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.
Critiques | Translate
bibik (2784) 2008-05-08 1:13
Exotic scenery. Superb composition. Interesting note.
nirvana73 (0) 2008-05-08 11:35
nice celebration shot
The joy of the women and dress
everything is ok
Asiulus (1176) 2008-05-13 3:18
Congratulations on your short, unexpected but pleasant carrier as the UN representative! Nice moment caught - and funny, if one read the note ;-)
I like the framing, the gestures and expressions. I wouldn't mind a bit more saturation and removing the wires in PP, of course it was not a digital picture and this version is the real one, but they're bit disturbing.
saxo042 (36912) 2008-05-19 8:53
A fine picture with a funny note. Must have been a surprise to them to discover they had wasted their popcorn on the wrong person! Talk about throwing pearls...
mafegan (8624) 2008-09-26 1:19
You are having an interesting life and you tell a good story! Good composition and for a scan the quality is fine. TFS, Marlene
serp2000 (38051) 2014-05-16 6:52
I do remember that conflict between Eritrea and Ephiopia . But I still don't know a reason of the war. Is it a Christian nation too? This is very interesting reporter's work, great timing shot! They are really happy with their Independence.
Miguel82 (20494) 2014-07-27 19:12
Great memory and report Gert, a unique moment for Eritrean people, a new nation was born, smiling faces and beautiful clothes, have a good start of week