Thursday, 24 June 2010

Day 14 - Taung

Today's matches:

Denmark 1 v. Japan 3
Cameroon 1 v. Holland 2
Slovakia 3 v. Italy 2
Paraguay 0 v. New Zealand 0

'Home of one of the oldest skulls - Africa the cradle of humanity. Here in remote and forgotten places with interesting names like 'Buxton' we are reminded that we are part of a wider family - we are reminded that we have to practice Ubuntu, not only preach it.

Taung, where we focus our hope on building a better and AIDS free society...where we rejoice in our partnership and thank God for the hands that reach out to help us.

We remain people of hope even though we live in places like pampierstad (Papertown) - not the glammer and glitz of a tinsel town but reminders of the fractious, tenuous, transitory nature of our existence. We hold on to hope because this is where God's plan for humanity first unfolded and we believe that God still has a purpose and plan for the crowning glory of creation.

God is still with us and God will never abandon us - as God journeyed with his people through a desert many centuries ago we believe God is on the journey with us here in the Kalahari too.'

Taung is a small town situated in the North West province. The name means place of the lion and was named after Tau, the chief of the Tswana speaking Legoya or BaTaung tribe. Tau is the Tswana word for lion. The Greater Taung Municipality is made up of the local areas of Taung, Pampierstad, Pudumong, Molelema and Reivilo. The Taung local area is the largest, containing 46 villages, while Reivilo has only four villages, and Pampierstad 17. The area is very rural.

In 1924 a skull (later named the Taung Child) was discovered by a quarry-worker in the nearby Buxton- limestone quarry. It was described by Raymond Dart in 1925 as the type specimen of Australopithecus africanus (southern ape of Africa) after he received a shipment of mostly fossil baboons, but also containing the skull and face of the child. Surprisingly, it would be many years before Dart would visit Taung to determine the exact location of the find. By that time, lime-mining had destroyed much of the area. Later in-situ excavations were conducted under the direction of Philip Tobias and Jeff McKee of the University of the Witwatersrand, who worked at the site from approximately 1989 until 1993. Although they failed to find additional hominid specimens, they did recover many important fossil baboons and increased the understanding of Taung geology significantly. The Taung Child is among the most important early human fossils ever discovered its age being estimated as 2.5 million years old. It later supported Darwin's concepts that the closest living relatives of humans are the African apes. The skull is now housed at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

St Chad's Church in Taung is linked with the Summertown and Wolvecote Churches Partnership in Oxford.

We pray:

  • For those living in remote villages away from the main centre of Taung

  • For the continued development of the Summertown and Wolvecote link and St Chad's

  • For those with little to do (unemployment is over 60%) and little hope

  • For the work of the Church in bringing Christ's peace to those around
Almighty Father, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit on all flesh and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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