Guinea: A Muslim, A Jew, And A Lifeless Christian

As I write this text about my very latest journey to Guinea and Sierra Leone, I’m sitting in my resort room on the Lodge Bronte in Harare, Zimbabwe. That is my first journey to Zimbabwe and … Wait a minute. I’m in the midst of my journey right here and never prepared to put in writing about this journey but. You’ll simply have to attend for my article on shopping for diamonds in Zimbabwe to seek out out what I used to be about to say.

This text is about my journey to Guinea and Sierra Leone. As a aspect observe, a few of you’ll have seen that my final article on Sierra Leone has been faraway from my web site. I’m sorry to have eliminated the article, however there have been individuals in Sierra Leone who had been upset by what I wrote and requested me in a “agency” approach to please take away it from my web site. This text isn’t a alternative; reasonably it’s a new expertise I wish to share with you. I imagine my expertise could also be of worth to those that want to do tough diamond enterprise in Guinea.

I used to be booked to go to Sierra Leone with a brand new shopper from Egypt. Though born in Egypt, he grew up in Western Canada. Mas, (not his actual title) is 38 years previous, very smart, astute, and has an ideal humorousness. (Anybody who laughs at my unhealthy jokes should have an ideal humorousness) Mas is a lean, imply, enterprise machine. He’s a self-made multi-millionaire and doesn’t endure fools simply. Mas is the second Muslim shopper I’ve labored with, and the primary Arab. Eventually, each Jew ought to have their first Arab. Regardless of what many might imagine, Jews and Arabs have an ideal deal in frequent. For those who go away politics and faith apart, you’ll discover many similarities, albeit, few could admit to it.

Mas and I obtained alongside from our first dialog. By the center of our two weeks collectively in Sierra Leone and Guinea, we grew to become ok associates to make Jewish and Muslim jokes about one another. Mas nailed me with some Jewish stereotype one liners that had been simply hilarious and I used to be capable of hit him with some barbs that expressed even irreverent assaults on Arabs. We did all this with out resorting to violence.

Curiously, throughout our conversations on Arab and Jewish tradition, we each got here to the conclusion, that if Arabs and Jews may ever reconcile and be part of forces, they might rule the world. Now wouldn’t that be scary?

A couple of days earlier than I used to be to go to Sierra Leone, a detailed buddy, who can be a shopper, known as me up and informed me he had some reliably massive parcels of tough diamonds out there in Guinea. He informed me the stones had come to him by his lawyer. He requested me to talk along with his lawyer, and see if it made sense to go have a look at the products in Guinea. Since I used to be already going to Sierra Leone, I known as up the lawyer.

The lawyer, who I’ll name Mit, is about 60 odd years previous, a Princeton Graduate, a former senior Vice President of a significant American Financial institution and licensed to observe legislation in a number of states. Having executed a really thorough background examine on Mit, I used to be very comfortable to be coping with an sincere, skilled, clever, spiritual Christian. Mit had additionally attended seminary faculty and needed to make a distinction on this drained previous world of ours.

Mit was linked to an African-American Pastor. I point out he’s African-American, not as a result of he’s black, however as a result of he was born in Sierra Leone. He grew up in america and have become a citizen of this nation. Mit knowledgeable me that the Pastor was an engineer who had labored for Honeywell for 30 years. The Pastor was a tall, good wanting man in his early 60's who was clearly charismatic and had heat eyes and a prepared smile. It seems I do know the Pastor, as he and his affiliate had contacted me a number of occasions up to now.

After listening to Mit and the Pastor, they satisfied me there was an actual alternative in Guinea. Based on the Pastor, quite a few native Guinea miners had entrusted the great Pastor to promote the miner's inventory of diamonds. The story informed, was that the Pastor's mom was a missionary who had spent a lifetime serving to the poor in Guinea, and that due to the mom, the Pastor was entrusted.

The tough diamonds I used to be to view, and hopefully purchase, had been the mixed inventory of a number of miners and could possibly be seen and evaluated at an exporter's workplace in Guinea. I known as my Egyptian shopper and informed him in regards to the purchase. He was , however the complete worth of the parcel was past his funds. I then known as one other shopper and requested if he would associate with my Egyptian shopper. Upon settlement between my two shoppers, preparations to go to Guinea from Sierra Leone had been made.

After I journey in Sierra Leone to Kenema and Kono and different bush areas, I journey with a safety element. Going to Guinea, we had been accompanied by an exquisite man who preparations our safety. He has “pull” in Sierra Leone and is well-known by the proper individuals in Guinea. As well as, he speaks French, so making our journey a lot simpler. I cannot inform you what number of occasions we had been spared expense and hassles due to this man.

The street to Guinea takes about 9 hours from Freetown. The street in Sierra Leone is sweet by African requirements. Nonetheless, as soon as we handed the quite a few checkpoints into Guinea, the street grew to become a nightmare. It is best to know that once you drive to Guinea from Sierra Leone, you’ll encounter at least 15 checkpoints. A number of are shut collectively on the Guinea aspect, the place it’s essential to current your papers, and the place your baggage shall be searched. I need to say, the entire factors on each side of the border had been manned by skilled staffs that had been each courteous and pleasant. In fact, it doesn’t harm to have a acknowledged, excessive rating safety man with you on such events.

