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SENAFE, WATERFALL, FORT & MISSION

Edition of August 28, 2004

Senafe is located 135 km south of Asmara on the highway that runs south-southeast from Asmara,

Places I visited on an 'approximate' map I drew. Eritrea detailed map, found in several places on net. - -
1. An ancient marker located in a low level area, reputed to be once be the site of a lake. Writing is Amharic family but the meaning is obscured by the absence of vowels. These June ploughed fields are ready for summer rains. Location is one mile south of Senafe, on a plain close to the Strada Imperiale the highway to Addis Abeba. 2. Another mile south on a barely discernible road was this Franciscan Order Catholic Mission consisting of chapel on right and school buildings in left rear. Jerry Mandel of Brooklyn NY is being greeted by the priest. The school had 6 classrooms and 3 nuns taught lessons in Italian and one of the local Tigrinian dialects. They also operated a very small outpatient clinic. The priest in his limited English told us he had difficulty enforcing attendance among his outlying village pupils. 3. Jerry Mandel, a nun, a housegirl and friends of the mission in front of the chapel. Jerry figured his 'safari attire' would impress the 'folks back home'.

4. Wall to the right surrounded the entire mission due to Shifta bands roaming and plundering particularly shortly after World War II. Barbed wire was also common.

5. Waterfall and pool, a rare sight on the Hamasien plateau.  6. The throng which followed our truck to the falls. Walter Henry of New Jersey in the white shirt. Americans were a very rare sight for these people 7. From the opposite side of the pool Hamo-Semitic people looking upon 'strange' Americans eating our canned lunches. They laughed heartily when one of their own slipped crossing under the  waterfall, also when we fired on empty cans floating in the pool. 8. Green fertile valley field fed by the waterfall. Mission in the background. Rees and Henry are in the center retrieving a bird they hit with a 'rare' shot. It fell into the locals well and Rees emptied his 38 into it's carcass. Our prestige 'plummeted'.
9. Above average equipped farmer following us back to Senafe in his WW2 remnant of the British East African campaign which took Asmara April 1942. 10. Looking north into Eritrean Police Force fort about 30 miles from the Ethiopian border, guarding the Strada Imperiale from southern encroachment. Shifta troubles justified federal police manning it. Parapet to left has many small rooms, one to the right is an ammunition storage vault and in center foreground is surface structure of a large underground well. 11. The north side of the parapet housing small rooms. 12. Sergeant on watch. 
13. The village of Senafe enshrouded by a morning mist as seen from our hotel. 14. Bill Scheafer of  Pennsylvania peering from our hotel door at 6 a.m. The sign above says Hotel, Restaurant, Dusi (the owner's name) and to left of door announces Mr. Dusi has a tobacco monopoly franchise. The rooms were clean, the food good, both simple 'fare'. l5. Ploughed fields of Senafe as seen from atop a 1500 foot rock. 16. Chapel perched half way up the rock for memorial services for those buried on the hill, the height of burial corresponding rank in the village. The midday sun bleached most color from the scene.  Bill Scheafer was once visible in foregroundd.

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