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Cecile Raley Designs — madagascar

Madagascar Part 3 - More Gem Buying and Saying Farewell

Posted by Cecile 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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Yvonne Goes to Africa

Posted by Cecile Raley on

Yes, this is really happening, a dream come true. On August 17th, in just a few days, I'll be flying first to Germany to see my mom and then to two of the world's most famous gem paradises: Madagascar and Tanzania. This trip has been in the planning stages for about a year. My friend Jochen Hintze from Jentsch Mineralien, a German geologist who travels to Africa up to 10 times a year, is going to...

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