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May 2016
Celebrating Eritrea's
25th Independence Day
 
Congratulations Eritrea
Eritrea - May 24 2016 - 25th Independence Day
25th Independence Day
 

 

Eritrea May / June 2016 - The preparations to celebrate Eritrea's 25th Independence Day

 

May 24 2016 Eritrea will celebrate its Silver Jubilee: 25 years of independence. So I ordered my ticket in time, as one might expect thousands of Eritreans from all over the world to visit their homeland to celebrate this joyful event.

Visa processing may take some time as well, so just to be sure I applied for my visa two months in advance. Although I am sure it is granted, I will have to respect the check, double check, triple check of the Eritrean authorities, that may take several weeks.

A comprehensive travel plan and agenda for three weeks is essential, as the celebrations will be the main entertainment up to May 24. The remaining ten days require twenty ideas, so there is a plan B for every day of my visit. Several 10-20 kilometer walks, a visit to Keren, networking to find the unexpected, some special requests received by e-mail. I trust the Eritrean people will do the rest, as they always do, as long as you don't hide in your house or hotel. Plan C is updating my Eritrean information pages, visiting tourism service providers all over Asmara, checking and correcting the data. And to add some new entries.

I designed and printed customized t shirts that will add to the many decorations of shops & offices in Asmara.  In 2011 they proved to be a very good investment and an enjoyable project to participate in the Independence Day celebrations. And I printed a few hundred flyer's to hand out as small gifts. More than 100 pens traditionally prove to be a nice gift for the kids. Eight boxes of chocolates, Fifty small packs of chewing gum and ten family packs (the Eritreans love to eat it all day and it will suppress your thirst during longer walks). Johnnie Walker for my host, and copies of the 2014 pics to hand out to the owners of the smiling faces I met in October 2014.

My Eritrean wife makes sure I will leave with two times 23 kilo's adding gifts for her family. My cabin case contains all essential items, just in case all my luggage will be lost, so that the worst case scenario will not completely spoil my stay in Eritrea.

Friday May 13 2016 - The flight from Amsterdam to Cairo

I do not believe in Friday 13 bad luck stories. But unfortunately the bad luck story starts to unfold at Amsterdam Airport. I am well in time at the EgyptAir check-in counter, where a rumor goes around that EgyptAir is hit by a captains strike. I silently pray the rumors are false, but they are not. When I mention my final destination Asmara at the check-in counter, I am kindly requested to report to the local EgyptAir manager. He is authorized to tell me the full impact of the mixed up EgyptAir schedule. The flight to Cairo is delayed for at least four hours and I will miss my connecting flight to Asmara. So I can chose: go home and come back tomorrow, or wait some extra hours and end up in Cairo with no connecting flight (today). It worries me, because what will happen if the strike will lock me at Cairo Airport?

Quick thinking results in the conclusion that there is no guarantee that tomorrows flight from Amsterdam to Cairo will be as scheduled, so I choose to spend the night in Cairo to start my rest days anyway, be it in Cairo. Guess EgyptAir will provide accommodation in Cairo. I am not the only victim of the strike, so I guess they will not let us down. Worst case scenario will be a hard night & day at the airport of Cairo. Fortunately I have a survival package in my cabin luggage, just in case I meet these worst case scenarios. I make a few calls to inform my wife and her Eritrean girl friend that I will not by on the Saturday flight to Asmara. They will inform my host and the pick up service in Asmara.

At the gate I receive a new ticket for tomorrows flight to Asmara. Bravo EgyptAir! One thing less to worry about. Just before 8 pm we board the plane for the three hour and thirty minutes flight to Cairo. Too short to have some sleep, day dreaming of what I will meet in Cairo.

 

Independence Day Torch - Denhimna Southern Red Sea Region

Independence Day Torch - Denhimna Southern Red Sea Region.
Eritrea Profile Saturday, 27 February, 2016.

"1991-2016 A quarter century of resilience and development"

"1991-2016 A quarter century of resilience and development"

 

"1991-2016 A quarter century of resilience and development"

"1991-2016 A quarter century of resilience and development"

 

My banner for Eritrea's 25th Independence Day.

My banner for Eritrea's 25th Independence Day.

My Eritrea visa 2016.

My Eritrea visa 2016.

Bad news at Amsterdam Airport: MS758 to Cairo delayed four hours.

Bad news at Amsterdam Airport: MS758 to Cairo delayed four hours.

Egyptair Airbus at Amsterdam Airport

The plane! Egyptair Airbus at Amsterdam Airport just before 8 PM.

  

 
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