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Photographer's Note

In Apil 1993 I was sent to Eritrea to report from the referendum on independence and the birth of the new nation. On voting day I asked a taxi driver to take me to a village some distance from the capital city, Asmara.
To my surprise, I was greeted in the village by ululating women throwing popcorn at me as a welcoming gesture, a little girl gave me flowers, a man riding a white horse leaned down and offered me a piece of bread and I was invited to the local monastery where the monks gave me a private dance performance (I'll show them tomorrow).
I was overwhelmed by the hospitality but kept asking myself "why do they do this to me?"
When I had watched the proceedings in the tent used as a polling station, asked a few questions and taken some notes I told my driver it was time to go back to Asmara. Just as we left the village we met a caravan of cars belonging to the United Nations and I got the explanation for my warm reception. Everyone in the village thought that I was the UN representative!
Anyway, it was a good day for me and for the great Eritrean people. And the pretty girls working in my hotel reception where happy too, because they got the flowers.
This was scanned from a Kodachrome slide.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3298 W: 295 N: 6827] (36365)
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