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Feb 22, 06 11:18 AM

Mikael.

mikael 1.jpg

A guy I met sitting on a ridge overlooking Asmara, who told me about being troubled by voices in his head. "They don't want me to do my life."

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Despite the tale of mental illness, he's a very elegant guy, in a very Eritrean way.

ďI live in Israel for 13 years, I do construction work. But then Iím not well, I canít work. So I come here. I hear voices. Many voices. They talk to me. They donít want me to do my life. They make me very nervous. [he mimes voices outside his head with hands darting around] Not inside my head, but here: they talk to me.

"When you are here, they donít speak, but when you leave they repeat everything you say to me. They tell me; you canít work. You are not good enough. They make me very anxious and nervous. They are like a mirror. I am not happy. I take pills but nothing works. They donít want me to do my life.

"I stay with my brother. I tell him about the voices, but it is difficult to explain. He says, 'Why don't you work?'

"I go to Sudan in í76, then to Israel in í79.

"When do you come back from Keren? When you come back, I will be here. I am here every morning. Do you have any money for me?Ē

I give him 100 Nakfa. Further small talk.

Me: I donít speak any language but English.

Mikael: ďEnglish is enough.Ē

Posted by Mike at February 22, 2006 11:18 AM