When violence broke out in Sudan last December, Michael was shot twice in the leg while he was walking home from school. Michael is a member of the Nuer tribe, and his shooting was a hate crime committed against him by members of the Dinka tribe. I sat down to talk with him at the Confident Children out of Conflict (CCC) Center, in the presence of Cathy, the center’s director. Before we even broached the subject of the shooting, Cathy spoke with Michael for several minutes. In a particularly beautiful moment, Cathy had Michael list all the members of the Dinka tribe who had helped in his recovery. Eventually, Cathy asked Michael if he wanted to talk about the shooting. He shook his head ‘no.’ Not wanting to push the issue, I quickly changed the topic. I pulled out my iPhone, and began to show Michael pictures of Susie The Dog. He took the phone from me, and spent several minutes scrolling through all my photos. Later that night, after I returned to the hotel, I found an unexpected new picture on my phone.
(Juba, South Sudan)