A Long Walk to Water Chapters 8-9 Summary & Analysis

Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water

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A Long Walk to Water Chapters 8-9 Summary & Analysis

Chapter Eight Summary

Southern Sudan, 2008

After a trip to the medical facility, Akeer’s mother and father are told that the dirty water she had been drinking caused the sickness and that they should boil all water before drinking it. The family has grave doubts since the tiny amounts of water taken from the lake would boil away before being purified. Nya looks forward to returning to their regular home, but she knows that because she herself is so thirsty when arriving at the well, Akeer would be too, and that she would never prevent her from drinking the contaminated water.

Southern Sudan, 1985

Finally the group reaches the island in the middle of the river, and Salva is amazed at all the food—fish, hippo meat, and crocodile, as well as, sugar cane, yams, and cassava. No one has any money, so they have to beg, but for some reason, food is freely given to Salva’s uncle who shares with him.

Salva looks back on his life with his parents at home where he had plenty to eat because of his father’s comparative wealth. Father would go by bicycle to bring home beans, rice, and sometimes mangoes, to supplement their sorghum porridge.

Toward evening all the fishing villagers retreat to what appears to be tents of mosquito netting. In just a few minutes, mosquitos attack Salva and his friends. No one can sleep because of the damage the small insects inflict.

The next morning they prepare to cross the rest of the river. After crossing, they would encounter the Akobo River.

Chapter Nine Summary

Southern Sudan, 2008

One day, a jeep full of men comes to town and is greeted by the braver children. In just a few days, the family would head back to the camp. Nya holds back from the newcomers. Her brother Dep takes them to the chief’s—his uncle—house to drink tea. They are there only to find that the men are inquiring about their tribe’s water source—the nearest being the pond, merely a half-morning’s walk away.

Southern Sudan, 1985

Salva is shocked at the arid desert bearing only small acacia trees. It seems to stretch on forever….

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