A Long Walk to Water- Chapter 9 

Southern Sudan, 2008

Nya's family had been back in their home village for a few months when she saw the strangers come.  A jeep drove up to the village and a bunch of children ran to meet it.  Nya was too shy to meet the strangers so she watched from far away.

Nya saw two men come out of the jeep.  They spoke with her brother, Dep, and then went to visit the leader of their village who was Nya's uncle.  

Nya wanted to know what the strangers would talk about with the leader (chief) of their village.  Dep told her they were talking about water.  Nya was confused and wanted to know more.  "What about water?" she wondered. 

Southern Sudan 1985 

Salva was amazed at how dry and empty the desert was.  There were no plants anywhere.  Almost nothing could survive in the desert because it would have to go so long without water. 

Uncle told Salva it would take three days to cross the Akobo desert.  Salva was worried because his shoes were already falling apart and would not last three more days.  After walking only a few minutes, Salva took off his shoes and kept going barefoot. 

The first day walking in the desert felt like the longest day ever.  It was very very hot and there wasn't even a small breeze to make them feel better.  Even breathing became hard for Salva because he was so tired. 

As Salva walked barefoot his feet were cut with throns and his lips became so dry that they cracked and were bleeding.  Uncle told Salva to drink his water slowly, but it was so hard not to drink it all at once.  

At the end of the day, Salva stubbed his toe on a rock and the pain was horrible.  His whole toenail came off! Salva tried not to cry and to be brave but he couldn't help it.  

Suddenly, Uncle saw Salva crying and inspired him to keep going by telling him to walk only as far as the next group of bushes. 

As Salva struggled to keep going his Uncle took out a piece of fruit and gave it to Salva to give him energy.  Salva was so happy. 

Uncle kept telling Salva "just walk as far as those rocks" to keep inspiring him to keep going even when he wanted to give up.  

Everytime Salva wanted to give up, he would just think of his family and somehow he was able to keep going.  Finally, it was dark and Salva was able to rest for the night. 

The next day was exactly as hot and tiring and hard as the day before.  Salva did his best to keep going.  

All of a sudden Salva saw something moving in the distance.  He saw nine people but realized they were lying on the ground,  As they walked by Salva realized all of them were either dead or very close to death.  

One woman in Salva's group wanted to help the people who were not dead yet, but another member of the group told her not to and to save her water for herself.  The group members said "If you give them your water, you will not have enough for yourself!" the same voice shouted "It is useless--you will die, and you will die with them!".