We had a normal start to the day today and left the Wasso Guest House around 8:30. We had a lot of driving to today as we needed to go from Wasso to Edulen. It was a long day of driving. Along the way, we got to see more giraffes and lots of zebras (it’s to the point now that we don’t take many pictures of the zebras!).
Our first stop was at a wild natural phenomenon called the Shifting Sands. It’s a blackish crescent shaped sand dune in the middle of a vast plain of pretty much nothingness. With the help of the wind, this one sand dune travels every year about 16.5 meters. The sands are magnetic as well and so there is a part of the reason it just doesn’t blow away completely. It’s a pretty interesting place to visit!
We were then off to Oldupai Gorge which is a great historic site that has been getting excavated since about the 1920’s. The gorge used to be a lake and due to volcanic eruptions and the ash associated with them, along with some tectonic plate shifts, the lake dried up. Over the millions of years, early humans (hominins) and animal fauna left artifacts, footprints, skeletons, etc.. that archeologist and anthropologists from around the world continue to dig up and discover.
We left the gorge and then drove to Endulen church for a visit there and our final destination for the day. It was a small but very nice church with brick and mortar walls, a roof and a cement floor. The altar was decorated beautifully as well. We were welcomed as representatives of Cross of Christ. They handed out a piece of paper to each of us and then their parish Pastor, Pastor Eliesikia Mtae, read the paper while we followed along with a beautiful sunset happening through the church’s windows behind him. The paper described the church, it’s outreach program (prayer stations throughout the Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Parks), how many Christians the church serves (about 300), and toward the end a list of projects that they wanted to fund. We got the feeling that the Endulen church is very well run. Anya and Annaliese presented the banner to the church while Beth explained the meaning behind it and also gave a monetary gift for the church to be used in their growth projects that they presented to us on. Erik and Kyle gave a couple soccer balls for the youth. We had tea and sodas with them and then proceeded to where they were building a new church which has the foundation already laid. This church will be much bigger and be able to hold more people for their worship services.
It was a long and tiring day but as with previous days, it’s great to see how the church in Tanzania is growing. Tomorrow is a “tourist day” for us as we descend into the Ngorongoro Crater and then begin our drive back to Mto wa Mbo to meet up with the MGLSS team on Wednesday.
Matt Pohle, on behalf of the 2016 Cross of Christ Mission Rural Team