A smile is thrust upon every student as the bell rings in the last hour of the last day of school. There is a sense of relief as they hand out their last exam papers! There is the unmistakable sincere smile on the elderly as they see the first signs of rain. It is summer again!
In Asmara the rainy season is the most desired and highly expected of all seasons! It is not only because school is closed and most of our relatives and friends from abroad come but also because it is the only few months in which we see rain. As most of us are already aware Eritrea is one of the few places around the globe that enjoys three seasons in two hours drive. In fact any one could experience while driving to Massawa through the Filfil Solomuna road. And in this few months there is a cool breathe that gives a sense of freshness to the atmosphere, the rainy season starts in June.
During this time people enjoy the season in different ways: Some find the inner peace on the simple daily routine, others get away from the city and go to our naturally rich country sides, while the young ones seek for fun and enjoyment. Because they know September is just around the corner and everyone will go back to school under the dry and sunny sky.
Therefore while the youth of the country as usual and as always spend their days in keeping the promises of the martyrs in building a stronger and wealthier country for generations to come; they spend the weekends and their spare times relaxing and spending some quality time with friends and families. Asmara also offers recreation centers that provide fun and excitement. They also spend their leisure time listening to music, performing different sports activities and arranging excursions in groups outside the city. It is so much fun that you lose track of time, and it is in this specific image that you could see the true reflection of what the well-known Latin literate Orazio said by coming up with the theory of “Carpe Diem”.
More over, high school students, specially freshmen and sophomores get to camp out, getting outside of the city under the project called “Maetot “ , where they get to have an adventure acquainting themselves with the countryside and engaging themselves for some weeks in contributing their capacity in the development of their country. While the juniors start packing for their senior year in Warsai Yikaalo School getting as much of Asmara as possible before they leave for Sawa.
In addition to these enjoyable and thrilling activities there are the two highly expected festivals which will be held in mid-July and August both in Asmara and in Sawa. Both of these festivals have something so rare that it can’t be found in other parts of the world, in which the knowledge of our rich and prideful cultures are transferred to posterity.
When the first rain drops fall: women hurry outside to call their kids or to put things away so that the rain won’t incur damage to their belongings while kids escape from their mothers so they can play with the neighbors! Quite famous are the games of “pallina”, “tembo” and “football”, aside from those playing games like “ataemamat” (hide and seek in Tigrigna) under the rain and fog creates this unexplainable thrill in the hearts and memories of the kids. In fact still to this day in reminiscing of those beautiful times, my friends and I keep dear to our hearts the sweet memories of our childhood.
Old men’s heart is filled with joy just at the view, and the excitement that they feel is so outstanding that it brightness up their faces.
The feeling that I can’t escape just as many, is the gatherings you get to have in rainy evening! When the entire family gathers up around the fire drinking coffee or eating the traditional and mythical “shiro” that keeps the family real worm! The elderly come up with stories and jokes from the past and everyone spends hours if not the entire evening laughing and talking like you haven’t seen each other in a million years, and at the same time sharing the joy of spending some good quality time with your loved ones. And it might be the coldest thing just outside your door step, but inside it is warm and cozy and there is that familiar feeling everybody around the world wants to feel but very few get to experience.
If I had to take a picture and proudly show it to everyone, it would be one of all the Asmara people in these beautiful season of prosperity, but as the borders of the picture will limit me from taking such a big of a picture I’ll keep these memories dear to my heart and hope that everyone around have few of their own.