Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to provide a text blog for Day 4. The issue has been resolved; below is the blog for Day 4.
Today was brutal, but also the most interesting day we've had. Not only did we run over 25 miles (40 km) in 90oF (35 oC) heat, much of it was running over a sea of sand dunes. We also witnessed several examples of how vital water is to life, beginning with a flourishing oasis complete with date trees, fields of wheat, livestock, and locals. We then witnessed hot springs and accompanying tower that utilized wind to cool the water that was then sent via aqueduct to the surrounding oasis and greenhouses, where vegetables such as tomatoes and potatoes are grown and distributed to the people.
The scene changed drastically as we entered an ocean of massive sand dunes. We soon came upon the remains of a village that was once a flourishing oasis but the well ran dry in 1925 and the desert claimed the land. The next three hours were spent following Arrida through the dunes, which he somehow navigated without the aid of a GPS... we would've been hopelessly lost without him. At one point we came upon a small oasis where a few shepherds kept their flock of sheep and goats. There we were shown how water is drawn from a well, with the accompanying song that the nomads sing to get their minds off the hard work, and Connor and Andy pulled up a bucket of water out of the well.
We pushed hard to get 18 miles (30 km) in before we stopped for lunch, and the effort took its toll on our bodies. We had lunch and relaxed for almost two hours to beat the heat of the day according to Mohammed's suggestion. After lunch we were quite exhausted, but managed another 6 miles (10 km) to get to our camp in the sand dunes. Just had a great call with the students and got excited for tomorrow and our next call on Friday!
- i2P Youth Ambassadors