Shining A Light on the Dark Continent

Monthly Archives: March 2016

Tanzanite — my new favorite gem

Tanzania is the only place in the world the rare gemstone, tanzanite, comes from so, of course, Dave had to buy some stones while he was in Dar es Salaam.

Tanzanite is mined in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is becoming rare as the supply is depleted.
Tanzanite is mined in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is becoming rare as the supply is depleted.

“We went to Tanzanite Dream so I could buy a 1 carat stone for Vicki and half-carat stones for Marissa, Alanna and the three moms. I haven’t totaled the exact weight yet, but it’s about 4 carats,” Dave said.  He paid $1,400 for six stones, or $350 a carat – a good price. Also, the embassy vetted Tanzanite Dream to ensure they did not sell “blood” stones.

As he usually does, Dave made friends with the dealer, Hiram. Hiram told Dave there was only about 10 to 15 years’ worth of tanzanite left to mine and then the larger stones will increase in value first. He thought they would double in value. Hiram inherited the business from his father, who started it.

Hiram trusted Dave to put a down payment on the stones and transfer money to pay the balance when he got back to Camp Lemonnier. He also trusted another customer from Camp Lemonnier to pay later and let Dave take all the stones with him when he left.

“A trusting soul,” Dave said.

Explosion affects travel plans in Tanzania

As Dave prepared to leave Tanga for Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, he received word that an explosion closed the main airport. An accident at a military ammunition depot, caused the explosion killing 20 people, injuring 145 more and closed the airport. According to news reports, people felt the explosion 12 milesContinue Reading

Why can’t we all just get along?

Dave spoke with a village elder in Mamboleo Village while he was there inspecting the well. The elder said, although the village was 70 percent Muslim and 30 percent Christian, the two groups got along well together. In fact, most of the town attended the funeral of a Christian woman the day Dave was there.Continue Reading