They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan
A stunning literary survival story, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a "moving, beautifully written account, by turns raw and tender."
Across Sudan, between 1987 and 1989, tens of thousands of young boys took flight from the massacres of Sudan's civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live.
They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is three boys' account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child's-eye-vision, Alephonsion, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns how they endured hunger and strength-sapping illnesses. How they dodged the life-threatening predators-lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers-that dogged their footsteps. How they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating portrait of a childhood lost to war, and of the perseverance of the human spirit.
that when they saw us. Sometimes they cried and gave food to us. But after a few days there were no more towns, and we didn’t know the wild foods that were safe to eat. Hunger forced me to try things I’d never seen before. Soon there were no trees; sunshine was everywhere. In the night we walked with nothing to eat. In the day we sat in the shade. People began dying from hunger. There was nothing to eat at all. I asked anyone who had water if he would give me some. The adults gave their little
wash my eyes. I was so grateful for that. At night I usually slept on the gravel road because the wet grass made my skin itch. When we were told we had to walk three more days to reach the last town in Sudan on the border of Ethiopia, I fell asleep wondering if I could make it through the rest of the desert, or if I would be one of the ones to end up under a skulls tree. Falling Down BENJAMIN In the town of Pibor Post we found people waiting for us because they had been told that the boys
Uganda, all of us starved into sticks, we were advised to move on to Torit, nearly a hundred miles away over difficult terrain. We knew the walk would be exhausting with everyone weak from chronic hunger but we had no choice. Our only chance for something to eat along the way lay up on Imatong mountain at a mission rumored to have food and mango trees. But when we reached the mission, we found another group had consumed the last of the biscuits and stripped the trees of fruit. We left hurriedly
was happy that he looked so well. New Kind of Education BENSON Just after Alepho left Natinga, the commanders gathered us together. They said the rebel movement might have been weakened but they were still alive and kicking, and although tall and thin, they were not fragile. The movement may have subsided but it smoldered like a firestorm awaiting the winds to add more force. The next SPLA victory would devour the jungle in raging flame. They ordered us to stop building the road up the
army uniform piece on my shirt. I sat down on a rock and took off my shirt. A Turkana boy standing nearby grazing his cattle smiled at the sight of me removing my shirt. Tearing off the uniform piece left a gaping hole. I buried the scrap under the rock and took my other shirt out of my pack and doubled them up as they both had holes. I walked past the two policemen. They didn’t say anything to me, but one pointed at me and the huge one laughed until he coughed from his smoking. The sounds of