A Long Walk to Water

Nya is the other main character in A Long Walk to Water, also based on a real person. A young girl, Nya spends much of her waking life walking to and from a large pond, miles away from her family’s village. She collects water from the pond into a gourd, balances the gourd on her head, and walks home, where she immediately deposits the water, turns back, and does it all over again. Linda Sue Park doesn’t spend much time describing Nya’s personality—readers know that she’s a devoted sister and a loving daughter, but don’t know much else about her. In many ways, Nya’s role in the book is to serve as a witness to the enormous changes affecting her village in the early 2000s: thanks to Salva Dut’s activism, wells are being built, bringing safe drinking water to thousands and saving Nya countless hours of work, which frees her to begin attending school.

Nya Quotes in A Long Walk to Water

The A Long Walk to Water quotes below are all either spoken by Nya or refer to Nya. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Survival Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt edition of A Long Walk to Water published in 2011.
Chapter 3 Quotes

Nya filled the container all the way to the top. Then she tied the gourd back in place and took the padded cloth doughnut from her pocket. The doughnut went on her head first, followed by the heavy container of water, which she would hold in place with one hand.

Related Characters: Nya
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 4 Quotes

Nya nodded. She picked up the plastic container and took Akeer by the hand. Home for just long enough to eat, Nya would now make her second trip to the pond. To the pond and back—to the pond and back—nearly a full day of walking altogether. This was Nya’s daily routine seven months of the year.

Related Characters: Nya, Akeer
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 8 Quotes

The water from the holes in the lakebed could be collected only in tiny amounts. If her mother tried to boil such a small amount, the pot would be dry long before they could count to two hundred.

Related Characters: Nya
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 17 Quotes

Nya went back and picked up the plastic can. She felt as if she were flying. School! She would learn to read and write!

Related Characters: Nya
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia des

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 18 Quotes

In a few more days, the school would be finished. Nya and Dep and Akeer would all go to school, along with the other children. Next year there would be a marketplace where the villagers could sell and buy vegetables and chickens and other goods. There was even talk of a clinic someday—a medical clinic, so they wouldn’t have to walk so far to get help, as they had to when Akeer was ill.

Related Characters: Nya, Akeer
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.LoremLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolo

The Dinka and the Nuer were enemies—had been for hundreds of years.

“Why would a Dinka bring water to us?” she wondered aloud.

“I heard Uncle and Father talking about him,” Dep said. “He has drilled many wells for his own people. This year he decided to drill for the Nuer as well.”

Related Characters: Nya (speaker), Dep (speaker), Salva Dut
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat nonLorem ipsumLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt

The man smiled. "What is your name?” he asked.
"I am Nya."
"I am happy to meet you, Nya," he said. "My name is Salva. "

Related Characters: Salva Dut (speaker), Nya (speaker)
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit ametLorem ipsum dolor siLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Nya Character Timeline in A Long Walk to Water

The timeline below shows where the character Nya appears in A Long Walk to Water. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Survival Theme Icon
In South Sudan in 2008, an eleven-year-old girl named Nya walks through a hot, dry environment. She knows that she needs to move quickly. (full context)
Chapter 2
Survival Theme Icon
In South Sudan in 2008, while going about her chores, Nya walks along a path and accidentally steps on a thorn, piercing her foot. (full context)
Chapter 3
Social Strife Theme Icon
In 2008, Nya approaches a pond in the middle of the desert. Many other people are gathered around... (full context)
Chapter 4
Social Strife Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
In 2008, Nya has returned to her mother, carrying water from the tiny pond. Her mother gives her... (full context)
Chapter 5
Social Strife Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
In 2008, Nya and her family are living a three days’- walk from a big lake. Most of... (full context)
Chapter 6
Survival Theme Icon
Social Strife Theme Icon
Nya’s family has been coming to the lake for decades, so Nya has gone to the... (full context)
Chapter 7
Survival Theme Icon
Social Strife Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
Nya notices that her little sister, Akeer, is quiet. Akeer has been complaining about her stomach... (full context)
Chapter 8
Survival Theme Icon
Social Strife Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
Nya’s family decides that Akeer needs to see a doctor after all. Nya and her mother... (full context)
Chapter 9
Survival Theme Icon
Social Strife Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
One day, visitors come to Nya’s village. The visitors arrive in a jeep, and speak to the village chief, Nya’s uncle.... (full context)
Chapter 10
Survival Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
The visitors to Nya’s village finish their meeting with the village chief. They walk through the village toward a... (full context)
Chapter 11
Survival Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
In Nya’s village, people are hard at work clearing the land between the two biggest trees. Meanwhile,... (full context)
Chapter 12
Development Theme Icon
The visitors have returned to Nya’s village with an “iron giraffe”—a huge drill designed to create a well. The villagers spend... (full context)
Chapter 13
Development Theme Icon
The year is 2009, and Nya’s village is still busy trying to draw water up from beneath the ground. The drilling... (full context)
Chapter 14
Survival Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
In 2009, Nya’s village is full of the sound of drilling. After three full days of drilling, the... (full context)
Chapter 15
Survival Theme Icon
Social Strife Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
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... (full context)
Chapter 16
Development Theme Icon
In Nya’s village, Nya’s father organizes the well-builders. He hints that they’re about to build something new. (full context)
Chapter 17
Survival Theme Icon
Hope and Resilience Theme Icon
Social Strife Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
In Nya’s village, Nya’s father tells her that the men are building a school. With the added... (full context)
Chapter 18
Development Theme Icon
The year is 2009, and Nya is standing in line at her village’s new well, holding a plastic bottle. Today is... (full context)
Survival Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
...a medical clinic. People from across the country will come to use the village’s well. Nya is overjoyed that she won’t have to spend her days walking miles to the pond. (full context)
Social Strife Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
Dep informs Nya that the operator of the well is a Dinka man. This surprises Nya, since the... (full context)
Survival Theme Icon
Hope and Resilience Theme Icon
Social Strife Theme Icon
Development Theme Icon
Nya notices the well operator, and shyly says hello to him. She thanks him for bringing... (full context)