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Cecile Raley Designs

My Trip To Tanzanian - Part II

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Day two in Arusha, Tanzania. The day started with a visit to one of Jochen's suppliers, a long time dealer in gemstone rough, one of the richest men in Arusha who has also supplied to a few dealers I know here in NY.. T. who has to remain nameless for security reaons, is a White African native in his early 60s and like all the other dealers there, totally hooked on what he does. T. showed me a...

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My Trip To Tanzania - Part II

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Day two in Arusha, Tanzania. The day started with a visit to one of Jochen's suppliers, a long time dealer in gemstone rough and one of the richest men in Arusha, who has also supplied to a few dealers I know here in NY. T. who has to remain nameless for security reasons, is a White African native in his early 60s and, like all the other dealers there, he is totally hooked on what he does. T....

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My Trip to Tanzania

Posted by Cecile Raley on

We left for the airport at Antanarivo (Tana), Madagascar, in the early morning hours to catch the mid-day flight to Nairobi, Kenya with a connecting flight to Kilimanjaro (Kili), Tanzania. Travel involved a 3 to 4 hr car ride from Antsirabe to Tana, and then a meeting with the local mining office for export. An export fee is hashed out based on our purchases. It seems to be rather fluid and is...

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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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