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Gebisa Ejeta Travel Journal - Monday, Day 3 - Going to Wollonkomi

Purdue Agriculture > Gebisa Ejeta Travel Journal - Monday, Day 3 - Going to Wollonkomi
 
 

 Tom & Gebisa's Ethiopian Adventure

 
Tom Campbell

Tom Campbell

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta

Hundreds of people greet World Food Prize winner Gebisa Ejeta as he visits the village in Ethiopia where he grew up.
Photo by Tom Campbell

Hundreds of people greet World Food Prize winner Gebisa Ejeta as he visits the village in Ethiopia where he grew up.

Monday, Day 3

Addis Ababa is as quiet by night as it is noisy by day. For thousands, electricity is a luxury they cannot afford. So at nightfall, silence and darkness blanket the city.

A thunderstorm approaching from the mountains west of Addis Ababa breaks the silence. The gully-washer of a rainfall dances off the corrugated tin roofs of the shanties next to the hotel and turns the condo construction site north of the Intercontinental Hotel into an urban lake.

It is the rainy season in eastern Africa.

But by 8 a.m. the skies clear, as if on schedule for Gebisa Ejeta's return to the village of his youth. As we approach the village of Wollonkomi just after 10 a.m., a commotion appears on the road in front of us.

We discover that more than 400 people have walked more than a mile from the center of his village to the edge of town, then patiently waited for more than two hours to welcome their World Food Prize Laureate back home.

To say Gebisa was touched is an understatement. It was an overwhelming show of love, respect, and patience.