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West or Bust! [Barentu]

For the past two days I have been on a bit of a jaunt to western Eritrea. What I saw amazed me. Years ago, back in 2001 I had been as far west as Barentu but no further because after the war gas was difficult to find in the area.

Anyway, back to 2005 and what had to be the most impressive trips I have ever been on. It is likely that most people wouldn’t be as amazed as I was but what could be seen was marvelous. The strides towards food security despite the setbacks of war and drought in Eritrea is amazing.

First, in Barentu where a new referral hospital is almost complete, wakling through it, you are not quite sure if you are in a hospital or small community college. By the way, I also found out (on the grounds of the hospital) that the best cure for the terrible heat in the lowlands is eating papaya. Even after having a glass of tea, you still feel comfortable after eating the papaya.

Barentu Referral Hospital
Furthermore, flora and fauna was beautiful. Now, typically I am not the type to be swayed by the beauty of nature, but this time I couldn’t help myself. It may have been because I have never really looked at a butterfly in Eritrea. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know we had any!

Barentu Butterfly
But the flower’s too were simply beautiful. The amazing color in each, so vibrant, made me think of the people of Eritrea. Who knew that the strong, hearty Eritrea people could be so easily represented by something so coy and delicate. These flowers were only the beginning of the changes you can see in the lower lands.

Flowers of Eritrea

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