After staying in Kampala we drove to Gulu and from there we traveled north to the border into Southern Sudan to visit Sam's orphanage. There we got to meet all the wonderful kids. We ate with them, spent time with them, and heard many of their stories. What stayed deeply with me, long after we left, was the fact that these children had been through so much unspeakable violence and yet many of them still laughed and played in the sunshine. The resilience of their spirit was breathtaking.
Even though the location was a known dangerous crossroads of fighting and child-trafficking, Sam insisted on founding the compound there because he wanted to be in the middle of the action.
We traveled throughout the landmine-riddled countryside as Sam pointed out sites of past ambushes, deadly encounters with the LRA, and successful rescuing of child soldiers who had been kidnapped into Kony’s warped army.
As we drove on, the ancient and unwavering nature of the landscape repeated itself and the hot red sun beat down upon our little pickup truck. The people and the land of the Sudan had filled my eyes and my soul and I knew that I wouldn't be able to turn my back on their story, one far larger than myself or any one individual. It was a story of the infinite nature of the human spirit.