Segeneiti / Decemhare Eritrea - September 25th 2005
The bar in the front of the
hotel kept me awake until midnight. A Coptic Church, not far from the
hotel, starts its prayers and wakes me up at 4 o' clock in the morning. I
decide to walk a bit through Segeneiti and not to try to take the first
bus, but just to check from where it will leave.
When visiting the local
market, three women invite me to join their coffee ceremony. As a guest a
special seat is arranged for me. Akiar and Ghidei don't speak any English,
but Selamawit will translate the questions and answers, so we can have a
Salamawit tells me that Akiar
is a Muslim name. Ghidei and herself are Christians. They all have a small
stall on this market. I ask if I can picture them. It is ok. Only a should
give them some time to rearrange their kerchief, so they will look at
I apologize for not bringing a
small gift. I give them some Nakfa's instead and I have to promise them to
send a copy of their pictures. We exchange addresses. I have to come back
one time to meet them again.
At the bus station I am lucky.
A small (and fast!) Mercedes Benz mini bus is just about to leave. From
the text on the inside I learn it is imported from Holland. A women
sitting next to me is greeting me warmly. She tells me she saw me at the
market. She even remembered my name.
Shortly after the bus has left
the bus station she falls asleep on my shoulder. I do my best not to
disturb her when the bus is following the sharp bends of the road. In less
then an hour we are in Decemhare. I leave the bus before it actually
enters the village, so I can explore this part of the town on foot.
The main street of Decemhare
is closed for all traffic, because of extensive renovation, including new
sewerage. Not the most promising scene to make pictures, so I decide to
leave the town to explore its surroundings.
I follow a small canyon, cut
out by what must be a river in the rainy season. The eroded landscape is
covered by cacti and blooming thistles. After a few kilometers, I decide
to return. I did not bring any mineral water for a long hike and it is
impossible / to risky to cross the dry river. Although an old man is
explaining how to reach the other side.
Back in Decemhare, I visit a
small pastry to have a lunch. The rest of the day I spend strolling
through the quiet village. It is Sunday. Nothing exiting happens. I visit the
brand new Park Hotel, that started its operations 10 days ago. before
returning to the bus station, where a bus to Asmara is waiting.
In Asmara the bus stops at
nearly every bus stop it passes on its way to the bus station. I get off
near the market to celebrate the trip to Segeneiti with a few beers in Bar
Selas. There is a heart warming welcome from Tesfai and his two daughters
Freweini and Lemlem. I do not have to ask. Just have to confirm the fact
that they did not forgot that Asmara Stout is my favorite.
Freweini even remembers the
fact that I was trying to collect the labels and is now trying to peel it
of. It does not come off easily. I guess they use another type of glue at
the Asmara Brewery.
At the wall I observe a 2005 calendar
of the Brewery. Remembering Hendrik Thomann, I ask Tesfai what he would
charge me for the calendar if I was willing to buy it. "consider it a
gift from a friend", he replies. I
carefully store the calender in my bag and I promise I will bring a 2006 calendar
from Holland on my next visit to Eritrea.
Lemlem is challenging me to
picture her sister Freweini. But it is still a friendly "no",
but this time she explains by showing me her picture. With her hair
plaited and well dressed. So this is the way she wants to be pictures and
not with a pony tail and working clothes.
I drink a few beers before
visiting Terhas in her Pizzeria Eritrea to have my favorite number 10
(large, so I can share it, just for the sake of sharing).
WW2 Italian military hardware -
Eritrean coffee ceremony with Akiar -
Spices market - Saganeiti Eritrea.
Women selling Beles (cactus
fruits) - Segheneyti Eritrea.
Bus logo - Segheneyti Eritrea.
Canyons, cacti and blooming
thistles - Decemhare Eritrea.
Fuel station - Decemhare Eritrea.
Park Hotel - Decemhare Eritrea.
Main street (under
construction) - Decemhare Eritrea.
Skindir Bakery & Pastry -