It is with great sadness I'd like to announce Dr. Hanneman passed away on December 12, 2020. His legacy will live on forever!
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 Post subject: Traveling while Gemmologist
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 1180
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Travelling while Gemmologist - so I'm leaving Tanzania, going through security and my backpack gets pulled for screening. My lab equipment is in there, so no great surprise although it only gets inspected once a year at most.
I ask for private screening because I really, truly, don't want everyone and her aunt seeing gem tools. Took a bit of a struggle to get that, but he calls another man over, shows him the screen, and I'm taking into a private area.

He gives my entire backpack the full inspection. Then he pulls out the tool kit and asks what kind of tools they are. I tell him I'm a gem cutter and gemmologist. Then starts the grilling. Do I have a business in TZ? Do I have a Gem Dealer license? I explain that I have a business visa, and have been working with my colleague here who is fully licensed.

He pulls out each tool. Looks them over. Explains that he did geology in school. He keeps looking. I'm getting increasingly nervous. TZ has changed the rules so much on visas and export of rough.... this is awkward. I'm carrying NOTHING. Not stone dust on my shoes even. ALL my goods ship after full clearance. But he can't seem to be satisfied and I'm getting scared.

All of a sudden, he looks at the side of my tool case and sees the sewing pins holding in the foam! He lights up. Removes them, and says THESE ARE SHARP OBJECTS.

Yes Sir, they certainly are.

He keeps the pins, and sends me on my way

Lisa Elser, G.G.

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 Post subject: Re: Traveling while Gemmologist
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:22 pm
Posts: 20580
Location: San Francisco
Oh my.
It can be terrifying.

When I was in Tanzanaia, as a paleontologist, at the airport, about to board, I was motioned to the side by a military person with a machine gun.
:shock: oh oh. :shock: oh oh. :shock: oh oh. My small carry-on was filled with granite specimens from the Serengeti.
He asked, "Do you have anything you should not have?"
"Uhm, no," I replied with a quivering smile.
He motioned with the gun again to get back in line.

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