A Long Walk to Water Chapters 12-13 Summary & Analysis

Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water

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A Long Walk to Water Chapters 12-13 Summary & Analysis

Chapter Twelve Summary

Southern Sudan, 2009

The men who had selected the site of the well bring others with a giant red “giraffe” drill. Ground is being dug and the women bring quantities of gravel on their heads to place nearby. Nya and Dep still cannot imagine there could be anything related to water resulting from the turmoil.

Itang Refugee Camp, Ethiopia, 1985

Salva realizes fairly quickly that the woman is not his mother, and he also begins to admit to himself that his mother and other family members are almost certainly dead. He wonders how he will go on, but then he remembers how Uncle had gotten him across the desert by aiming at one small goal at a time. He recognizes this method, living a day at a time, to be the answer to his dilemma.

Six years later, July 1991

Rumors abound that the camps are being closed because the Ethiopian government is falling apart. Salva, like everyone else, becomes afraid, and their fear rapidly turns to terror. One day, soldiers come to drive the refugees out by firing guns in the air and herding them in the direction of the swollen Gilo River. They are being sent back to Sudan and crocodiles inhabited the area near the Gilo.

Chapter Thirteen Summary

Southern Sudan, 2009

Nya observed the drilling process and marveled that in order to find water, the men needed to use water. The women travel to the pond every day bringing a big plastic bag filled with water, but the men became discouraged because the bag leaks—even the patches leak. But the leader of the crew, the man who had originally come to visit the chief, is very talented at keeping the men working.

Ethiopia—Sudan—Kenya, 1991-92

After the soldiers force hundreds of people into the water, crocodiles immediately attack many. Salva himself barely escapes when a crocodile victim pulls him under the water, nearly drowning him. When he finally struggles free, he realizes that being pulled under the water probably saved his life.

Salva swims valiantly, as hard as he can, to the other side of the river where he discovers that over a thousand people…

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