Between adventures

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During J-term 2018, 286 students and 29 program leaders will participate in one of Luther's 17 courses around the globe. Although it's impossible to keep up with everyone, these blogs are designed to provide glimpses into our students' adventures. Below you'll find a blog post from the Paideia 450 course in Tanzania: "People and Parks: Pastoralism and Conservation in East Africa." Check out the January Term 2018 Course Blogs page for more on each of the courses!

A moment's rest between lions and our next boma stay.

We descended through heavy fog high on the crater rim, emerging from the clouds down onto the crater floor of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Having slept in tents at Simba Campsite, we woke up early before the heat of the afternoon drove the animals into the shade.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a protected wildlife area in Tanzania centered around a caldera, a crater that is the remnant of mountain that once stood taller than Mt. Kilimanjaro. Down on the crater floor, encircled on all sides by mountains, we faced the chilly morning air and kept our eyes peeled as our drivers maneuvered the land rovers through bumpy roads and mud.

And it was certainly worth getting up at 5:30! We saw great herds of wildebeest, zebra, and buffalo. Hippos lay submerged in lakes while crown-crested cranes and ostriches strutted about on long legs. Our drivers and guides pointed out and taught us about the wildlife around us (for example, zebras have the better distance vision, but wildebeest have better hearing, so by grazing together they keep each other safe). We watched a hyena scurry off while dragging a haunch, and a pair of lions sprawled out for a nap. Three lions even crossed the road right in front of our vehicles!

But eventually we had to climb back up to the crater rim and leave the highlands behind. As the afternoon sun beat down on the crater floor, the animals sought to lay down and escape the heat. At the same time, we had to be on our way, as more adventures lay ahead.

Now, after some travel with stops along the way, including staying the night at a Lutheran Hostel in Karatu, we are back in Monduli staying at the Emanyatta lodge.

We are taking a day of rest, but then it is off to our next boma visit in Eluwai, which is the home of one of our cultural guides, Musa. The next time we are back in Monduli, it will be for Musa's wedding!

-Thomas Twiton

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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