They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan
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A stunning literary survival story, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a "moving, beautifully written account, by turns raw and tender."
Across Sudan, between 1987 and 1989, tens of thousands of young boys took flight from the massacres of Sudan's civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live.
They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is three boys' account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child's-eye-vision, Alephonsion, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns how they endured hunger and strength-sapping illnesses. How they dodged the life-threatening predators-lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers-that dogged their footsteps. How they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating portrait of a childhood lost to war, and of the perseverance of the human spirit.
woodland without stopping. My bare feet grew numb in the cold. I stepped on sharp things that made them sting and ache. My body was bare and my underwear dripped wet from the dew. I put both hands across my chest, held my elbows tight and walked with my nose dripping. I hated the day I fooled around by putting the stick on my shoulder. My mother was right when she told me it was bad luck pretending to be a soldier. Everything changed on that most terrifying night of my life. The sky was going to
turned to muffled sobs. Light rays penetrated the dark stable, as my father stood at the opened door to my relief. “Come, son, let’s go.” Something in his voice told me he wasn’t there to rescue me. “Why is Majok crying?” “He was just scared and cried pointlessly. Don’t be like him. Be strong and brave like my usual son.” “I am strong and brave. I don’t cry for anything.” “Good boy.” He grabbed my hand, holding it tighter than I had ever felt, and led me to the acacia tree. All the men’s
life, but now even that was exhausted; I hadn’t produced any more. Alier had been keeping the same speed as me although he was taller but just as skinny to the bone. He said, “Let’s just rest here in this shade for a minute.” Rather than go on alone, I agreed and sat beside Alier, who used his bag as a pillow. He was soon asleep. My eyes closed too. I began to feel like I was fainting or floating and tried to open my eyes again. They wouldn’t wink or move. They were sealed. I wanted to stand up
Color of Hunger BENJAMIN Since I’d left home, my life hadn’t been safe; I’d always thought I was going to die. At last in Kakuma I believed I would survive. The clinic had given me medicines and bandages and since the stick had been removed in Lokichokio and I was out of that dirty jail in Natinga, my leg healed. Although we never had enough food in Kakuma and it was hot, windy and dusty, and people were sick without help, we still had some fun. All week we went to school and studied and
because I ran in the sun too much and got malaria. My father ground plants and soaked them in water. He poured the water into a gourd. “Now drink this.” I drank and threw up, it was so bitter. “Okay now, there you go,” he said. Two hours later I felt good. Achol was my favorite friend because we had the best time together and we didn’t fight. Most mornings I ran to her house and I’d wait for her if she wasn’t yet awake. There was no school for us to go to in Juol, so we played under the palm