Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 21 - Tanzanite and Maasai Markets

Hi Guys,

It's Saturday so no work today!

Leonie, Sandy, Tania, Aynsley, Jenny Sv and I went to TanzaniteOne in Arusha. TanzaniteOne is a company that owns mining rights to part of the Tanzanite mining area. Hanna had a hair appointment in Arusha so Louis drove us all there.

We went to the store and were taken on a tour and watched a video that explained the history of Tanzanite. Tanzanite was originally discovered by a Maasai man in 1967 and was named by the Tiffany jewellry company in 1968. Tanzanite is only mined in Tanzania and can only be found in a 16 square km area at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This means that it is relatively rare. It is said to be 1000 times rarer than diamonds and is estimated to be mined out within the next 25 years. We were then shown through to the shop. The stones come in many different colours. The most common colours are violetish/blue and blueish/violet but it also comes in clear, yellow, pink and green. I purchased a small violetish/blue stone for 395 000 shillings ($237 AUD). I got a certificate with it stating it's weight, grading and authenticity.

After buying Tanzanite, Louis took us to a Chinese restraunt for lunch. Lunch was really good the service was the quickest we have experienced since being in Tanzania. We shouted Louis lunch for driving us to Arusha and it cost us about 10 000 shillings each ($6 AUD). I still can't get over how cheap it is to eat a nice meal out here. I am also suprised at how good the food is at the restraunts!

We then went to the Maasai markets in Arusha. There were a heap of shops all bunched together and all selling the same stock in the middle of the city. I got each of you boys (including you, Steve) a Tanzanian soccer shirt. I paid 17 000 shillings ($10.22 AUD) each. I also got a little tiny salt dish with a spoon for 10 000 shillings ($6 AUD) from a different store. I am pretty sure I paid way to much for it but it was one of those situations where I was stuck in a store by myself with the store owner pressuring me into buying something. It is hard not to feel bad for them sometimes so you just give in. I like it and I will probably use it so it doesn't really matter in the end.

I am having a quite night in tonight. I will probably watch a couple of shows on the Xoom (provided I can remember how to get them to play) and work out my budget for the next week.

Tomorrow morning I am planning on attending an Assembly of God church service with a couple of the other girls. I will be leaving here at 8:30am so I will try to give you guys a call before that (about 1:30 -2:30pm your time).

I love you all and I hope you are enjoying the school holidays <3

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