Mike's Return to Asmara

Hi there Kagnewites,

Just got back to Asmara last Tuesday and you would never know that there is a war on. My greetings were enthusiastic from my staff and co-workers and I feel right at home again though the mood here is very subdued. This war has cost everyone quite a bit. No names have been released yet as to casualties so everyone is sweating it. The first night I went to bed at midnight and was up at 5am ready to go. I then run out of gas at about 5pm as jet lag rears its inevitable and ugly head. Wednesday night I was up for good at 1:30am and last night it was 2:30 am. Hopefully I’ll gain an hour back every night.

The trip was long, boring but went off quite well. I watched three movies on the way to Frankfurt and another two on the way to Asmara. I recommend “Bicentennial Man”, “Erin Brockovich”, “Hurricane” and “Return to Me” ( a 2.5 hankerchief special) and suggest you pass on “Drowning Mona” with Danny DeVito and Bette Midler, which should have been good with those two but wasn’t.

I stayed in Frankfurt for 26 hours at the Sheraton Airport Hotel which you walk to from your gate. My luggage was checked all the way through to Asmara so traveling with just my carry-on bag, I was in my room ready for sleep about ½ hour from the time I left the plane and that included a quick shower. After five hours of very sound sleep, I was up feeling very good. I stayed up for another five hours before going back to bed and slept from 9pm to 4 am which wasn’t too bad for the first day. Reaching Germany gives me 9 of the ten hour time change I have to go through.

As far as an evacuation went, this was a very civilized one compared to the 14 month special we had in 1998 & 1999. I suspect I will get yo-yoed back to the States again before too long as I have no confidence in the Ethiopians desire for peace. In any event I make the round trip again at the end of August for Craig’s wedding and then make the trip back the second week of September. My love of the physical challenges of jet lag is making me really look forward to this next two months… Yea …Right!! The older I get the worse it hits me. It’ll be ten days until I reach “normal” again here in Asmara. I had to hit the ground running as they want me to design a $10 million program to get the war ravaged Eritrean businesses in the south and west back up and operating. It won’t be boring. So I’d love to hear from you when you get the chance. Wish me luck.

Regards Mike