Keren Eritrea - May 27th 2005
First thing to do today is to get
myself a Permit for Foreigners to Travel. They will hand out this permit only
once, so it is important to have a clear plan, at least in terms of
destinations. The permit will, apart from your personal data, read something
like "Permit to travel: Asmara - Barentu - Asmara - Senafe. Valid from
27-05-2005 up to 08-06-2005", and permission is granted to stay in and
travel through any village in between. The permit covers the whole time span of
my stay in Eritrea, starting from today, allowing for some delay or change of
On my way to the bus station, I
visit a supermarket to buy some necessities and at the market I buy some
oranges, to share with the passengers. Two ladies with a small child are sitting
next to me in the bus. The baby is quiet and keeps staring at me. Good company
to eat some of the oranges. The gesture is appreciated.
Two hours later at 12:00 we arrive
in Keren. At the bus station I order a pink colored fruit juice called "zeitun"
for 6 Nakfa, and another one, before I walk to bar and restaurant Stuttgart to
great Elen and her daughters Rahel and Hidat. By now they are like sisters to
me. I am invited to their coffee ceremony at 15:00.
I walk through Keren and visit
friends, family of friends, neighbors of friends. When I deliver some pictures
in a small grocery shop, they insist I will return tomorrow to join a coffee
ceremony, or to drink tea. When it starts to rain, I take shelter in the house
of Timkotu and Kidane, the neighbors of Hansu and Afworki. We drink tea with
some bread, called hembesha.
When the rain stops I walk
back to Elen's place. As a gift I leave her a hand full of pencils. I
should have bought something more appropriate, but there is no pastry
shops in this part of town. Visitors ask me of I have a pencil for them as
One of the visitors
demonstrates his dancing skills, dancing with a beer bottle on his head. I
reward him with another beer. He wants me to share his table and drink
with him. We drink a few beers, until sunset.
Finally I return to the house
of Hansu and Afworki, where I will sleep a couple of nights. In the shop
next to their house I buy a bottle of Araki, as a gift. Hansu makes me an
egg burger and prepares my room. Two shots of Araki and than to bed. The
climate in Keren is fantastic for a good nights rest.
Beautiful Italian villa - Asmara Eritrea.
Decorated shop - Asmara Eritrea.
Lalmba Snack Bar at the bus
station - Keren Eritrea.
Elen - Stuttgart bar and
restaurant - Keren Eritrea.
Fortuna - Keren Eritrea.
Truck donated to the
municipality of Keren by Vennskap
Heimdal - Keren.
Lemlem - Keren Eritrea.
Visitor dancing in Elen's bar -
Elen and her sister Woiny - Keren Eritrea.
Se'alena! (picture us) -
Local children - Keren Eritrea.