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May 2008 - Celebrating Eritrea's 17th Independence Day
 
 

 

Asmara Eritrea - June 6 2008

 

Today I wake up at 5:00 and walk al the way from the center of Asmara to Bloko Godaif. Bloko Godaif is a small bus terminal where the roads to Dekemhare and Mendefera split after the fuel station.

There is a Toyota minibus to Adi Hawsha and I am the fist passenger. But after 30 minutes, there is only two passengers including myself, and the 15 person bus will not leave until all the seats are paid for.

Although it is an option to charter the bus and pay for 13 empty seats, I decide to postpone this trip to my next visit. My physical condition is still very medium after my visit to Keren and walking the 14 kilometers in both directions should be no problem in 2009 when I am 100% fit.

I visit the Godaif orphanage instead at the request of someone who sent me an e-mail about the current state of the orphanage. A friendly nurse shows me the recently built facilities.

A two hour walk through Tab'ah, part of Asmara's center is today's last tourist tour.

The rest of the day I start the preparations for the return trip: short visits to the family of my wife and collection of goods and food stuff, and araki, my favorite souvenir.

In a bar I discuss the very tight security measures for the tourists (travel permits and the fact that I am not allowed to visit Agordat and Barentu).

"Have you ever discussed this issue with higher rank officials?" the Eritrean man asks me. I once asked the minister herself, but the answer was a vague "for security reasons". But is it for my security of Eritrea's security reasons?

"It is your security, and those of any other tourist that we are guarding, because we do not want to lose even one tourist", he explains. "In large parts of Eritrea they still think that all white man are US citizens. Which is a potential risk for any white men". No further explanation needed.

I deliver a few bottles of araki to some friends at the ENCC that did their best to get me invitations for most of the events around Independence Day. Unfortunately they just left their office. But on the other hand: they cannot refuse my gift now. I leave the bottles with a small thank you note with their secretary.

 

Bloko Godaif - Asmara Eritrea.

Bloko Godaif - Asmara Eritrea.

Asmara Orphanage (Godaif) PO Box 1262  - Asmara Eritrea - tel 181482.

Asmara Orphanage (Godaif) - PO Box 1262 Asmara Eritrea - Tel 181482.

New living quarters of the Asmara Orphanage (Godaif) - Asmara Eritrea.

New living quarters of the Asmara Orphanage (Godaif) - Asmara Eritrea.

Orphan Toys Production Center - Asmara Orphanage (Godaif).

Orphan Toys Production Center - Asmara Orphanage (Godaif).

Italian hospital - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Italian hospital - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Recently built residential buildings - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Recently built residential buildings - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Former flour mill and laboratory - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Former flour mill and laboratory - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Plasterwork - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Plasterwork - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Shops and apartments - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Shops and apartments - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Plasterwork - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Plasterwork - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Connection between two streets - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Connection between two streets - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Recently built residential building - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Recently built residential building - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Dongolo water factory - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Dongolo water factory - Tab'ah Asmara Eritrea.

 
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