Asmara Eritrea - June 1st 2004
The first days of June are the
last days of my three weeks stay in Eritrea. I will check all bus lines
with the manager of the bus company. When all information is verified and
corrected, I walk from the bus terminal to the
center of Asmara, for the goodbyes to some of the people I met during my
stay in Eritrea.
There is also a short visit to
the offices of the Ministry of Tourism. I need their help for some not so
easy to find souvenirs. And say goodbye to Meaza in the small office on
the opposite side of Harnet Avenue. She invites me to have a donut and a
cup of tea. It is one of the donuts of Bbrssy Donut House,
just behind the Ambassador hotel. Although it is the most expensive
pastry, it bakes the most delicious cakes and donuts.
For the third time I meet the
taxi driver that invited me to walk with his friends. Every Thursday the
start from the Alpha supermarket and walk in a different direction. I
recognize the faces of the Eritrean people, but I still have some
difficulty to remember where I met them before. In Harnet Avenue I meet
the broker. He invites me to drink tea with him.
In snack bar City Center, not
far from the City Park, I order and omelet with some bread and cold milk.
I know the place from last year. Clean, fresh breads and a good cook. Two
young boys sitting at the table next to me, move to my table. They want to
know where I am from. One of them, Fassil, is from the USA, the other one
is Emanuel, his nephew. He lives in Asmara. I tell them about my journeys
Fassil is surprised that I
visited all parts of Eritrea. He did not leave Asmara yet. Fassil wants
to know if I visited other African countries. "Aren't you curious to
visit Ethiopia for example?" I explain I will not set one foot in
this country under the present circumstances. "And if you would have
met an Ethiopian wife?". Then I would have visited her country, but
there would be no reason to be proud of her country.
is a country with rich traditions. One of them is making war, aiming
either to rule or dominate the whole of East Africa, including Eritrea,
Djibouti and Somalia, shifting its borders on a regular bases, occupying
surrounding lands, and continuing these ancient practices up to now, suppressing
the people of the conquered regions.
The fact that many millions of
Ethiopians are living on the edge of starvation has a lesser priority, and
should be solved by asking food aid to the European Union and the United
States. You cannot eat a rich history. And it's a lot easier to cry for
emergency food aid than to cry for emergency military aid.
I exchange e-mail addresses
with Fassil and his nephew. Tomorrow we will continue our discussion on
the "Shifta Woyane", and their 3000 year "legendary empire".
Eri-TV is still broadcasting
reflections of the celebrations of the 13th independence day. Amsterdam,
London, Washington, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Seattle, Toronto, Sweden, Denmark. Eritreans all
over the world are dancing and feasting. And gathering donations to
support their country: projects regulating water supplies, agriculture,
education, assistance to the families of the martyrs.
Evangelical church Medeber - Asmara Eritrea.
The Endamariam cemetery at
Number 6 bus to Haz Haz at
the Martyrs Avenue bus stop - Asmara Eritrea.
View on Harnet Avenue from
Cathedral Snack Bar - Asmara Eritrea.
Shoe-shine boy - Asmara Eritrea.
Milano Restaurant - Asmara
Boy selling candy and handkerchiefs
- Asmara Eritrea.
Decorated shop window of a
machinery shop -
Catholic Cathedral - Harnet Avenue
Eating a pizza in Pizzeria
Eritrea - Asmara Eritrea.