Affordable Travel Ideas: Learning Esperanto and Diamond Hunting

In this installment of an ongoing feature, readers recommend diamond hunting at Crater of Diamonds State Park and learning Esperanto as affordable travel options.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
September/October 1981
Add to My MSN

 At a modern-day diamond hunting excursion, prospectors sift rock-rich soil for precious stones and minerals.
PHOTO: ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARTS AND TOURISM


Content Tools

Related Content

A Break From The Backyard

How do you travel, with a family, and maintain some environmental dignity? We recently went explorin...

How to Make Basic Pizza Dough

This recipe is a great introduction to all the joys and possibilities the world of home made pizza r...

Girl Out of Water - I Hate Bambi

If you think Bambi is cute, try keeping him out of your strawberry field!

Video: Hunting Morel Mushrooms

You don't have to pay $50 a pound for fresh morel mushrooms. Watch this video and find out how to fo...

The following affordable travel ideas were submitted by readers. 


Learning Esperanto

During MOTHER EARTH NEWS' 1979 tour of the Soviet Union, one of our participants—who was on his first trip to that country—was nevertheless able to line up, in advance, people to visit all across the USSR. Their common ground was a knowledge of the international language, Esperanto.

Now, another reader—Joseph F. Conroy—has written to tell us more about the worldwide community of Esperantists, perhaps the planet's first culture in which no one group dominates another linguistically.

"Esperanto," Joseph explains, "was invented in Poland almost 100 years ago. It's designed to be easy to learn, so there are no troublesome verb conjugations and no exceptions to the rules ...and since each letter has only one sound, spelling and reading are a snap to master. What's more, English speakers will quickly recognize most of the words.

"What does all this have to do with travel? Well, since there's no Esperanto land, we Esperantists have to search one another out. One way to do this is to offer bed and board to those from other parts, and—in our circles—other parts' can be just about anywhere in the world!

"For example, in 1980 I obtained a list of names and addresses—it's available to all Esperanto speakers—called Pasporta Servo. Each person on it was ready to put me up for a couple of nights in return for a few dollars and some good conversation. Additionally, all the Esperantists I stayed with in France, Germany, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Spain, and England—were eager to show off their local areas, so I got to see and do things far from the usual tourist routes, and not once did I have a language problem!

"This year, I'm visiting the People's Republic of China at the invitation of the Peking Esperanto Club, and I look forward to speaking without the need of translators and without having to undertake the long, arduous, and perhaps futile study of Chinese. As opposed to the time required to master that tongue, it takes only about a half-hour of daily practice, for a month, to learn to speak basic Esperanto. That's not much of an investment in time to 'purchase' freedom to go anywhere in the world and find friends." For more information about learning the language or local groups in your area contact Esperanto USA.

Diamond Hunting

Back in 1906, Arkansas farmer John Huddleston was working his fields near the Little Missouri River when he saw a glittering stone roll from his plowshare. That pebble, as it turned out, was the first diamond to be found in what is now the Crater of Diamonds State Park, the only mine in North America that yields the precious gems in quantity. There, for an entrance fee of $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children, you can search for diamonds and more than 100 other types of unusual stones and minerals, including opals, agates, garnets, amethysts, quartz, calcite, and barite. Whatever you find is yours to keep—no matter what the value—and a park geologist will also weigh and certify your stones free of charge. Any "lucky strikes" you might make probably won't compete with the 40.23-carat "Uncle Sam" diamond unearthed there in 1924, but visitors do report an average of 200 diamond finds a year. Park officials note that many discoveries are likely not disclosed. (Just last September, a group of six people found 110 diamonds!)

This paradise for rockhounds—located two miles southwest of Murfreesboro on State Highway 301—also offers modern campsites, an information center, a gift/ rock shop, a cafe, and a picnic area. For further information, contact Crater of Diamonds State Park.


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 

foodieinside
6/8/2014 5:37:37 AM
In Sydney Sheldon's novel Master of the Game, the whole scenario of diamond hunting during the 18th century is well demonstrated. http://mydiamonds.com.au/ that force us to go to jewelers have a number of other lessons to tell us as well.








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.