Bogu village is situated in an isolated valley. The Bogu (Beggu) valley is relatively close to Keren which is Eritrea’s second city; a bustling market town about two hours drive from Asmara, the capital city. However, the village is a world away from the busy commercial life in Keren. The village is actually a conglomeration of settlements scattered across the floor of a wide valley. Its inaccessibility is due to the mountains which flank the valley on either side and the fact that there are no roads into the area.
No-one in the village owns a car, their only access to Keren lies in an arduous walk through the mountains or a walk out of the valley along a dry riverbed. There, they meet the road which runs from Asmara to Keren and eventually, the Sudanese border.
Every day, a trickle of villagers makes its way through steep mountain tracks towards Keren. Here they may trade goods, visit the market or attend high school.
Life in the village has changed little. Families live in groups of circular thatched huts; with separate dwellings for sleeping, cooking, storage and livestock. There is no running water in the village, there is no electricity other than the solar powered computers in the school room and the villagers have no lighting other than kerosene lanterns.
The economy is agricultural, the main crops being peanuts and cereals. Villagers also keep sheep, goats and chickens. Children typically work for their families from about the age of 6 years old. Girls are expected to cook and boys can be seen tending livestock from dawn till dusk.
Eritrea is pretty equally split in terms of religion between Islam and Coptic Catholicism. Bogu is a Catholic village.