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Cecile Raley Designs — madagascar

The Story of Cecile Raley Designs: Tucson, Africa and Colombia

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

The Story of Cecile Raley Designs: Tucson, Africa and Colombia

The year was 2013. I was driving to work, and just as I turned off the highway, a huge billboard came into view.  It read: “Mineral and Fossil show, Secaucus NJ.” Hm, I thought, I should check that out.  I went right on opening night.  As I strolled through the aisles, my eye fell on a really neat pile of tanzanite slices, and in typical fashion, I started to sort through them, not even looking up at the salesperson behind the table.  “Tanzanites,” a voice said, “no treatment, from my last trip to Tanzania.” The accent was clearly German.  I...

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Africa Revisited - A New Trip

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Africa Revisited - A New Trip

This coming Monday I am leaving on my second trip to Africa.  I will be revisiting some of the places of last time and adding a couple new ones. 

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Madagascar Part 3 - More Gem Buying and Saying Farewell

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

After I had been in Madagascar for four days, the brokers started to get to know my taste in gems, called their vendors in return and produced nicer pieces for me. You see the broker is only the middle man (or woman in this case). Some brokers know a lot, some don't. But they are told to make a high price and then see. If you come back with reasonable offers (not trying to rip them off but also...

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My Trip to Madagascar, Famadihana

Posted by Cecile Raley on

As I reported in my previous blog post, I got a very intimate sense of living in Madagascar when I was invited to an exhumation. The locals call it 'Famadihana': Turning of the Bones. This is the tradition of exhuming the bodies of the dead, which takes place every 3-7 years, depending on the family's wishes. The body is removed from the mausoleum or dug out of the ground. Bodies are wrapped in...

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My Trip To Madagascar - Part One

Posted by Cecile Raley on

We arrived safely in Antanarivo, Madagascar, after a few hiccups: baggage not checked through, plane delay, long lines upon arrival and a nail in the tire on the way to Antsirabe. We got to the airport at 2 a.m. The airport is small and a big plane from Italy arrived before us - too much for the police to handle so it took a while to get through all the lines. Our arrival party, Jochen's friend...

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