Story Publication logo May 30, 2007

Tomorrow is a Big Day


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Gabriel Deng, Koor Garang and Garang Mayuol, Southern Sudanese "Lost Boys" in the U.S., were forced...

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Multiple Authors

David Morse, for the Pulitzer Center

"Tomorrow is a big day," Jen commented this evening, referring to our planned trips out to the village of Gabriel Bol Deng and Samuel Garang Mayoul. She's right, of course. Tomorrow will be in intense. But every day has been a big day. Each day there has been a crisis. At moments the whole project has threatened to come apart at the seams.

After twenty years, these are questions of life and death. Today Gabriel learned that a message had been garbled, that his sister - whom he met tody here in Akon - had thought that he had not simply lost his passport, but had died. And there is the joy of these reunions. I count it a privilege to witness it and to participate in this welcome (although I don't relish swallowing another mouthful of goat slaughtered in our honor). Yesterday's songs, led by old men wearing floppy hats made of wild skins and brandishing great crooked canes, seemed to swell from the heart of Dinkaland. What floors me is that our guys - our three Lost Boys - though by now we have met four or five dozen - are so thoroughly Dinka. The elaborate hand-shaking, the slapped palms - rituals I associlte with African Amrican men - here includes women as well, and in both sexes includes a lingering tenderness. It is thoroughly Dinka. Our guys - Chris, Gabriel, and Sam - known here as Koor, Bol, and Garang - are totally at home here. It is the Americanization that covers them like a thin veneer.


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