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May 2011
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20th Independence Day
 

 

Keren Eritrea May 27 2011

 

In Asmara I brought some freight documents to the office of the Daughters of Charity. The Daughters of Charity are a worldwide organization that serves the sick and the poorest of the poor. In Keren Eritrea they run a small clinic, the St. George Hospital, also known as the Waliku clinic, offering heath care for free if necessary.

In 2008 Jonne and Albert of the Eritrea Hagez Foundation in The Netherlands met the Daughters of Charity. One year later, Jonne brought the sisters a second visit. They decided to make the Waliku clinic their new project, because there is a glaring lack of medicines and food.

Afworki gave me a rough idea how to find the Waliku district, and early in the morning, when it is still cool, I walk all the way to Waliku. There is small Toyota busses, commuting from any area to the center of Keren, but I only use them for return trips, if I am lost, or in a hurry.

When I arrive at the clinic, I explain my situation. The sisters in the Asmara office already made a telephone call to Waliku to announce my visit. The manager of the hospital is not in at the moment, but I am welcomed by one of the other members of the staff, who shows my the various wards.

She explains in short what the hospital does to assure that the babies in this region will receive the necessary care.

The hospital is neat and clean. The beautiful building was donated by an Italian village in 2001. Beds and inventory came in most second hand from Italy and The Netherlands, due to lack of funds. There still is a chronic lack of medicines and food, especially for malnourished babies from the poorer families.

the Eritrea Hagez Foundation in The Netherlands is still raising funds (for transportation and medicines). Volunteers in The Netherlands supply baby cloths and inventory for the hospital.

I do not feel at ease with my camera. The people waiting for the doctor will not be happy if I am going to picture them. Therefore I just ask permission to make some pictures of a nurse, who is examining and vaccinating a small baby.

After my visit to the hospital, I make a small walk through the Waliku district, that is dominated by modest and small square houses. Most streets are only accessible on foot, because the streets are part of the highly irregular hills  When walking through the village, some boys tell me to stop.

I am used to these kids trying to attract my attention. Especially in the non tourist areas, I am one of the rare exciting objects for these kids. Looking behind, I notice that I lost my printed e-mail message from Albert and Jonne referring to the Waliku clinic. 

It proves that they watch every move I make, but also will help me whenever needed. In the first shop where I can find a cold coke, I have a short break. As always, the shopkeeper offers a me seat, so I can have some rest.

From Waliku I walk to Keren Lalay. I pass a typical relic from the Italian era: The St. Anna School. A beautiful building inviting to make some pictures. I enter the compound to ask permission. You never know how the teachers will respond to a tourist.

From previous occasions I remember that I should ask a permit from the Ministry of Education to make pictures. The female manager of the St. Anna School, Sr. Meheret Tesfai welcomes me in her school, and even offers me a cold coke.

For half an hour I am her guest. She tells me that an Italian team is coming to do some repairs on the roofs of the school. I am free to walk around and make pictures as she is proud of her school and happy with the maintenance help from Europe.

When I pass the Kiddus Michael church, not far from the school, I meat the same hospitality. I am invited in to make pictures of the interior of the church. The priest does not speak English, but with some gestures he shows me the paintings on the ceiling and on the wall.

With Rahel and Hidat I share today's experiences, in Bar Restaurant Stuttgart run by Elen, their mother.

I drink a few double arakies as a medicine for my distorted digestion, before returning to the house of Afworki and Hansu.

  

 

Grain mill - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

Grain mill - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

River crossing - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

River crossing - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

St. George  hospital - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

St. George hospital - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

St. George  hospital - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

St. George hospital - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

St. George  hospital - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

St. George hospital - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

View on Waliku - Keren Eritrea.

View on Waliku - Keren Eritrea.

 

View on Waliku - Keren Eritrea.

View on Waliku - Keren Eritrea.

 

"Edel" Waliku Kindergarten - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

"Edel" Waliku Kindergarten - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

 

Rough road - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

Rough road - Waliku Keren Eritrea.

.

View from Waliku on the new Al Shaba Mosque - Keren Eritrea.

View from Waliku on the new Al Shaba Mosque - Keren Eritrea.

Irrigated farmland - Keren Eritrea.

Irrigated farmland - Keren Eritrea.

Road to Waliku - Geza Banda Keren Eritrea.

Road to Waliku - Geza Banda Keren Eritrea.

New Al Shaba Mosque - Keren Eritrea.

New Al Shaba Mosque - Keren Eritrea.

Road to Keren Lalay - Keren Eritrea.

Road to Keren Lalay - Keren Eritrea.

St. Anna School - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

St. Anna School - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

St. Anna School - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

St. Anna School - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

St. Anna School - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

St. Anna School - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

Local public transport - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

Local public transport - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

Modern version of traditional Tukul (Adugo) - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

Modern version of traditional Tukul (Adugo) - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

Kiddus Michael Catholic Church - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

Kiddus Michael Catholic Church - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

Kiddus Michael Catholic Church - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

Kiddus Michael Catholic Church - Keren Lalay Eritrea.

Orthodox Church - Keren Eritrea.

Orthodox Church - Keren Eritrea.

Orthodox Church (detail) - Keren Eritrea.

Orthodox Church (detail) - Keren Eritrea.

 

 
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