Saturday, June 02, 2007

Taking up a transcontinental offer...

It is an all-new experience for me to board a flight fly and wander in the streets of a new country ('comma' is not working in keyboard)...
I am taking up an offer of working as a Lecturer in Mechanical Engg. in Eritrea - a North-East African country near Ethiopia.
We (four in number of which three for teaching profession in the same college) reached Asmara - the state capital on Sunday night (27th May 2007) at 10.00 p.m. via Dubai and were taken care of by one Mr. Hagose who took us to Niala Hotel in Asmara . Next day he asked us to go to Ministry of Education (10 minutes walk) and offered us a cup of Cappachinno ( coffee with more milk!). Yesterday he gave us forms of Contract Residence and Work permit. Today morning we went to M.O.E. and handed over a copy of our provisional appointment order. They asked us to come by 3.00 p.m.
Only tomorrow or on Friday they will take us to the college (!!!) at Mai-Nefhi – Eritrea Institute of Technology (E.I.T.).
Till this week end we have to stay in Niala only I think. Then I will get accommodation in EIT.
IST is 2 1/2 hours ahead of Asmara time . Now it is 9.15 a.m. here. In India it will be 11.45 a.m.
Here it is hard to find Indian food except for some rice (big grains!) served with vegetable curry in Niala. Then we get Veg. Sandwich and Pizza (dry ones!). Machiato is good - a coffee with less milk!
Everything is very costly here. A phone to my wife for 2 minutes and 40 seconds costed 109 nakfas (fairly 320 rupees!) . Today they will give some advance in local currency to meet our food expenses. Only accommodation is free at Niala.
As such the weather and other conditions are good here. People too but they find it hard to understand English. Less of pollution and tension - people are cool and calm and above that very honest...really!
The city is busy in the evening hours with lot of boys and girls standing in the road sides and chatting among them. Caffetarias are filled with students in evening hours. We got introduced to some Indians (all are teachers / lecturers). They make us feel at home in this new place and guide us about what is all about this offer.
Getting SIM card will take some time here . It needs work permit or so. I paid 629 nakfas as tax for using cell phone (multiply by 3!) and 100 dollars for Entry Visa immediately after landing at Asmara.
I'll update this post later...


At 02 June, 2007 03:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to Eritrea. You sound as though you have never travelled outside of the place that you have been used to all your life.

You find the accent of Eritreans speaking English strange? Guess what; your accent, tone and gestures sound quite weird to Eritreans too!

Try some Eritrean food, and you will find a lot of similarity in taste and texture with many Indian dishes. Try Tumtumo and Shuro - very similar to Dahl dishes. Qicha is similar to Naan. For a treat try the roof garden indian restaurant NICE Building.

Try to make more friends with Eritrean youngsters, they are very friendly and eager to study. Not just look out for Indian people.

Enjoy Eritrea, a refreshing experience!

At 03 June, 2007 05:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are write indeed this engg has never been out side his village let alone his country.But I want to thank him for telling us the meaning of CAPPCINO.

At 23 June, 2007 19:20, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am M.N.Thaniyarasu. Please mail me

At 04 May, 2008 04:16, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Eritrean Embassy at Oakland, USA is closed. Americans have warned their nationality people to differ trip to Eritrea as there is likelyhood of war breaking between Eri and Ethopia. (Closing Eriterean Embasy is bad sign). Will Indians be safe?

At 04 May, 2008 04:16, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Eritrean Embassy at Oakland, USA is closed. Americans have warned their nationality people to differ trip to Eritrea as there is likelyhood of war breaking between Eri and Ethopia. (Closing Eriterean Embasy is bad sign). Will Indians be safe?

At 04 May, 2008 04:19, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard large number of Indians are working in Eritrea. Without Indians Eritrea cannot run University/Colleges in Eritrea. Kudos to Indians.

