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Eritrea November 2009
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November & December 2009
A warm winter in Eritrea
 

 

Asmara - December 5 2009

 

Last day in Eritrea. Time to pay a last short visit to family and friends, to say goodbye, check my November 2009 to do list for the last time.

At 15:00 I am a guest of Robert van Embden and his wife at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands where the typical Dutch Saint Nicolas feast will be celebrated for the 14 children and their parents in Asmara, that have a link to The Netherlands.

In the garden of the residence Robert's wife teaches the children the most popular songs of the Saint Nicolas tradition. After the basic Saint Nicolas training course the children are ready to welcome their friend that traveled all the way from Spain to Asmara.

Saint Nicolas and his dark helpers arrive on an Asmara horse cart drawn by one of the Eritrean nephews of white horse Amerigo. The gifts for the children and the candy came with an earlier delivery.

Robert van Embden welcomes the bishop upon arrival at the gate of the residence in Beleza Street. The old guest is then guided to the stage in the sun-drenched garden, where he will personally address al the children. One by one the children are called forward to receive their treats and toys and a small personal comment on their record of behavior.

After the celebration there is a buffet of typical Saint Nicolas delicacies for the children and their parents. The children enjoy the candy, cookies, and warm chocolate milk.

In the evening I pack my suitcases, and make sure I have all my travel documents complete and checked, and double checked for the 1:30 check-in at Asmara International Airport for the flight with Egyptair to Cairo and Amsterdam.

At the airport I pass the checkpoints at the gate, at the door, at the x-ray machine, the ticket and luggage counter, the currency declaration forms counter, the airport tax counter, the customs counter, the double check officer, a second x-ray machine check, and the foreign currency exchange and electronics declaration form check. "Please show me the money." Strict but polite the officer checks the foreign currency with the currency declaration form. "Perfect!" 

I am allowed to go upstairs to the waiting room zone surrounded by souvenir shops, and the "Take Off" cafe, where we will have to wait several hours before we can make the last 200 meters walk to the Egyptair Boeing 737-800.

 

Eritrean children practicing "Sinterklaas kapoentje" - Asmara Eritrea.

Eritrean children practicing "Sinterklaas kapoentje" - Asmara Eritrea.

The ambassadors wife instructing the Children - Asmara Eritrea.

The ambassadors wife instructing the children - Asmara Eritrea.

Waiting for Saint Nicolas - Residence of the ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Waiting for Saint Nicolas - Residence of the
ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Arrival of Saint Nicolas - Asmara Eritrea.

Arrival of Saint Nicolas - Asmara Eritrea.

Arrival of Saint Nicolas - Asmara Eritrea.

Arrival of Saint Nicolas - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the
ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the
ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the
ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the
ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

Saint Nicolas feast at the residence of the
ambassador of The Netherlands - Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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