A Long Walk to Water 

Chapter 8 

Southern Sudan, 2008

Nya's Story 

Nya's father had told her to take Akeer to see a doctor.  Nya took Akeer to a big white tent  where there where doctors, nurses, and a lot of sick or hurt people.  After getting two doses  of medicine, Akeer already seemed to be feeling better.  Nya heard her laugh, which was one of her favorite sounds in the world.

A nurse, a white woman, came up to Nya and said, "Her sickness came from the water"  She then said, "Akeer should drink only good clean water.  If the water is dirty, you should boil it for a count of two hundred before she drinks it".

Nya was worried by this.  She wanted Akeer to stay healthy, but she also knew that they collected water in such small amounts, that if they boiled it to make it safe, too much would evaporate  and there wouldn't be any left to drink, safe or otherwise.  

Southern Sudan, 1985 

Salva's Story 

Salva was sitting on his boat in the Nile River.  It was boring because there wasn't much to see-just water and more water.  The group paddled for hours.  Salva wanted to sleep, but he wouldn't let himself because he was worried if he did, he would fall over the side of the boat. 

Finally, the boats all pulled up to a small island  in the middle of the river.  This was a place where the fishermen  of the Nile lived and worked. 

Salva was impressed by the little island.  There was SO much food everywhere.  Salva realized it must be easier to grow food when there was water all around you. However, the islanders wouldn't give Salva's group food because they didn't have any way to pay or trade for it.  

The only person who was given food was Uncle  The fishermen gave him food without being asked because he seemed to be the leader of their group. 

Uncle shared his food with Salva.  He gave him a piece of sugarcane  to suck on and then fish they cooked over a fire and finally some yams  roasted in the ashes  of the fire. 

Salva wanted to eat all of the food as fast as he could.  But, he remembered what had happened last time and decided to eat slowly so he did not get sick. 

As the sun went down, Salva noticed that all of the fishermen went into their tents and did not come out, even to use the bathroom.  At first, Salva was confused and did not understand why.  But, as soon as it was fully dark mosquitoes  came out from everywhere. There were millions of hungry mosquitoes and suddenly Salva realized this was why the fishermen had hidden in their tents. 

When Salva woke up the next morning he was covered from head to toe in big, itchy mosquitoe bites. Then, Salva and his group prepared to leave by taking as much clean water as they could carry.  Soon, the group would face the most difficult part of their journey and woud need as much water as they could carry.  The hardest part would be the Akobo desert