Upon arrival, we met with Mit. Mit is a smallish, considerably weak or frail wanting man with poor eyesight and heavy glasses. Maybe, to cover his lack of bodily stature, he has a fast and considerably explosive mood. I used to be on the receiving finish of his over reacting mood a number of occasions. That being mentioned, he’s a honest man and since his anger points, is kind of good and likeable.

Mit organized for us to fulfill the Pastor the subsequent morning. At our assembly, the Pastor appeared very honest and defined how he needed to make use of the funds he would make on this deal to assist the individuals in Sierra Leone and Guinea. I favored him. He was clearly very clever, articulate and detailed our enterprise such as you would anticipate an engineer to work.

Our assembly on the exporter's workplace was organized for that afternoon. Mit, Mas and I had been picked up in a really good Land Rover by the Pastor and his younger driver. As we strove to the assembly, the Pastor handed the time speaking of his relationship with the miners. Though Guinea is usually a Muslim nation, he was capable of make inroads into the villages as a result of he would herald containers of donated meals and clothes for the poor. He believed he may unfold the Phrase, if he helped to alleviate the individuals's struggling. I may see why Mit held him in such excessive regard. As a matter of truth, Mit had attended among the good Pastor's sermons and was fairly moved by his preaching.

We arrived on the exporter's workplace. It was a compound with 12 foot excessive, mild brown coloured, stucco partitions. The wall surrounded your entire compound, and for additional safety, the home windows had been protected with iron bars. It was a pleasant place, and appears like it’s used as each an workplace and a residence. There was a late mannequin purple Porches sitting in entrance of the home. As we had been ushered into the workplace, I noticed the exporter. I used to be instantly relieved as a result of I do know him, and have had a pair enterprise dealings with him within the final two years.

After exchanging pleasantries, we sat right down to do enterprise. The exporter knowledgeable me that they’d a number of parcels they usually had already been sealed for Kimberley Certificates. Equally, one other purchaser had contracted to buy the parcels, paid for the taxes and on the final second couldn’t pay for the stones. He requested me to not break the seals with out I used to be severe about shopping for the stones as it will invalidate the KPC.

I had had a name from London a day earlier than I left for Sierra Leone. The younger man, who known as, informed me he wanted my assist. He mentioned, he had contracted to purchase a parcel in Guinea, had paid the taxes from his personal funds, after which his purchaser backed out of the deal on the final minute. He was hiring I had a buyer who may purchase the products. He was fairly convincing. I didn’t know on the time that these had been the identical parcels.

The reminiscence registered in my thick little mind and I figured as we speak was my buyer's fortunate day. The exporter confirmed me a duplicate of the KPC and the federal government docs for taxes and export. As well as he handed me the bill made out to the opposite buyer.

The exporter requested me to do him a favor. He had a stone with a fraction by the center of the stone and requested me to inform him what the yield of the stone can be after chopping. I didn’t look carefully on the stone apart from to see the fracture location. I didn’t want to take a look at the stone near know his yield can be round 25% of the tough weight. I handed the stone again to him and he took it to the opposite room with him.

When he returned, he had a parcel of sealed stones with him weighing 7000 carats. The stones had been all massive and white and from throughout the desk seemed fairly clear. Simply then an older white man, generally Lebanese, got here into the room and informed the exporter his different buyer has arrived and was ready to see him.

I paid little consideration to the person, and picked up the manifest to see what the parcel thought of of. The manifest mentioned the stones had been all Sawable 1 (See my web site or Google “Sawable I” in case you are unfamiliar with the time period) 5 to 25 carat, D to I coloration, VVS readability. These had been very, very good stones.

I picked up the parcel and checked the parcel for fluorescence. Not a single stone fluorescent. There have been a pair hundred stones; how uncommon. Subsequent, I seen there didn’t appear to be any stones within the parcel beneath 8-9 carats; how unusual. After this, I used to be additional stunned to see that not a single stone had any triangular formed TRIGONS, That was additionally very bizarre. For these of you who’re , you may see examples of trigons for those who go to Google Pictures and sort within the phrase trigon.

When a stone has a trigon, it’s absolute proof it’s diamond. The absence of trigons nevertheless, doesn’t imply it isn’t a diamond. As well as, diamonds have attribute step like progress and fracturing. Like trigons, the absence of step progress or fracturing doesn’t imply it isn’t a diamond. Every stone on this parcel was completely with none step fractures or progress, very fascinating certainly! I started to look at the parcel extra carefully, once I seen that contained in the SEALED parcel, is the very stone the exporter had simply requested me to look at. The stone was very distinctive. How may it probably be on this authorities sealed parcel?

So … let's see, perhaps I ought to perform a little assessment right here: Not a single fluorescent stone from a rustic with a excessive proportion of fluorescent stones.

Not a single Sawable 2 or Makable 1 or 2 in a rustic that has Sawable 2, Makable 1, and Makable 2. (Sawable and Makable are tough diamond shapes)

Not a single stone was lower than 8-9 carats. But, the manifest neatly clear the parcel incorporates stones from 5 carat and above.

