At the beginning, Salva is attending school. His whole body is straight, and everything is paying attention, except for his mind and eyes. They are wandering elsewhere. He is thinking about home, and once he gets there, there would be nice, cold milk waiting for him on the counter.
BOOM! CLASH! All of a sudden, the sound of guns alert everyone's ears. Women and children are screaming while men are protesting with anger. The teacher shout "Run into the bush, NOW!" and Salva makes his way there. " Where is my family?" He has to run as hard as he could into the bush, alone.
Salva finally starts to recognize some people from his tribe. He attempts to join the men's group, but he is put in the women and children's. The group stays in a barn, but by morning, the group is gone. Salva is left alone, with no one at his side.
Salva is still alone. No family, no friends, not even a stranger. Then, Salva spots an elderly woman. " She is Dinka!" he thought to himself. He knows this because of the ritual scars placed on her forehead. She sees him, and gives him some peanuts to eat. She lets him stay, but she has to leave without him, or she will not be safe. She leaves a couple of days later, and Salva is alone again, no one at his side.
I'm sorry, but I can't stay
What do I do now?
Salva sees more Dinka people near the old woman's house. The men are discussing whether or not to take him, and eventually, the man decides to take him, because he is Dinka. A few days later, he meets a friend, Mariel. They are the same height, age, and they have the same stride. One day, Salva sees a relative! His Uncle! He is in the army, so he has a gun. He shoots several feasts, and because of that, they think of him as a leader. One morning, Uncle is rushing to Salva and says " Salva, your friend, I'm sorry."
Those are Dinka people!
They assume that Mariel was eaten by a lion. Women are sobbing and men are yelling. They continue on with their journey. A few days later, some Nuer rebels walk up to the group. They start ordering people to strip off their clothes, and they ask Uncle to come with them. They tie him to a tree, and then the gunshots fire off. "POW! POW!" "Uncle!" Salva thinks with sadness.