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Eritrea May 2004
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May 2004 - Celebrating the
13th anniversary of Eritrea
 
 

Assab Eritrea - May 27th 2004

 

The alarm clocks do their work and wake me up at 4:00. A good reason not to worry and and have two extra hours of sleep. After a one hour walk through Assab in the morning to enjoy the moderate temperature after the night, I return to the hotel to wait for Tekie, who promised to meet me at 8:00.

As always is is in time. Today the 15 year old Toyota bus, that serves as a taxi, will get his annual check. This means that the garage will first check it and  report what has to be repaired Tekie himself will have to find some materials to save some money. This means we will visit the workshop three times to discuss the state of the car what actions should be taken.

With another taxi of a friend we visit the Shell refinery in Assab. Tekie, familiar with both the refinery and the personnel, passes the signs "Do not trespass" several times. I do not feel at ease following him. I suppose the signs are still valid, but I must keep an eye on him in this remote area, so I choose to follow him.

Around noon we go to Tekie's house to have lunch and drink Eritrean coffee. It is extremely hot. Every liquid I drink, spontaneously leaves the body as sweat. We talk about Eritrea, the "Shifta Woyane" and business in Eritrea. Assab is less them 70 kilometer from the Ethiopian border, and because more than 50% of the population, of Ethiopian origin, left, the town looks like one big military camp.

Tekie uses a piece of plastic to make a glass for one of the headlights. First he has to bring it in the correct shape. And then he has to pierce two holes in it, using a heated nail. But the result is a perfect car part, with zero expenditure.

With Tekie I walk back to the hotel. Tekie will finish the car and have it checked, I will do some shopping. Lots of liquid for tomorrows ride through the Dankalia Desert and walk a bit through the town, because I have decided it will be my last visit to Assab for the coming years. Assab is too hot, Too quiet, too deserted. And of course the risky public traffic.

In a cafe, close to the hotel I celebrate the happy end with a few beers, with the military. I take a good shower, check my luggage, pay the hotel in advance, and set both alarm clocks at 4:00. There is a problem with the lock on my door. If necessary I will leave my room using the window.

 

"Keep your promise". Warning against aids - Assab Eritrea.

"Keep your promise". Warning against aids - Assab Eritrea.

Town circle - Assab Eritrea.

Town circle - Assab Eritrea.

Decorated shop - Assab Eritrea.

Decorated shop - Assab Eritrea.

Decorated shop - Assab Eritrea.

Decorated shop - Assab Eritrea.

Main street - Assab Eritrea.

Main street - Assab Eritrea.

Amine bar and restaurant - Assab Eritrea.

Amine bar and restaurant - Assab Eritrea.

Main street - Assab Eritrea.

Main street - Assab Eritrea.

Shanty bar and restaurant - Assab Eritrea.

Shanty bar and restaurant - Assab Eritrea.

Small shop - Assab Eritrea.

Small shop - Assab Eritrea.

Tekie's wife and daughters, Hannah and Selamawit - Assab Eritrea.

Tekie's wife and daughters, Hannah and Selamawit - Assab Eritrea.

 

 
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