Adi Keih Eritrea - September 20th 2002
At 7:30 I am at the local police station. The
policemen are strict, but friendly. Once more I have to tell them my story. So I
tell them everything for a second time. I ask them to contact the Ministry of
Tourism and I emphasize that they know me at the ministry. And so the policeman disappears
in one of the offices. After 15 minutes he comes back, telling me everything is
hands me my passport and makes lots of apologies. He tells me that at the Ministry of
Tourism they were surprised that I was picked up. The police man also tells me that it
to have an official permit of either the Ministry of Tourism or the Ministry of
Information to enter the Temporary Security Zone.
So I apologize for not knowing about this
permit. Nobody told me. Feshaye knew I was going to Senafe. The ministry knew I
was going to travel through Eritrea. Even the UN checkpoint failed to check. I shake
hands with the policeman. If I needed any help, I should tell him. I am glad.
Glad to have my passport back. Glad to know the reason for the police
investigation. But I am also shocked by this anti climax. Just when I am
proud I can live and travel just like any Eritrean, I am told I am a Dutch
tourist and that any foreign visitor needs a permit to enter the TSZ.
I walk through Adi Keih, visit the market. The
kids are following me. "What is your name? Where are you from?" I Try
to enjoy as much as possible of the last hour I spend in Adi Keih, but in my
heart I want to be back in Asmara, where I feel at ease.
When I try to find out where to get the bus back
to Asmara, I realize that it is not easy to get back to Asmara by public bus. There is a rush
on every vehicle that goes to Asmara and I am not used to fight for a seat in
the bus. So I step towards a small Toyota bus that is waiting on the town square
and I ask the driver hoe much he will charge me to charter the bus fot the ride to
Asmara. We agree he will bring me to Asmara for 550 Nakfa (30 dollars and 30
times the price of the bus ticket), which makes this trip the biggest investment
during my three weeks stay in Eritrea. But it is a fair price for the 111 kilometers
and I can ask him to stop where ever I like.
Back in Asmara Terhas and Feshaye were a bit
worried. I told Tsega on the telephone yesterday, that I was going to stay the
night in Adi Keih, but she did not understand. I tell them about my adventures.
"They will remember you when you will visit them next year", Feshaye
says to cheer me up. I will not forget my permit next year.
The Adi Keih administration and
Little catholic church in Adi
Woman with her children selling
vegetables in Adi Keih.
"Use condoms before every
sexual intercourse" Adi Keih covered market.
Mine warning in Adi Keih
"keep at a distance of this dangerous place."
Little grocery shop in Adi Keih.
The mosque of Adi Keih.
The landscape between Adi Keih
"Our freedom is the harvest
of our fighters" - A memorial for those
who gave their lives on the road between Adi Keih and Dekemhare.
Flock of goats on the road to