A Long Walk to Water Chapters 16-18 Summary & Analysis

Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water

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A Long Walk to Water Chapters 16-18 Summary & Analysis

Chapter Sixteen Summary

Southern Sudan, 2009

Nya puts down her plastic jar and is surprised at the men with tools gathering around the new well. Her father tells her they are planning to build. He asks her if she knows what it will be.

Rochester, New York, 1996-2003

Salva is amazed at his new home – no dirt roads, and electricity in every building. Louis tells him that the snow will not be completely gone until about April. As Salva advances, he finds English more difficult, particularly with strings of letters pronounced very differently in different words like “through” and “bough.” He feels frustrated and wonders if he will ever know English well. Then he engages in the other thing Michael taught him, volleyball.

In Salva’s six-year life in the United States, he decides to go to college to study business. His dream is to return to help his people, but the prospects seem distant because of the war.

One day Salva gets a surprise. His cousin who is working at a relief agency in Zimbabwe sends him an email saying that he read that Salva’s father is alive in a United Nations clinic in Southern Sudan. Salva and his American family immediately swing into action to find him safe passage to return to try to find him. It literally takes months to make all the travel arrangements. Salva’s return to Kenya seems surreal. All the sites of the land and villages are just as he remembered, yet the memories seem so far away. When he finally reaches the hospital, he asks for his father—Mawien Dut Ariik.

Chapter Seventeen Summary

Southern Sudan, 2009

Nya is excited when her father tells her they are building a school near the well—and not just for boys but for girls too! She quickly runs off to carry her daily water.

Sudan and Rochester New York, 2003-2007

Salva recognizes his father immediately, but his father, who had just had treatment for guinea worm (a horrible parasite picked up through contaminated drinking water), does not recognize the adult Salva at first. After a ritual sprinkling of water on his son, Salva’s father relates to Salva that…

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