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Eritrea September 2002
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 2002 Touring through Eritrea
 

 

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 okay. He 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 is necessary 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 police station.

The Adi Keih administration and police station.

Little catholic church in Adi Keih.

Little catholic church in Adi Keih.

Woman with her children selling vegetables in Adi Keih.

Woman with her children selling vegetables in Adi Keih.

"Use condoms before every sexual intercourse" Adi Keih covered market.

"Use condoms before every sexual intercourse" Adi Keih covered market.

Mine warning in Adi Keih "keep at a distance of this dangerous place."

Mine warning in Adi Keih "keep at a distance of this dangerous place."

Little grocery shop in Adi Keih.

Little grocery shop in Adi Keih.

The mosque of Adi Keih.

The mosque of Adi Keih.

The landscape between Adi Keih and Dekemhare.

The landscape between Adi Keih and Dekemhare.

A memorial for those who gave their lives on the road between Adi Keih and Dekemhare.

"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 Dekemhare.

Flock of goats on the road to Dekemhare.

 

 
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