Samuel Mulugheta, Agile Coach at ERNI Deutschland – came to Germany with the fall of the Berlin Wall end of 1989/beginning 1990. However, the country of his origin – Eritrea – he left even earlier when his mother brought him to Sudan to seek for asylum when he was 6 years old where he stayed until the age of 12 years. Read his moving story and his tips for you if you decide to discover what this secretive pearl on the Red Sea coast has to offer.
Samuel was only 12 years old when he came to Frankfurt living there without his mother who motivated him with comforting him that he will see Diego Maradona play football in Europe and also that he should learn so that he is wise in life. Later on, between 2000 and 2004 Samuel studied Business Administration, Human Resources and Multimedia Marketing in Mannheim. In 2005, Samuel visited Eritrea after he left as a child. After the studies, he worked as a freelance recruiter travelling a lot across Germany. In 2008, he got the possibility to work as a clerk for a service provider of the Deutsche Boerse. He moved to Frankfurt where he met his wife in 2009 and since 2015 they are proud parents of a boy. In 2016 he started to work for ERNI in Germany and he is pleased to be able to represent Eritrea in this series. Here are his tips for the country which actually is quite becoming a tourist destination.
- Typical food you would advise people to try: Let us start with Injera which is a sourdough-risen flatbread with a slightly spongy texture. It is being eaten with Tsebhi, a sauce that may contain also chicken. People love to eat it combined with meat but also vegetarian. For breakfast, Ful is popular – as a combination of slowly cooked fava beans served with olive oil, vegetables and bread. Ga’at is a stiff porridge-like substance that is normally formed into a bite-size ball, dipped into a mixture of butter and red peppers. The children call it volcano. And of course many Italian dishes, which are prepared really spicy.
- Typical drink: Areki is a distilled alcoholic beverage brewed usually at home. Siwa is a beer known also in the world. And in Eritrea, we also love drinking tea, in the British way with milk and sugar. What is typical for the Horn of Africa is the coffee ceremony – the culture of drinking coffee keeping people together enjoying after good food.
- Typical dessert: Himbasha, is a celebration bread that is slightly sweet served with tea. Doughnuts with Honey (also known as sweet dumplings or ‘Makleel’ in Tigrinya, the Eritrean language) using basic pantry ingredients, they are super simple to put together and result in a crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside moorish dessert. And we like salty popcorn as a kind of a dessert.
- The most beautiful place: I would say it is the capital city Asmara. Asmara, due to the Italian colony time and architecture, is also considered Africa’s little Roma. With its elevation of 2 325 meters, it is the sixth highest capital in the world by altitude. It is said to have three seasons a day. Early in the morning, it feels like spring, then summer during the day and autumn in the evening. If it starts raining, it usually lasts for hours. Then the inhabitants hide in a bar and enjoy the socializing ? Asmara also has some impressive Italian architecture and is declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Most famous sight: We have a lot, but I would say the thousand kilometres long seaside. And the Dahlak Archipelago as a combination of islands where we have the Eritrean pearl production that we are proud of.
- Mostly used greeting in the local language: Selam (Be peace with you) and when you reply you say Selamka t’tam (Be your peace good).
- Famous personality: In sports, we have some achievements we are proud of. Zersenay Tadese won the bronze medal in the men’s 10,000 meters walk and is the only Olympic medalist from the country to date. I met him as a fan in 2005 as a very humble and shy person. I would also like to mention the cyclist Natnael Berhane who currently rides for UCI Professional Continental team Cofidis. He is a two-times African cycling champion from 2012 and 2013. A popular singer from Eritrea is Helen Meles, everybody in Eritrea likes her is proud of her.
- Recommended means of transport: Taxis but be prepared for a crazy ride as the country is hilly, the drivers sometimes do not even see someone coming from the opposite direction and only honk loud.