People ask me why I choose to live in Eritrea after living 40 years in America. America is a great country where you are provided with ample opportunity with luck and hard work one can be what one chooses to be. I am grateful to my American families and friends who provided me assistance and guidance; their help made me what I am today. As much as I love and cherish America; Eritrea is the land of my fore fathers; it is where my ancestors came from, my great fathers were born and buried; like my fore fathers I would like to be buried in my ancestors land.
Eritrea as a developing nation has its limitation; power and water are in short supply, electricity might go out some times, the internet is slow, and services are not adequate. But there is much more to life than shortages what maters in life is not what you have in material wealth but being happy with what you have.
The life style of Eritreans is the same, six regions, nine ethnic groups and different religions
have the same traditions and life style.
In Eritrea it is common to find people who follow two different religions but swore in the same ancestors. In some section of the society, Islam and Christianity are shared by people with common language, culture, history and ethnic origin. Hence; how Eritrean’s live and what is valued as the norm is the same in every corner of the country. The first and most interesting is that of the extended family life that underlay the countries social structure. It is normal to see many homes that have three generations living under one roof, with the grand parents as commanders in chief. The people are religious and very faithful and loving as they go to Church and Mosques one can see the unifying and calming effect of religion. Inviting one another in their homes for coffee ceremonies, visiting, hanging out with friend and relatives is a daily happing. Stopping to talk to some one on the street is normal at times blocking traffic yet no one seems to care or get upset. The community is egalitarian where the rich and powerful does not show off and the poor is nurtured and helped to be successful. The social value is one that promotes powerful, protective social structure capable of defending any and all challenges. Three generational meals, talking to each other, walking on the streets for pleasure, community life this is the conventional wisdom for living a happy and meaning full life.
Asmara the capital city is a beautiful city. The palm tree lined wide boulevards; sidewalk cafes and art deco architecture are the land mark of Asmara. Its pleasant climate, blue sky makes it one of my most favorite cities in the word; no city comes close to its unique small size yet grand beauty. The residents of Asmara are amazing, in the evening hours the city boulevards are packed with people for a “passeggiata”; a decorous, dawdling, laid-back relaxing walk to see friends and strangers as they enjoy the effervescent pleasant evenings. In Asmara it is a must that wherever you are, be it at work or other runs the day ends with a daily ritual of relaxation “the passeggiata”.
Eritrea is a beautiful place to live with its awesome sight, landscape, beautiful crystal beaches, over 300 islands and an inland of wild meadows, sky high mountains and fertile valleys. The culture is unique and the people are very hospitable. Life in Eritrea is much simpler and less chaotic compared to America or Europe. Traffic jam is unheard off; one can travel a short distance from Asmara and be in the wilderness; nature at its best.
The cities in Eritrea are small and lightly populated, for example AdiKyeh (city of reds) located in the Southern region lies one hundred twenty (120) kilometers at the highest plateau south of Asmara, the capital; in the foot hills of the historical ancient cities Kohaito and Metera. As you enter the city, you will see the newly built College of Social Sciences its modern facilities are very impressive. The city is styled between a city and a larger village with a circle in the center. Facing the circle is the administrative offices. An archway to one side leads to a newly rebuilt Church, the Madonna Our Lady of Perpetual (the old Church was destroyed by the Ethiopian aggressors) to the right narrow stone steps run down hill to a magnificent Mosque.
For centuries, the peasants of AdiKyeh cultivated the fields in the valley below. The hill sides are built by closely huddled stone houses on a narrow streets running up and down the hillside. AdiKyeh is a place that lay outside everyday experience, where the normal rules as we know it does not apply.
Northern Red Sea Region with its therapeutic benefit the “BLUE ENVIORMENT’ is the weekend outlet. A frenzied sprawl of 1 million people it’s the second largest region in Eritrea. It’s also a place where you will find six ethnic groups live together in harmony with a sea shore of 1,100 kilometers long. An hour to ones travel and prior to reaching an island you are escorted by dolphins. At the wheel of vessels one can see the scattered Islands, its high rolling hills, the low houses, boats that lay in long decoration against beaches. Small fishing town spreads along the shoreline. Dozen inlets, each with its pleasant instruct of sail bats and home ran the periphery of Islands an endless series of pristine anchorages. My friend this is heaven on earth.
Barentu is the regional capital of Gash Barka Region largest region in Eritrea. It’s also a place where you will find eight out of nine ethnic groups live together in harmony. The trip to Barentu takes you through Central and Anseba Region and into Agordat with its beautiful serene landscape. Barentu is situated in the fertile plains and is homeland of the Kunama ethnic group. From here, looking east across the rows of trained small cities, with its beautiful serene landscape the Gash and Barka rivers are visible. Gash Barka region is not just for the sun it afforded but for the long view to the north and west fertile plains. Gash-Barka region is rich in base metal-rich volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit mineralization consisting of gold and silver. Be as it may; what makes Eritrea loveable place to live is not what it have in natural and national wealth but its people and their culture.
What is happiness to you maters most; the thing I love about Eritrea is that it allows me to be happy. I do what makes me happy, travel around the country, visits with extended family, hangout with people I like and live a clean healthy life.