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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 20 2016 - Visiting the PTZM and Asmara Bus Company garage

 

When I pass the PTZM garage in Tsetserat, I ask if I can picture some of the older buses, explaining I want to show the 1991 - 2016 progress of Asmara's public transport. A worker at the PTZM administration makes a short phone call to the general manager. I will receive a guided tour through the garages and workshops.

Hidden in a remote corner of the garage is a very old Fiat bus. Mehari tells me they have beautiful new King Long buses, but they are not strong like the Mercedes Benz Marco Polo buses from Brazil, and the Deawoo buses from Korea. Some of the new King Long buses already are under repair, waiting for spare parts from China.

When I walk DenDen Street and enter Mariam Gmbi Street, to check the status of the Selam Hotel (is it still under renovation?) I think I am passing a bar. But it isn't. It is a butcher shop. "Come in and sit down" the butcher invites me. Don't know what I should do in a butcher shop, but a few minutes later I will learn that even this meeting looks orchestrated from above.

I explain I was actually looking for a bar to have a coke. Moses points to the opposite side of DenDen Street. They ask me from where I came. When I tell them I am from Holland, they are happy. Negash tells he has a 28 year old daughter that went to Holland four years ago: Aster Negash Mengistu. When I go back to Holland I have to bring her a letter. "I am her father, Negash Mengistu."

With some pride he shows me the poster on the wall of the butcher shop. His daughter used to be a model in Eritrea, and he thinks she is still working a model in Holland.

"I will buy you a coke", Moses says. He is out to the supermarket and one minute later he returns with a coke. We exchange telephone numbers. I promise to be back before I leave Eritrea to collect the letter for his daughter. Negash will try to find as much as possible address data of Aster (in Holland).

In the Crispi Bar in DenDen street, I have a large bottle of mineral water.

Next to visit is the Eritrean National Chamber of Commerce ENCC. With Tadese Beraki, head of the Trade Promotion Department I chat about the economic development in Eritrea. Focus is on regional development, to prevent further migration to Asmara. Packages of two cows, five hens and some sheep, so the families will be able to support themselves. New buses in all regional capitals to provide good transport in Mendefera, Tessenei, Dekemhare and Keren. Booming trade with Sudan. Only factories are allowed to import materials for production, so that scarce foreign capital is used for productive sectors instead of luxury items. Over ten mining companies are exploring and exploiting new and discovering deposits near Debarwa and Adi Nefas.

When I visit the house of Haile and Freweiny and their kids (I trust Haile as one of the guys to get me an entry card for the final ceremonies in Asmara Stadium, on May 24) I hear the sound of drums on the yard. I ask Michael if there will be a wedding or some other feast. "No, it is our neighbor Rahel. She is just practicing." I go outside and see there is more koboro's. I ask Rahel if I can join her rhythm session. "Be my guest". Of course I am welcome to join her.

I have to admit I have a similar instrument at home, so I know how to play the drum. But the duo dancing with the koboro's is great fun to the Eritreans on the yard, and for me and Rahel. Again I have that typical Eritrean 'Simply Magnificent' experience of joy and happiness with just two drums, four hands, and four feet and a hand clapping family, while Tedros and Michael make photo's and video.

Next to visit is the Asmara Bus Company in Fenkil Street on the road to Massawa. From the gate I attract the attention of the workers. I want to enter the compound to make some pictures of the historical buses that served public transport in the time of liberation. The Asmara Bus Company has its roots in the (Italian) colonial era. The compound is a graveyard of historical buses. Efrem gives me a guided tour through the garage, showing me the buses with a brief explanation.

On my way back to the center I pass Gheza Kenischa and Arbaete Asmara and the Medeber Markets. Reason for a short visit to hand out last years pictures. The girls and boys are happy I did not forget them, and so am I. I will return later for a longer visit.

At 6h30 PM sharp I am in Cinema Roma for tonight's performances. Two German groups from Munster were invited under the theme 'music connects': 'Reheated' and 'Star Light Excess'. Especially the second band (Germany's best cover band Star Light Excess) gave a very impressive show of covers of well know songs and a few songs of their own.

Third group to perform was a Motown group from Atlanta, the 'Atlanta Horns' performing songs from the 60's. When 'Abigail Obi' from Johannesburg and the Atlanta band play their last song, the audience comes forward to dance. 

Kidane Mehret Oriental Christian Church - Asmara Eritrea.

Kidane Mehret Oriental Christian Church - Asmara Eritrea.

Central Pharmacy Nakfa Avenue - Asmara Eritrea.

Central Pharmacy - Nakfa Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

 PTZM Garage -Tsetserat Asmara Eritrea.

PTZM Garage -Tsetserat Asmara Eritrea.

Oldtimer Bus PTZM Garage -Tsetserat Asmara Eritrea.

Oldtimer Bus PTZM Garage -Tsetserat Asmara Eritrea.

Ministry of Health - DenDen Street - Asmara Eritrea.

Ministry of Health - DenDen Street - Asmara Eritrea.

Butchers shop - Maryam GMBI Street - Asmara Eritrea.

Butchers shop - Maryam GMBI Street - Asmara Eritrea.

Crispi Bar - DenDen Street - Asmara Eritrea.

Hanni & Yordanos  - Crispi Bar DenDen Street Asmara Eritrea.

Apartments Fenkil Street - Asmara Eritrea.

Apartments Fenkil Street - Asmara Eritrea.

Garage Asmara Bus Company - Fenkil Street Asmara Eritrea.

Asmara Bus Company Garage - Fenkil Street - Asmara Eritrea.

Asmara Bus Company Garage - Fenkil Street - Asmara Eritrea.

Asmara Bus Company Garage - Fenkil Street - Asmara Eritrea.

View on Geza Kenisha - Asmara Eritrea.

View on Geza Kenisha - Asmara Eritrea.

Geza Kenisha Evangelical Church - Asmara Eritrea.

Geza Kenisha Evangelical Church - Asmara Eritrea.

Geza Kenisha Cemetery Church - Asmara Eritrea.

Geza Kenisha Cemetery Church - Asmara Eritrea.

Geza Kenisha Cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

Geza Kenisha Cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

Geza Kenisha Cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

Geza Kenisha Cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

View on Arbaete Asmara - Asmara Eritrea.

View on Arbaete Asmara - Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Medeber Markets - Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated Medeber Markets - Asmara Eritrea.

Hans and Rahel playing the Koboro - Central Zone Asmara Eritrea.

Hans and Rahel playing the Koboro - Central Zone Asmara Eritrea.

Invitation / entry card for Cinema Roma Independece Day Celebration May 19 2016.

Invitation / entry card for Cinema Roma Independece Day Celebration May 20 2016.

 

Independence Day Celebrations - Cinema Roma Asmara Eritrea.

Star Light Excess (Münster Germany) - Cinema Roma Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day Celebrations - Cinema Roma Asmara Eritrea.

Vanessa solo (Star Light Excess) - Cinema Roma Asmara Eritrea.

Peter Peterson  & Atlanta Horns - Cinema Roma Asmara Eritrea.

Peter Peterson  & Atlanta Horns - Cinema Roma Asmara Eritrea.

Abi Gail Obi from Johannesburg - Cinema Roma Asmara Eritrea.

Abi Gail Obi from Johannesburg - Cinema Roma Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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