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July and August 2006
Festival Eritrea 2006
 

 

Asmara Eritrea - August 7th 2006

 

In a kiosk I buy the Eritrean Profile of August 5. They actually printed the interview with this Dutch tourist! Nice souvenir to show to family, friends and colleagues in Holland. The rest of the day I spend to buy more souvenirs, visit family and friends, and to finish other personal business.

With Gabriela, the maid of Gebrehiwot I visit the cereal market. She will judge the teff, a type of grain used to make injera. I will bring some kilo's back home, since my suitcase is almost empty. I will leave most of most of the luggage in Eritrea, knowing I will return in May 2007 and probably sooner.

teff is a small species of grain. It is considered to have an excellent amino acid composition. It is very healthy, containing much calcium (even more than milk!), iron, protein and fiber, boron, copper, phosphorus, and zinc. And it is not so easy to find in Holland, or very expensive.

In a workshop next to the cereal market the teff is purified, sieving it several times, and grinded. The flour is packed in practical plastic bags, that I brought from Holland, to store it secure in my suitcase. It will be a welcome souvenir for Mebrat.

After the shopping, I spent the afternoon walking through Asmara, enjoying fresh fruit juices and other healthy stuff (like Asmara beers), to be prepared for tomorrow's expedition: the hike to the Debre Bizen Monastery, an ancient male-only monastery. It is is one of Eritrea's most impressive and oldest Orthodox Christian monasteries, on a mountaintop, perched high above Nefasit. The other ones, Hamm (near Senafe) and Debre Sina (near Keren) are less accessible, and therefore the less popular historical sites.

I have not forgotten my 2001 experience, when I visited the monastery for the first time. Actually I was visiting Nefasit and went up on impulse, misjudging both the climate and the hardship of the 2,500 feet vertical ascent. This time I will be well prepared for this energetic climb, taking my rest today, and leaving early tomorrow, with a permit, water, oranges, and I will try to find a reliable guide.

At the office of the Eritrean National Blood Transfusion Service, I get the results of the tests on my blood. Some of the medics remember me from the Expo and give a a warm welcome to their institute, showing me some parts of the facilities and laboratories. The tests were all okay, as I expected. "Will you donate your blood the next time you will visit Eritrea? " they ask me. Of course I will do it.

  

View over Asmara Eritrea.

View over Asmara Eritrea.

Fiat Tagliero Service Station - Mereb Street / Semaetat Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Fiat Tagliero Service Station - Mereb Street / Semaetat Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Family Ayele fast food restaurant - Warsay Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Family Ayele fast food restaurant - Warsay Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Women cleaning the streets - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Women cleaning the streets - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Ministry of Health -  Denden Street Asmara Eritrea.

Ministry of Health -  Denden Street Asmara Eritrea.

RGA building - Semaetat Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

IRGA building - Semaetat Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Nacfa House - Mereb Street / Tegadelti Street Asmara Eritrea.

Nacfa House - Mereb Street / Tegadelti Street Asmara Eritrea.

Berhe Aiba Hotel - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Berhe Aiba Hotel - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Residential Complex - BDHO Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Residential Complex - BDHO Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Cinema Croce Rossa - BDHO Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Cinema Croce Rossa - BDHO Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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