Asmara Eritrea - May 25th 2003
I make the last preparations for my return
trip to Holland, collecting letters and packages for Mebrat and her friends in
Holland and the video tapes of the celebrations that Luwam and Yerusalem
recorded for me. I ask Yerusalem if I can stay in their house a few days if I
will visit Eritrea another time. "Of course, it is your house" she
says. "You are part of our family." Her words bring tears to my eyes.
I promise them I will be back soon.
I am invited to a wedding in Haz Haz. I take
the number 6 bus to Haz Haz village to walk a bit before the wedding. Tourists
seldom visit this part of Asmara. For the children I am a welcome curiosity. The
follow me everywhere, making it difficult to make pictures. I decided to play to
change rolls and start to follow them. They run away.
The game is observed by the local military.
He thinks I am lost in this remote area. I tell him, I am going to visit a
wedding in Haz Haz. The soldier offers to deliver me at this wedding. I do not
dare to say no. Terhas told me the wedding is a few hundred meters from the Haz
Haz water supply near a café. We recognize the wedding tent.
I explain am looking for Terhas and Feshaye.
I HAVE to come in, but I do not recognize Terhas, nor Feshaye among the
audience. Who cares? They must be late. I give the last hundred balloons I
brought to Eritrea as a kind of wedding gift and leave my name and one hundred
Nakfa's in the guest book. I receive a big iron bowl and a few minutes later I
am drinking suwa with the men and sharing their injera. I follow the whole
ceremony for several hours.
When I am back in the house of Terhas and
Feshaye I ask them why they did not show up at the wedding. "We did not
show up? We haven't seen you!" We have to laugh. It must have been the
"wrong" wedding I visited. But I was just as welcome anyway!
At 22:00 we leave to the airport. Only the
passengers are allowed to enter the grounds in front of the terminals, so we
have to kiss goodbye on the parking lot. Close to the terminal I wave one more
time. Passport and ticket are checked several times. We fill in an exit form and
pay the 20 dollar airport tax. I have to show my video equipment and the form I
got on the entry date. The waiting rooms are modern and surrounded by souvenir
Long after midnight the passengers are guided
to the Eritrean Airlines plane. I am sorry it is over. But we will meet again
Cycle-racing through the streets of Asmara.
Traditional houses (Agdos) of Haz Haz - Asmara Eritrea.
Haz Haz - Asmara Eritrea.
Contributions to the wedding are carefully registered.
The young couple celebrating their wedding.
Colorful souvenirs at the Asmara covered market.
Luwam and Yerusalem. We will meet again in October 2003!