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September - October 2005
Effe naar Eritrea

 

 

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 simple conversation.

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 their best

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 - Seganeiti Eritrea.

WW2 Italian military hardware - Seganeiti Eritrea.

Eritrean coffee ceremony with Akiar  - Saganeiti Eritrea.

Eritrean coffee ceremony with Akiar  - Saganeiti Eritrea.

Spices market - Saganeiti Eritrea.

Spices market - Saganeiti Eritrea.

Women selling Beles (cactus fruits) - Segheneyti Eritrea.

Women selling Beles (cactus fruits) - Segheneyti Eritrea.

Bus logo - Segheneyti Eritrea.

Bus logo - Segheneyti Eritrea.

Canyons, cacti and blooming thistles  - Decemhare Eritrea.

Canyons, cacti and blooming thistles  - Decemhare Eritrea.

Fuel station - Decemhare Eritrea.

Fuel station - Decemhare Eritrea.

Park Hotel - Decemhare Eritrea.

Park Hotel - Decemhare Eritrea.

Main street (under construction) - Decemhare Eritrea.

Main street (under construction) - Decemhare Eritrea.

Skindir Bakery & Pastry - Decemhare Eritrea.

Skindir Bakery & Pastry - Decemhare Eritrea.

 

 
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