A Long Walk to Water Chapters 3-4 Summary & Analysis

Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water

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A Long Walk to Water Chapters 3-4 Summary & Analysis

Chapter Three Summary

Southern Sudan, 2008

After drinking from the muddy water, Nya fills her jar and puts a donut object on her head and starts home knowing the return trip will take longer.

Southern Sudan, 1985

When Salva leaves the barn, he happens upon the house of a Dinka woman with ritual scarring, the same tribe as his. He is relieved to no longer be alone, but he still fears this stranger. She offers him raw peanuts to eat, and he tells her about how he is running from the gunfire. He thinks of the long war over land and water between the Dinka and the Nuer. For several days, the old woman allows him to fetch firewood and water from the pond, but the water source is quickly drying up. They can hear the artillery in the distance and Salva hopes that his family is safe.

After the fourth day, the old woman tells him she must leave. She is going to another village that has water and is safer during winter. She says he can no longer stay. His being with her will endanger her life further. She advises him to leave but to always walk away from the sound of gunfire.

Salva decides to sit in the barn until he hears voices. When he sees the people approach, he notices the V-shaped scars on their foreheads—people of the Dinka tribe once again. He hopes his family might be among them.

Chapter Four Summary

Southern Sudan, 2008

Nya has one infant brother and one five-year-old sister, Akeer. After a bowl of boiled sorghum meal and milk, Nya prepares for her next trip to get water. Her mother asks her to take Akeer with her. She knows Akeer is too young and too small to keep up.

Southern Sudan, 1985

When the strangers arrive, Salva discovers none of his family members. The old woman who comes from behind asks the group if they would take Salva. Most believe he would only slow them down and eat too much. However, one woman quietly urges a man to accept him. The man justifies his decision by saying Salva is Dinka.

The…

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