This is your forecast for the week of January 9th, 2017. If you are traveling to Eritrea, be sure to “regularize” your relationship with the Government of Eritrea by filling out a repentance form. Its official name is “Immigration and Citizenship Services Request Form B4/4.2.” That is assuming you haven’t said anything negative against the government or its human rights record, its governance, or key individuals in a position to harm you, in which case, we have a strong advisory against traveling back to Eritrea.
- Good news: the airline you are flying, Dubai, Turkish or EgyptAir, is not planning a sudden cancellation of all flights from and to Eritrea, so you should be ok. But don’t drink alcohol even if it is complementary: really, is that the impression you want to give your folks, arrive in drunken stupor?
- Fuel, which is called benzine, is a million nakfas a liter, or something. So pay the taxi rate of 1,000 Nakfa from the airport with a smile. When you are an old man or woman and Eritrea is awash in fuel and natural gas you can bore your grand kids with your stories of how much you paid.
- The Nakfa, which had seen a temporary uptick a year ago after the change in currency, is in rapid reversal. The exchange rate is now USD 100 –> Nakfa 3,000. We forecast it will reach 4,000 before November, i.e., exactly where it was two year ago on the anniversary of the ballyhooed currency exchange.
- There is no planned G’ffa (random round up of deserters and draft-dodgers) this week. But carry your 2nd Country Passport everywhere you go, including the bathroom. Seriously. If you don’t have it, you will be rounded-up because the standard operating procedure (SOP) is “round up first, investigate later (when you get around to it)”
- Don’t say stupid stuff you have heard on Facebook and depress people. Don’t lecture the youth (your age!) hiding from gffa about their “national obligations.” Don’t say, “so, I hear our great government has pardoned prisoners!” The government floats rumors that it will, every December for the last 25 years, but never pardons people, so you will just remind people of their misery. Pardons require having empathy, and the Eritrean government does not like to import anything including humanity.
- Eritreans are a tough, sturdy people. And you know what? That is because they started out as tough sturdy kids. So all the things you say and do that gets you complimented in your adopted country–the way you dress, the way you speak–don’t get your feelings all hurt if Eritrean children laugh at you. And they will laugh at you. Specially if you are sagging. We call that jelgad. You can’t be writing posts about “shet me’anta” (buckled up) and then be dragging. What is wrong with you? Man up. And you young ladies: don’t mention the brand name of your purses and jeans: nobody cares.
- Now let’s look at your itinerary…You are going to go to Asmara. Good, good. Wake up…go cruising…come home…go cruising…go clubbing. Come home late. Really? That’s it? You see those fat wads of Nakfa you have? Take a look at those picture in the Nakfa. Those people pictured: very few of them live in Asmara. So rent a Landcruiser (3,000 Nakfa), fill it up (a million nakfa) and go driving north, east, and west young man.
- Be different. Repeat after me: Sembel. Adi Abeito. Addi Keyih Detention Center. Fifth Police Station. Mai Serwa. Dahlak Kebir. Ella Ero. These are where some of your countrymen live. Just ask your PFDJ Senior office to see them. It is a form of Zura Hagerka (tour your country.) I mean what’s the worst thing that can happen? Clearly, our government treats its people, including prisoners, real well, and wouldn’t it be swell for you to come back to your country and tell everyone what you have seen? The worst they will say is no. They may say, “why, would you like to join them?”, but that’s just their sense of humor.
- Remember this table below? You read it in one of your YPFDJ media. Now, you are going to be an eyewitness and actually document that all these dams have been built. But you will go one step further and see for yourself that these great dams, designed personally by His Excellency President Isaias Afwerki, are actually doing what they are supposed to be doing: irrigating planation. The one in Aligider, from the Italian era, was blown up by Weyane. It will be so good if you come to tell us that it is working and actually now Eritrea is growing cotton, just like it did during the Italian era.
Gergera Dam Teramni, Eritrea 35 million cubic Tekera Dam Undisclosed 20 million cubic Toker Dam Berik, Eritrea 17 million cubic Aligider Dam Aligider, Eritrea 7.5 million cubic
10. Watch our great Eritrean cyclists, at home doing their thing, and selam belelna! Tell them we are proud of them for carrying on, and improving on, Eritrea’s great tradition. We will see them in Paris!