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.

| September/October 1981

071 affordable travel - diamond hunting

 At a modern-day diamond hunting excursion, prospectors sift rock-rich soil for precious stones and minerals.


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!

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. that force us to go to jewelers have a number of other lessons to tell us as well.

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