In 2009, a well has just been completed in Nya’s village. Although the water is brown and murky, some of the younger children try to drink it right away—but their parents prevent them. Nya’s older brother, Dep, explains that the water is muddy because the men need to drill deeper, down to where the water runs clear.
The well in Nya’s village promises to change the villagers’ lives in profound ways, provided that the water is actually clean enough to drink safely.
The three thousand boys being brought to the United States are known as the Lost Boys. Salva will be traveling to New York with eight other boys. They ride from the refugee camp into Nairobi in Kenya. Their photographs are taken and they’re given thorough medical examinations. Salva receives new clothes—more clothing than he’s ever owned in his life.
Due to the fact that many orphaned Sudanese girls had been living in family units for some time (and therefore didn’t technically qualify as orphans), the vast majority of the orphaned children sent from Sudan to America were boys, not girls. Indeed, fewer than one hundred of the Sudanese orphans relocated to America were female.
The flight from Africa to the U.S. is unlike anything Salva has ever experienced. He enjoys tasting Coca-Cola on the plane, and staring down at the earth from the window by his seat. In Rochester, Salva sees more white people than he’s ever seen before. His hosts in the U.S. are a couple named Chris and Louise. As he meets his family for the first time, Salva begins to weep. He feels as if he’s leaving his old life, and his old family, forever.
Salva’s new life in the United States is profoundly different from his life in Sudan. Even though Salva’s time in Sudan has been extremely difficult, he doesn’t want to leave his old life behind completely. He still loves his family deeply, and is understandably anxious about coming to live in a vastly different country like the United States.