Not a single trigon. It’s attainable for among the stones to be with out trigons, however is it attainable to have 200 plus stones with out a single generally seen trigon?

Not a single step progress or step fracture. It’s attainable to have some stones with out the steps, however is it attainable to have 200 plus stones with out a single step?

I put the parcel down. I checked out my good buddy the exporter, and my new buddy the Pastor and MIt. I checked out my buyer. All eyes had been up me with nice hope and anticipation. I then mentioned; “These look good, however I would like to check them to make certain every one is a diamond. Nonetheless, the exporter has one other buyer ready. take just a little break, and get a fast lunch and tea.

The exporter requested ;: “How are you going to examine them, they’re all sealed?”

“Don’t worry; I’ve a device that may let me take a look at them.”

Everybody agreed to go have lunch. I gathered up all my gemological tools and with a smile, informed the exporter we might see him in an hour. We began driving in the direction of a restaurant close to our resort. I’ve a number of weapons I carry with me and had my most trusted weapon in my hand. As we had been nearly on the restaurant, I often said that I imagine the stones weren’t actual. As we plunged into the restaurant, everybody was immediately silent. All of us obtained out of the automobile; I scanned the restaurant and my environment. There was nobody else within the restaurant and I took a seat with my again to the wall as I moved for my shopper to take a seat subsequent me. The great Pastor and Mit sat reverse, with the driving force on the finish of the desk. I had my weapon nonetheless in my hand. Mit stared at me intensely; “What do you imply, the stones aren’t actual? You haven’t even examined them!”

“Mit, I examined them, imagine me, they're faux.”

Mit turned completely white. All the colour drained from his face, and he seemed like he was having a coronary heart assault or a stroke. He seemed severely. I used to be afraid he was about to break down. Each Mas and I checked out Mit and noticed that he was going to die proper on the desk in entrance of us. I ready to hurry to his aspect to do CPR. Urgently, we known as the waiter and obtained poor Mit some water.

In the meantime, the driving force sat silent and the Pastor turned to me. He was not upset, didn’t appear fazed by the information in anyway. He mentioned inquisitively; “We watched you have a look at the stones, however you didn’t take a look at them, you wanted to do a” actual “take a look at.” Placing on his engineer's hat, he mentioned; “You might have just one information level, you cannot make assumptions with out verification of your information level. Maybe, in case you are not happy with these stones, we will return and we will have a look at the opposite parcels.”

Then he smoked ever so sweetly. Poor Mit was slumped in his chair. He died proper there after which.

“Please take us again to the resort.” I mentioned desperately. We put Mit's physique within the automobile and drove the few blocks again to the resort. The Pastor and his driver didn’t hassle to say goodbye as Mas and I purchased the physique of Mit into the resort and sat it down within the foyer.

As Mas, the Muslim, me the Jew, and Mit the useless Christian sat within the foyer, I defined how I knew the stones weren’t diamonds. It took lower than a minute to know they weren’t actual. Mas was very sad. This little journey from Sierra Leone value him about $ 5000. I had beforehand informed Mas that I’d not cost my time price for Guinea with out we purchased items. This meant I used to be out hundreds of {dollars} as properly.

As a result of Mit was useless, he couldn’t hear what I used to be telling him. I attempted to clarify it to him time and again, however his religion within the good pastor was so sturdy it had killed him. Mas was upset, however Mas has a wierd humorousness. He seemed over at poor useless Mit, and exclaimed that he was going to fireside me as a result of I have no idea what I’m doing. He pleaded with useless Mit to rearrange one other assembly on Monday to take a look at the products once more. He informed Mit's physique that he was going to undergo with the deal no matter what I mentioned.

We took Mit's physique as much as his room. Fearing, what the wonders can do, Mas and I ready to go away Guinea. It was Friday. Mas needed Mit's physique to rearrange for a gathering Monday with the sellers. The resort we had been staying at prices $ 280 per night time. If Mit's physique was not found, his invoice would improve $ 280 per day till no less than Monday. We, alternatively, may already be again safely in Sierra Leone the subsequent day.

For the subsequent three days. Mas known as Mit's physique repeatedly and informed it he can be there on Monday to finish the deal. Mit's physique believed Mas, and organized a gathering with the Pastor for Monday afternoon. Nonetheless, on the final minute, Mas appealed the assembly. He summoned the assembly as a result of Mas doesn’t wish to cope with thieves, idiots and useless individuals.

Postscript: No horses had been harmed within the writing of this text. Mit's physique was returned to the US, and continues to observe legislation in Colorado regardless of being mind useless. The pastor nonetheless owes Mit some huge cash for authorized work he carried out. The exporter, who informed us he’s a Christian, continues to go to the Mosque to hope. The Pastor remains to be working round attempting to steal from individuals in God's title. The client from London known as me, and threatened me if I uncovered them. I informed him I do not need to show them, their stupidity will reveal them. They actually don’t want any of my assist.

Me? I'm sitting in my resort room in Zimbabwe speaking to you.

“Time will both promote you, or expose you.”

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