Asmara Eritrea - June 6 and 7 2009
The three weeks in Eritrea are
finished. I say the last goodbyes to the family and friends.
I make sure that all the paperwork (declaration forms!) is ready for the return
Check-in time is at 2:30 Sunday
morning. I am too exited to have some sleep in the day time, and around
midnight I am too afraid to miss my flight so early in the morning, so I will try to sleep
one or two hours in the plane instead.
The rest of the procedure is
as always: Passport and ticket check at the airport perimeter, a scan of all luggage
before entering the airport buildings, a physical check for arms and
explosives. All passengers fill an exit card (there is different cards for
foreigners and Eritreans) and a currency declaration form.
Check-in at the Egyptair desk. Payment of 20 US$ airport tax. Check of the passport and
form. Third check of my passport for any omissions. Check of the cabin luggage
declaration form "Please show the currency remaining", and
a second physical check for arms and explosives. Fourth passport check.
After this check, double
check, triple check the passengers will wait in the upstairs modern
waiting room, surrounded by duty free shops and a small bar called
"Take Off", until they are guided to to the embarkation room
around 4:30. The 250 meter walk to
the Egyptair Airbus are my final steps on Eritrean soil.
It always takes me a few
months to add my lovely memories of Eritrea to our web site. But I guess
it is still worth the energy spent on selecting and re-sizing the
pictures, arranging them in web pages, and translating my daily notes into
good English. On August 28, my friend John from New Hampshire, USA, who
was stationed at Kagnew
Station Asmara for two years, surprised me with his e-mail
My friends Mebrat and Hans,
I recently finished reading your latest visit home and loved every
Mebrat, may I say I love your country, and especially the Eritrean
people. I think back to my times in Asmara, and how we were never told the truth about the Eritrean
people. We were led to believe you were all shifta. I know now you were just like our Colonialists who fought the British for our
independence. You wanted your country back, and are willing to fight for
it. I commend you all for winning. You have transformed Eritrea into the beautiful country it is destined to
be. Eritrea is in a class of its own. No other country could ever compare with the beauty of
Eritrea and also its
people. Free, strong, determined, honest, and loving people.
Hans, I could feel every day of your travels through your
diary. Thank you so much for sharing Eritrea with the rest of the world. I feel like I'm with you when I read your
diary. Watching BBC News the other night, I saw a few African women just sitting and talking to each other, and all of a sudden I could smell Asmara. Over the past 40 years since I was in Asmara I have smelled Asmara many
times. I don't know why or how to recreate it, but it is extremely
enjoyable. It only lasts a few seconds and it's gone. I savor that moment in time. Very
Your Friend of Eritrea,
My Best to the both of you,
Naomi - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.
Alpha Supermarket - Warsay
Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
Stationary - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
Pyramid Buffet Restaurant -
BDHO Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
Souvenir stall - Asmara Eritrea.
Post Office - Asmara Eritrea.
Painting (peaceful country
life) - Asmara Eritrea.
Sweet Asmara Caffee - Harnet
Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
High Court - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.
Commercial Bank of Eritrea - Asmara Eritrea.
Adulis sports club and
Pyramid Restaurant - Asmara Eritrea.
Feben and Tsega, Damera Bar
- Asmara Eritrea.