"The worst moment of the day happened near the end. Salva stubbed his toe on a rock, and his whole toenail fell off. The pain was terrible. Salva tried to bite his lip, but the awfulness of that never-ending day was too much for him. He lowered his head, and the tears began to flow." (Park, pg.53).
The Journey to Kenya
"Crowds of other boys followed him. Nobody talked about it, but by the end of the first day Salva had become the leader of about fifteen hundred boys. Some were as young as five years old." (Park, pg. 80).
Salva is in South Sudan in 1985, walking away from his village with many other citizens from south Sudan to escape the fighting going on. The group is divided into able men and women, children, and elderly. Leaving Salva confused on where to go until he decides with the men, because of his family and upbringing. However, before he can, a rebel stops him.
Salva is in the Akobo desert in 1985. His toenail comes off completely from stubbing his toe on a rock when he was dehydrated, and Salva ends up breaking down because of it.
Salva and many other lost boys walk from Ethiopia, through south Sudan, to Kenya in 1991 and 1992. They had to walk to Kenya because they had been chased out of Ethiopia by the new government. Salva had been made the impromptu leader of the group for seemingly no reason other than that he has some semblance of a plan.