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May 2004 - Celebrating the
13th anniversary of Eritrea
 
 

Asmara - May 22nd 2004

 

I forgot to warn Terhas kids that I had a party, so at 6:30 I am awake with a minor hangover. So after my breakfast I decide to make a long walk to the center of Asmara.

I visit the Lion Hotel, which is close to the Alpha Supermarket on the road to the airport. It is a new hotel, modern, but with traditional details, so it gives you the feel to be in Eritrea. It one good example of improving tourist infra structure. The manager is proud to show me every part of his hotel and after having a drink, I resume my walk to the center of Asmara.

I pass the gate that is so nicely decorated every year around Independence Day. Thirteen Eritrean flags wave in front of the house. Eritrean music on the background. The Asmarinos are ready for the celebrations.

I visit some friends and family of my wife, and do some shopping. I buy some video tapes and ask Luwam, the daughter of Zewdi and Gebrehiwot to record the celebrations. It will be a nice souvenir to show back home.

I visit the railway station, curious if there is something interesting. Are  the passenger cars painted grass green or is it a new set of renovated rail cars? I hope they are new. I think the white & bluegreen was a better one. Walking on the tracks, I hear Tigrinya music and, following the directions of the music, I find a large party tent, where the people of Medeber have their local celebration of Independence Day.

"Welcome, welcome, welcome." I am invited to come in and have a beer, and another one. I have to tell the people where I am from, and of course what I think about Eritrea. A lady sitting behind me is challenging me to dance. When we dance, I notice her more than usual enthusiasm. Thinking it is because of the celebrations, we dance again and again, only pausing to drink some beer.

Again the Eritreans reward me, slipping Nakfa's into the collar of my t-shirt. But when the lady asks if I will bring her to Holland as my wife, I have to disappoint her. "I already have a lovely Eritrean wife, called Mebrat". She doesn't give up. "I can come to Holland as Mebrat's sister". I convince her that Mebrat has forbidden me to bring back women as souvenirs.

After a few hours feasting we here the sound of the horns of the trucks of the Transhorn Company. The trucks are wrapped into red, green and blue cloths to be used for today's parade. The party is finished and the people follow the trucks on their way to the center of Asmara.

On Harnet Avenue singing children are parading on the street and stages are waiting for this evening performances of various militarily bands. I will not be able to witness the music. Solomon has invited me to his house. I have "forgotten" to visit him. He is always working, and not easy to find.

 

New Lion Hotel - Amara Eritrea.

New Lion Hotel - Amara Eritrea.

Celebrating 13 years of independence - Asmara Eritrea.

Celebrating 13 years of independence - Asmara Eritrea.

New bus of the Asmara Bus Company - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

New bus of the Asmara Bus Company - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Celebrating 13 years of independence - Asmara Eritrea.

Celebrating 13 years of independence - Asmara Eritrea.

"May 24th, celebrating 13 years liberation, Independence Day 2004". Decorated pharmacy shop window - Edaga Arbi Asmara Eritrea.

"May 24th, celebrating 13 years liberation, Independence Day 2004".
Decorated pharmacy shop window - Edaga Arbi Asmara Eritrea.

"Congratulations Independence Day". Office of the New Eritrean Union of Women - Asmara Eritrea.

"Congratulations Independence Day".
Office of the New Eritrean Union of Women - Asmara Eritrea.

Railway station - Asmara Eritrea.

Railway station - Asmara Eritrea.

Celebrating 13 years of independence in Medeber - Asmara Eritrea.

Celebrating 13 years of independence in Medeber - Asmara Eritrea.

Celebrating 13 years of independence in Medeber - Asmara Eritrea.

Celebrating 13 years of independence in Medeber - Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated trucks of the Trans Horn Company on their  way to the celebrations in the streets of Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated trucks of the Trans Horn Company on their
 way to the celebrations in the streets of Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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