This week has been an incredible adventure. The people we have met this week have been so inspiring; I will never forget them. Today was the perfect way to bring this week to an end. Although the weather turned rainy and dreary, we made the best of it; we couldn’t hike with the Lost Boys as was originally planned, but just spending time with the Lost Boys was perfect. When we arrived at the Lost Boys Center, Jany took us to Food Truck Fridays. It was delicious! We then watched a documentary that filmed Kuol returning to South Sudan. It was incredibly emotional watching Kuol reunite with his family. His happiness quickly turned to sadness when he found the area where his mom and dad were most likely buried. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like to experience that.
It was so powerful being able to hear their stories. It was amazing how open they are and how willing they are to share their stories. We could ask them anything and they would answer without hesitation. They just wanted to be heard; they want their stories to be known. The world needs to hear and see these stories; even though South Sudan has gained their independence, the battle is not over.
It is not easy to build a new country. The foundation needs to be set, but the tribal disagreements are still occurring. We can do our part by spreading the word, writing to our senators, and letting everyone know that attention needs to be given to South Sudan. Just because they have their own country, doesn’t mean we can turn our backs on them. We need to find a balance between letting South Sudan have its independence and run their own country and providing help when needed. South Sudan will have a tough couple of years.
Spending the day with Jany was the perfect way to end our trip. We just talked and hung out like we were old friends. We asked him questions, joked with him, and spent the day laughing, enjoying each other’s company. By the time we left, it truly felt that we had gained brothers.
What the Lost Boys have gone through is enough to break any human. But, instead of letting it break them, the Lost Boys that we met on this trip have turned their devastating experiences into positivity. It is impossible not to be happy when you are around the Lost Boys. They are full of happiness and joy. They are truly an inspiration. I cannot wait until we meet again. The trip may be coming to an end, but the friendships, lessons, and experiences will continue. This is just the beginning.