Bringing Three Generations Under One Sun: A Family Photo Shoot

My mother is in deep thought – I wonder what being in her parent’s home felt like after five years.
Everyone calls my maternal grandfather “Aboy” although that word means “father.” My maternal grandparents – the only ones alive today – have been married for more than 50 years.
To the far right is my youngest uncle in Eritrea. And to the left, next to my grandfather, is an aunt. They’re all interesting personalities and thick-skinned. My uncle, for example, has been serving Eritrea’s military since the age of 17. Now in his late 30’s and balding, he travels back and forth to his station and his parent’s home throughout the year.
The youngest model in our family photo shoot is 50-60 years our grandparents’ junior.  
The bright yellow sweatshirt beautifully contrasts my younger cousin’s dark skin. He enjoys futbol and music and resides with his mother and our auntin Asmara.
Before I favored the taste of drinking mai gaz, I hated fizzy drinks. Now I drink seltzer more than regular water. 
Bringing three generations under one sun didn’t happen accidentally. We made a pact to visit my grandparent’s home in the countryside of Adi Quala in Southern Eritrea – a farmer town that stretches two kilometers and could be seen on bicycle. It was a peaceful escape from street life in Asmara.
My aunt Regat is playful, talkative, and nurturing. She has bared a great deal of loss over the years. I’m thankful that we were able to connect with her in 2014 and continue to over long-distance calls today. 
Regat and my uncle’s eyesight is challenged by the sun’s radiance. My cousin seems to be holding up well. 
While traveling in Eritrea’s bustling dress district, I learned the correct Tigrinya word to differentiate between light blue and just blue which assumes the average, darker shade of blue as seen in Regat’s here. Beside her is my mother and grandmother. 
Two generations – one and two – are pictured here. 
Abayey wedged amid corn plants in her backyard.


This digital photo album is dedicated to my aunt and cousin, both women pictured below in red and black , who lost their lives in 2008 and 2011. Photo year: 1998 



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