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May 2004 - Celebrating the
13th anniversary of Eritrea
 
 

Debarwa Eritrea - May 25th 2004

 

Debarwa is the village where Yordanos, my sister in law was born. It is also know because of its springs of mineral water, bottled and sold under the same name as the village. Recently an Australian mining company found significant quantities of copper, silver and gold in the Debarwa region. I passed the village several times on my way to Mendefera. Today we will visit Debarwa itself to visit Yordanos family.

Yordanos brings a bottle of Asmara Zibib from her shop as a gift. On our way to the bus station I buy some other gifts: coffee and hembesha. Even at 9:00 it is hot, especially when the bus is waiting at the bus terminal in Asmara. At 10:00 we arrive in Debarwa and walk to the house of Alem en Kesete, Yordanos mother and father, and her two sisters Ghenet and Bisrat.

We drink coffee and have breakfast: hembesha with egg. The family has many chicken "derho", that we born from eggs imported from the Netherlands, using an incubator. The chicken are well fed, and one of them has bad luck. He will be used for lunch.

But first Yordanos father will show us the surroundings of Debarwa. We climb one of the hills to visit a church, and another one, also hosting an orthodox church. we are allowed to see the interior of one of them (the visit requires a permit!) The priest shows us the many paintings inside, representing the history of the church itself and the history of faith, kings, worriers and church fathers, going back to 300 AC.

On our way back we take a shortcut, going down a lot steeper, and a lot faster. Yordanos mother and sisters have done their best to prepare us a delicious lunch. We chat for one hour and at 15:00 we return to Asmara. I will have to prepare myself for the trip to Assab tomorrow.

When the bus passes the first checkpoint after Debarwa, the military police wants to register my passport in their logbook. I passed three times without drawing their attention. Maybe is is because I passed so many times, that they are interested in my motives. I hand them the permit. It will prove an important document.

In Asmara I do some shopping for tomorrow and I visit the office of Eritrean Airlines to confirm my flight on June 2nd. Should have done that sooner, but who thinks of flying back when the holidays have just started?

At the cathedral I take the number 12 bus back to Sembel. When the bus arrives, and I wait on the curbstone, the driver of the bus helps me a bit. I am right in front of the entrance, not moving an inch when the Eritreans take a rush on the bus. In no time the bus is chock-full and I try to move to the front of it, to watch were it is going

 

The road entering Debarwa  Eritrea.

The road entering Debarwa  Eritrea.

The landscape around Debarwa Eritrea.

The landscape around Debarwa Eritrea.

The house of Alem, Kesete, Ghenet and Bisrat - Debarwa Eritrea.

The house of Alem, Kesete, Ghenet and Bisrat - Debarwa Eritrea.

Alem making Eritrean coffee - Debarwa Eritrea.

Alem making Eritrean coffee - Debarwa Eritrea.

Girl carrying water from the well - Debarwa Eritrea.

Girl carrying water from the well - Debarwa Eritrea.

Ghenet and Bisrat showing us the Dutch chicken - Debarwa Eritrea.

Ghenet and Bisrat showing us the Dutch chicken - Debarwa Eritrea.

Hanibal Hotel - Debarwa Eritrea.

Hanibal Hotel - Debarwa Eritrea.

One of the two Coptic churches on the hills - Debarwa Eritrea.

One of the two Coptic churches on the hills - Debarwa Eritrea.

Inscription on the Coptic church - Debarwa Eritrea.

Inscription on the Coptic church - Debarwa Eritrea.

Kesete, father of Yordanos showing me the surroundings - Debarwa Eritrea.

Kesete, father of Yordanos showing me the surroundings - Debarwa Eritrea.

 

 
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