A Long Walk to Water

Chapter 2

Southern Sudan, 2008

Nya's Story 

Nya put down her container  and sat on the ground. She always tried her best not to step on the spiky  plants that grew along the path, but theirthorns were all over the ground and they were hard to avoid .

Nya looked at the bottom of her foot and there it was.  A big thorn had broken off right in the middle of her heel .  It was so painful, but Nya knew she had to get it out.  So, Nya took aother thorn and tried to poke and prod at the first thorn until it came out.  

Southern Sudan, 1985

Salva's Story 



Salva turned around and looked.  Behind him, he saw a huge black cloud of smoke.  He also saw flames from a fire.  Overhead, he heard a loud plane flying by.  Looking back, Salva could not even see the school with all of the smoke and fire.  Salva tripped and almost fell.  He couldn't look back anymore it slowed him down too much.

Salva lowered his head and began to run.

Salva ran until he couldn't run anymore.  Then, when he was too tired to run, he walked until it was dark. 

As Salva walked, he saw other people walkng too.  There were so many people that he knew they couldn't all be from the school.  Salva realized people must be running from the whole area.  

The longer Salva walked he kept hearing the same thoughts repeat themselves in his head.  Where are we going? Where is my family? When will I see them again? 

When it was dark and Salva stopped walking so did everyone else.  Then, Salva heard someone call out "Villages-everyone get into groups of who is from your vilage!" 

Salva wandered around until he heard someone calling the name of his village , Loun-Ariik .

For a minute, Salva felt so happy because he knew there were other people from his village there.  But, Salva soon realized none of the people were from his family.  He recognized a few, but no one that he knew well. 

The whole group spent the night in the spot where they had stopped walking by the road.  In the morning, Salva heard someone say "It's the rebels " Salva remembered that the rebels were the ones fighting for the government. 

Salva saw that all of the rebels held huge guns and they looked very intimidating  and scary. Salva just kept thinking to himself What are they going to do to us? Where is my family?

Soon, the rebel soldiers separated all of the people into two groups.  The first group was men and the second was women and children.  Salva did not know which group to go with because even though he was young, in his village his grandfather was a very important man which automatically made him a man.  

Salva decided to take a few steps towards the mens group but then someone yelled "Hey!" Then, the soldier who had yelled came up to Salva. The end of the soldier's gun touched his chin. Salva was so afriad he could feel it in his entire body. 

Salva thought to himself If I die now, I will never see my family again. 

Somehow, this thought helped Salva strengthen enough to keep him form collapsing  in terror.

Then, the soldier spoke and said, "You are not a man yet. Don't be in such a hurry, go with the women and children's group".

Salva did not say anything and quickly ran to the women's group. 

The next morning, they all began walking.  The men carried all of the heavy supplies

After a long day of walking, the group stopped at a barn where they slept. 

Even before Salva was fully awake the next morning, he could feel that something was wrong.  He lay very still with his eyes closed. 

Finally, he sat up and opened his eyes. 

No one else was in the barn. 

Salva quickly got up and looked out the barn door but he saw nothing. nobody. 

He was alone.