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

 

Asmara Eritrea May 18 2016 - Family visits

 

After breakfast I do the five kilometer walk from Cinema Roma to my wife's family in Sembel. I pass many buildings and shop windows decorated with colorful banners, Eritrean and EPLF flags and led strings. Many taxi's and buses also are adorned with Eritrean or EPLF flags.

In the modest Sembel district a lot of progress has been achieved in the 1991 - 2016 time span. When I visited the village for the first time, the seasonal rains flooded the streets, resulting in muddy and smelling pools. Now rough roads have been leveled with concrete, and seasonal rivers have been turned into a canalized stream.

The Sembel village has it's own local health center, 'Sembel Clinic', which is surprising, as the Sembel Hospital is on a one kilometer distance in the modern Sembel Housing Complex (also known as Nda Corea as the new Sembel village was constructed twenty years ago in 1996 by the South Corean Keangnam Enterprises).

In Sembel I visit Fessehaye, my wife's brother, Yordanos and their kids Meron, Alana, Alexander, YoŽl, Naomi and Fethhawit. We chat about Fessehaye's oldest son Daniel, who is one of the many refugees who came to The Netherlands to escape military service and poor perspectives in Eritrea. Daniel now is the step stone for his wife, brothers and sisters for a family reunion in Europe.

I ask Alana which country she prefers. "Holland" she answers. I ask her why. "Because Daniel, Aster, and Mebrat are in Holland" she motivates. Daniel is her brother, Aster and Mebrat are her aunties. I try to add some realism to her dreams of migrating to The Netherlands. Fessehaye will prepare some official documents for Daniel. and a five kilo goody bag. As postage mail is very unreliable, it is customary to send official documents using family, or friends.

Fessehaye also invites me to visit his office in Harnet Avenue, where he has established a small studio for video- and photo editing, complementary to his job as a freelance cameraman and photographer for weddings and related events.

Yordanos gives me two bottles of araki, as a gift for me. I don't understand, but also cannot find the words to ask her why I receive a gift. It should be me to hand out the gifts to my Eritrean family. But of course the liquor is very welcome as a souvenir from Eritrea, to take back home to The Netherlands, and have a double araki every Friday after a hard working week.

I spend the afternoon networking and collecting data for our Eritrean information pages, enjoying macchiato's with cake, or a large bottle of mineral water, or a coke in one of the main street bars. Resting outside under a sunshade, chatting with the Eritreans, and making notes to prepare my May 2016 travel blog.

Also I visit the exhibition of the Eritrean National War Disabled Veterans Association (ENWDVA) where kind staff shows my the many activities of the organization: training, income generating activities. More than 300 workshops and factories where the handicapped soldiers find a useful job: bakeries, construction, repair shops, medical facilities. Micro finance programs, and medical services.

In the evening I make sure to be in time at 6h30 PM, to have a seat in the front row of Cinema Roma. I enjoy a mix of music and dance of all Eritrean nationalities and a Sudanese group.

  

Decorated workshop - Warsay Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated workshop - Warsay Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Asmara Palace Hotel - Hday Street Asmara Eritrea.

Asmara Palace Hotel - Hday Street Asmara Eritrea.

Sembel / Corea Housing Complex - Asmara Eritrea.

Sembel / Corea Housing Complex - Asmara Eritrea.

Leveled concrete road - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Leveled concrete road - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Yordanos coffee ceremony - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Yordanos coffee ceremony - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Hans and Alana (my niece) - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Me and My niece Alana - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Bar Moderna - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Bar Moderna - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Evening show in Cinema Roma - Asmara Eritrea.

Evening show in Cinema Roma - Asmara Eritrea.

Evening show in Cinema Roma - Asmara Eritrea.

Evening show in Cinema Roma - Asmara Eritrea.

Evening show in Cinema Roma - Asmara Eritrea.

Evening show in Cinema Roma - Asmara Eritrea.

Evening show in Cinema Roma - Asmara Eritrea.

Evening show in Cinema Roma - Asmara Eritrea.

    

 
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