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Touring through Eritrea
November and December 2006
 
Asmara and surroundings
November and December 2006
 

 

Mendefera Eritrea - November 21st 2006

 

There are three bus stations in Asmara for public transport between Asmara and the other provinces of Eritrea. They roughly host the busses to Massawa, Keren and further, and to the south (Senafe and Adi Quala). The buses are a mix of brand new Mitsubishi Rosa mini busses and old, often Italian Fiat busses. Everyone prefers the cleaner and faster mini busses, especially when you are a tourist, so I use my charms to get some help for a good seat if necessary.

At 8:00 I am in Mendefera for an early morning walk through the village and the new build suburb north of the village. With the help of the Chinese a modern hospital was built and officially opened a few days ago. It actually looks a bit like a small Chinese village. Unfortunately I am not allowed to make any pictures. It is difficult to understand, because the opening of the hospital was on the news, including an impression of both the interior and the exterior of the place.

Around noon I have lunch and coffee with my Mendefera friends. I brought them some small stuff and a letter from their relatives in Holland. They are very happy with the gifts of their family, and want me to stay longer and rest. "It is to hot to walk", they say, but I want to be on the streets. Berhe is willing to accompany me for a while, and gives me some basic information about the village and its history. We visit the school where he is teaching.

Like most schools the walls of the Dej. Abdalla Gonafer Elementary School are decorated with paintings teaching geography, physics, biology or history. I picture on of the nicest, that represents the cycle of the earths water supply. The children do their best to be on the picture as well. Berhe teaches English and invites me to his class. The students do their best to impress the Dutch tourist.

The rest of the afternoon I spend my time walking through Mendefera, capital of the Debub province, climbing the three hills to the Catholic Church and school, the Saint Ghiorgis Coptical Church and the Asmara and Cherhi hotel, for the more spectacular views over Mendefera, just enjoying myself in the nice climate, landscape and social entourage.

At 15:00 I walk to the Mendefera bus station to find a bus to Asmara, where I visit the Cathedral snack bar for some cold milk, mixed juice and cake. The girls challenge me to make more pictures, and they are excited when I show them the results on the LCD screen of the camera. I have to promise them to bring them a copy, next time when I will visit Eritrea. Like I always do.

  

Grain market - Mendefera Eritrea.

Grain market - Mendefera Eritrea.

Mendefera City Administration - Mendefera Eritrea.

Mendefera City Administration - Mendefera Eritrea.

Local people sharing a traditional meal - Mendefera Eritrea.

Local people sharing a traditional meal - Mendefera Eritrea.

Dej. Abdalla Gonafer Elementary School - Mendefera Eritrea.

Dej. Abdalla Gonafer Elementary School - Mendefera Eritrea.

Dej. Abdalla Gonafer Elementary School - Mendefera Eritrea.

Dej. Abdalla Gonafer Elementary School - Mendefera Eritrea.

Catholic Church - Mendefera Eritrea.

Catholic Church - Mendefera Eritrea.

Mosque - Mendefera Eritrea.

Mosque - Mendefera Eritrea.

Cherhi Hotel - Mendefera Eritrea.

Cherhi Hotel - Mendefera Eritrea.

View over Mendefera Eritrea.

View over Mendefera Eritrea.

Donkey cart - Mendefera Eritrea.

Donkey cart - Mendefera Eritrea.

Lettina, Cathedral snack bar - Asmara Eritrea.

Lettina, Cathedral snack bar - Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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