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July and August 2006
Festival Eritrea 2006
 

 

Asmara Eritrea - July 28th 2006

 

The sky is grey. Tiny drops of rain fall down. It is windy and cold. Good weather for long walks through Asmara. In the morning I do my networking, walking from one office to the other. Discussing tourism opportunities with travel agencies and visiting Eritrean Airlines Head Office.

Eritrea offers a range of opportunities for tourists: a friendly and honest population, a wide range of hotels ranging from the high-end Asmara Intercontinental to cozy budget hotels, an architectural cultural heritage, unspoiled beaches, diving sites, magnificent mountain scenery, wildlife, picturesque villages, ancient archeological sites. All waiting to be explored by tourists. What is still missing is the promotion of these assets by the Eritrean tourism service providers.

Walking in Asmara's main street, I meet Tafla, an Eritrean man living in Amsterdam. He invites me for a house warming party starting this afternoon in a just finished villa in Nda German on the road to Kushet. Tafla explains the looks and position of the house, and gives me his mobile number, so I can call him, in case I cannot find the house.

With no further specific program for today, I decide to take the first bus that passes, so it will be a lottery where I will end up half an hour from now. The number four bus to Godaif is the first to pass. I get out at the new covered market in Godaif, and walk back to the center of Asmara from there, snaking through the side streets of Tegadelti Street, passing several buildings of architectonical interest (St. Antonio Church & Monastery, Asmara Textile Factory, Silicon Factory, Africa Cinema, Fiat Tagliero Garage), traditional houses and modern offices.

After my visit to the P.F.D.J. office, for an update on the Festival Eritrea 2006 by a member of the National Holidays Coordinating Committee, and a tailor's shop, to organize some useful cargo on the return trip, I take the bus to Kushet to join the house warming party in Nda German.

Nda German is a recently developed urban area where Eritreans from the Diaspora (most of them are from Germany) have invested their savings by building a villa in their beloved motherland. Many buildings are still under construction and the Eritrean authorities are working on the infrastructure, which assistance of the Peoples Republic of China. I guess this is the reason the children, all over Eritrea, are calling me "China", thinking I am one of the foreign engineers.

My attempts to find the house are not very successful, but my search efforts bring me to unexpected places, and are in itself a nice opportunity to explore this Asmara suburban village. I call Tafla on his mobile phone. He gives me some extra details to locate the house. And when I am close to the house, the loud Tigrinya music is my guide.

A large group of Eritreans, many of them from Amsterdam Holland, are gathered to dance on live music. It is a house warming party, an experience of inner warmth and familiarity, quite different from the icy and insensible atmosphere, typical for many western celebrations. I enjoy myself the rest of the day, greasing my muscles with some Asmara beers, in an attempt to make them dance. 

Around sundown, I walk back to the center of Asmara, afraid the dark will hinder my walks in this part of Asmara, where only the main roads are illuminated.

  

Residential buildings - Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Residential buildings - Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Hidmo (traditional house) - Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Hidmo (traditional house) - Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Orthodox church - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Orthodox church - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Orthodox church - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Orthodox church - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Workshop / women selling beles (cactus fruits) - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Workshop / women selling beles (cactus fruits)
Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Cinema Africa  - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Cinema Africa  - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

I

Eriequip P.L.C. offices - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Eriequip P.L.C. offices - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Silicon factory  - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Silicon factory  - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Barka wood, plastic & metal works  - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

Barka wood, plastic & metal works  - Tegadelti Street Godaif Asmara Eritrea.

People's Front for Democracy and Justice Head Quarter - Asmara Eritrea.

People's Front for Democracy and Justice Head Quarter - Asmara Eritrea.

Tailors workshop - Asmara Eritrea.

Tailors workshop - Asmara Eritrea.

House warming party - Asmara Eritrea.

House warming party - Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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