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September - October 2004
One Heart
 
 

Asmara -  Eritrea - October 6th 2004

 

On this last day I will say good bye to the family and friends of my wife, to people I got to know the last twenty days. Nothing spectacular. By now I am so familiar with Asmara and its public buses, that I do not need the taxi's anymore. Using public buses is a lot cheaper, and since I decided to leave the rest of my pocket money to the family, they will benefit from my thrift.

And using the bus increases the chance of unexpected meetings, both at the bus stops, or when hanging on a pole in the usually crowded buses. People smiling at you, sometimes even offering you a seat, just because you are a tourist. Young kids, gaping at you, because you are a white man. Your wallet is safe, even when the bus is crowded.

When I visit Freweini, she hands me her 2004 calendar, published by the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, with drawings of children of both countries. The calendar is spread in both countries as an attempt of UNMEE to contribute to mutual understanding of Eritrea's and Ethiopia's youth.

I buy myself a few bottles of Asmara Zibib, or "araki" in the super market near our apartment, to take back as a souvenir. There are several brands. The Melotti Liquor Factory distils the best for 32 Nakfa only (2.50 dollar). And with the help of Freweini, I buy taff, a special flour to make injera. I cannot make injera, but my friends in Holland will be happy with the gift, and there is plenty of room in me suite cases. 

Eritrea, I hope to see you again in May 2005 to celebrate the fourteenth anniversary of independence. I also hope to celebrate peace, good health, good rains and wisdom of politicians, both in Eritrea and the rest of the world.

If there is anyone reading this story who has suggestions for places to visit in 2005 (please specify the details: where, why, how?), do not hesitate to mail me. You will find the mail link at the bottom of this page.

 

Girl selling tickets in the back of an Asmara bus - Asmara Eritrea.

Girl selling tickets in the back of an Asmara bus - Asmara Eritrea.

Boys playing football - Edaga Arbi Asmara Eritrea.

Boys playing football - Edaga Arbi, Asmara Eritrea.

Post office - Edaga Arbi Asmara Eritrea.

Post office - Edaga Arbi, Asmara Eritrea.

Traditional handicraft (basket weaving) at the market behind the main mosque - Asmara Eritrea.

Traditional handicraft (basket weaving) at the market
 behind the main mosque - Asmara Eritrea.

Traditional handicraft (leather working) at the market behind the main mosque - Asmara Eritrea.

Traditional handicraft (leather working) at the market
 behind the main mosque - Asmara Eritrea.

Waitress, Damera bar and pastry - Harnet Avenue, Asmara Eritrea.

Waitress, Damera bar and pastry - Harnet Avenue, Asmara Eritrea.

Luwam, Gebrehiwot and Semhar - Asmara Eritrea.

Luwam, Gebrehiwot and Semhar - Asmara Eritrea.

Freweini - Asmara Eritrea.

Freweini - Asmara Eritrea.

We need peace - by Filmon Measfun, Zagre Junior School (Eritrea).  

We need peace - by Filmon Measfun, Zagre Junior School (Eritrea).
UNMEE Public Information Office 2004.

Peace - by Samuel Engide Tsehay,  Shemels Habite Elementary School (Ethiopia).

Peace - by Samuel Engide Tsehay,
 Shemels Habite Elementary School (Ethiopia).
UNMEE Public Information Office 2004.

 

 
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