African Gemstones

#idazzletravels: Kenya and Tanzania Part Two: The Mines

As I described in Part One, I’m obsessed with the gems I find in East Africa, both mineral and of the human variety. But I’m not gonna lie. Seeing the gem mines is a huge reason that I travel to East Africa. Who knew that I’d tolerate cargo pants and snarled hair and red dirt [...]

#idazzletravels: Gem Hunting or Why I Go To Africa

I’m just back from my latest trip to Africa. I wish that I could post relatively live from Tanzania and Kenya, but it turns out that WIFI there is short for “Works In-Frequently and Intermittently”. I have some souvenirs: Maasai beadwork and some impressive bug bites. Despite…

#idazzletravels: 2014 Arusha Gem Show in Tanzania

“Karibu!” This word means welcome in Swahili, and welcomed I was throughout my visit to Tanzania. The word feels like a hug when spoken by the generous residents of Arusha. I traveled to Tanzania for the November 2014 Arusha Gem Fair

Sharing the Rough: Into the Mine!

I am on the precipice. Can I do it? The sun beats down on my uncovered head, dazzling my eyes against the dark hole yawning about seventy feet down below. I’m standing on the edge of a gemstone mine in Kenya, with a decision to make. It is now or maybe never. The mouth of [...]

idazzle Goes to Africa: First Days and Impressions

As I was on my way to Africa to join the crew making Sharing the Rough, I had some thoughts about making a trip to Africa that was focused on the gem mining trade. I’ll be posting more about what I’ve actually experienced…