At 04 May, 2008 23:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi India friends,
GReat to hear that educational institutes in Eritrea consist of majority of Indians. All over the world Indians will be teaching. This day is not very far.
Keep it up Indians

At 04 May, 2008 23:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Eritreans,
Without practicals you course. How can they ever be qualified
The whole Indian community is laughing at this eng..
course without practicals.

At 05 May, 2008 00:15, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi friends,
Getting up at 6 in the morning and running for bus to Mai Nefihi is fun. It is like a picnic, chatting all along the journey. By the time we come back we have lot of time to prepare for the classes. Since most of us come back after the classes.

At 05 May, 2008 00:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

US Orders Eritrea Consulate in California Close

13 August 2007, ASMARA (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it had ordered closed an Eritrean consulate, which Asmara called the latest "unjust and unfriendly" U.S. action in a worsening diplomatic relationship.

Eritrea routinely denounces the United States for its support of Ethiopia, with whom Asmara is locked in a bitter dispute over the Horn of African nations' shared border.

The United States and the United Nations accuse Eritrea of funneling weapons to Islamist insurgents in Mogadishu fighting the Ethiopian-backed Somali interim government.

A U.S. embassy official in Asmara who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Eritrean consulate in Oakland, California, last week was given 90 days to close down, in response to restrictions placed on the embassy in Eritrea.

"For the past year the U.S. has been trying to work with the government of Eritrea to address these restrictions that have impeded our ability to operate," the official said.

"Since they have been unwilling to engage with us, we have taken these actions in response to these restrictions."

The U.S. official said the constraints included interference with diplomatic pouches, travel restrictions for embassy personnel and the refusal to grant visas.

Already, the U.S. embassy in Asmara closed its visa section in February for what it said were similar difficulties.

But Eritrea dismissed the U.S. allegations and said it had respected its diplomatic treaty obligations.

"I have no explanation for this. If you look at U.S. policy in the last two years, we have seen a pattern of unfriendly and unjust acts against Eritrea," Yemane Ghebremeskel, a senior government official, told Reuters.

He did not say whether Asmara would take reciprocal action.

Eritrea's diaspora community is an important source of revenue for the cash-strapped Red Sea state. Economists estimate remittances total from 30 percent to 70 percent of the nation's annual gross domestic product.

Eritrean government editorials routinely decry the United States for supporting Ethiopia, calling Washington "despicable."

At 05 May, 2008 00:53, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eritrean Consulate Amid Diplomatic DisputeVoice of America - 30 minutes agoBy David Gollust The State Department said Friday it has ordered Eritrea to close its consulate in Oakland, California amid US charges the East African country is aiding rebels in Somalia.US Considers Terror Label for Eritrea ForbesUS considers terror label for

At 07 October, 2009 05:09, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please be gratfull that eritrea has accepted you as workers, the fact is that your population (indian) is 17% of world population and increasing by 300 million every decade, and your land is only 2.7% of world (land mass), so consider yourself very lucky and stop your jingoism, we have cows in eritrea and no one will charg you for drinking it as it is your custom in India, holy cow urine drinking bloks.

At 07 January, 2011 22:20, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi srini Nice post and good info but you have not updating your post regarding life in Eriteria. Please write some thing as it will helpful for many Indian to decide a career in EIT. As fresh interview is going on in India for teachers there. Now year 2011 has come . I think so many development has come there.How is the internet facility there. Kindly update us or send me personal mail at

At 09 February, 2013 08:44, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! Good chat over here.

Could someone from the Indian community answer a few querries ..... ?

Is the Indian community safe in the whole of Eritrea? What about the families of the Indians living there - wives and grown up children? Do they feel safe? Are the people friendly enough to accept Indians as their tutors?

Someone please respond urgently.

At 09 February, 2013 08:48, Anonymous Archie said...

Do the Eri schools admit Indian boys & girls in 10th standard?

If yes, what is the process of admission and the documents needed?

What is the attitude of local students towards the Indian academics? Is it friendly or hostile?

Is the internet readily available? Is it affordable?

Please reply to

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