit this amazing cashew factory in literally bufu Tianyar. After bouncing around in the cricked dirt road, we arrived to this remarkable place up in the mountains, surrounded by nothing except magical green cashew trees. While there we got a guided tour of the one and only Grace, an American intern at the cashew factory, who had been living with us, the Yayasan crew, for awhile.

It was truly amazing to see how they use and produce this beyond tasty nut, which they make in all kinds of flavors and forms. A factory which is constantly expanding, not only cashew-wise but also from an educational and a social development perspective. East West Bali cashew factory is a company there 95 % of the employees are women from this small village up in the mountains. Therefore they have started a kindergarten at this factory, simply to make it possible for these women to have a real work and to earn their own money, since their reality is the unpaid everyday work of cooking and raising children.

A captivating visit which both broth tons of cashews in my belly, cashew-knowledge in my brain, delicious rosella tea, newborn babyrabbits and some wonderful dancing to weird Super Mario sounding dubstep, with some of the local employees, and not to forget, the village priest who moved his hips like no other.

The afternoon did as well contain some cultural experiences. While home, we quickly dressed up in our Balinese sarongs and walked a few steps to our student’s Resma and Ristas house next door. Their baby sister had her 6 month ceremony. A tradition where the baby touches the ground for the first time. This is also the time when they completely shaves the baby’s head. We got to sit together with the family and the priests, in their gorgeous family temple, surrounded by all kinds of offerings, beautiful baskets of flower and fruit offerings, as for a huge grilled pig and a chicken.

 Another ceremony where the priest made some true magic. I tell you, it does really feel like some spiritual mystical magic going on. The bells, the humming, the incents, and all of their beautiful matching clothing. Magical.

The dreamlike feeling yet remains even though both of the priest’s cell phones rings, in the middle of the procedure. Twice. A funky western pop tune, but then again, also a reminder that we are not that different after all.

As it started to get dark, the electricity went off, completely. We certainly made the best of it and gathered around a bonfire of coconuts, with homemade s’mores á la Bali.

A Fascinating Fabulous Unforgettable Friday for sure. 

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