Sunday, Day 2
A 27-hour trip to the other side of the world tells you just how big this planet is. A 10-minute walk from our headquarters in the Intercontinental Hotel to the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa illustrates just how small it can be.
In 1977, John Axtell, Gebisa's major professor, mentor, and friend, bought a new car. Instead of trading in his worn-out, blue Oldsmobile, he gave it to Gebisa.
Before leaving to work in Sudan after he earned his Purdue doctoral degree in 1978, Gebisa, like Axtell had done for him, bequeathed the blue beater to another struggling graduate student, an entomology researcher named Awash, now head of the AIDS research program at Columbia University in New York City.
And who did Gebisa run into in the lobby of the Addis Ababa Hilton on Sunday morning? That's right, Awash, the other charter member of the John Axtell car club, in town for a seminar.