Head out to the school at around 10:30. I am driving, and about halfway there we decide the road is too swamped to proceed. Puddles have become proper ponds. We try to park off the road, behind some trees, but as we are locking up the car bees attack us. Naomi is stung. It’s funny, we each take a different approach to finding safety. Naomi gets in the car, Hilary starts to run then joins Naomi in the car, while I bolt twenty yards into the bush and frantically put on my slicker. We decide to leave bee territory and park by the side of the road. A nice young Dinka man leads us on the walk to the school. Within five minutes, Naomi slips while wading and falls on her ass with a splash. We arrive an hour later, and the schoolyard is swarming with kids in blue and white uniforms. Some boys are playing soccer with a denuded tennis ball, girls are playing with a jump rope of twine and root, and two pairs of boys are engaged in good-natured fights. With their short short hair, the young girls would be hard to tell apart from the boys if it weren’t for their dresses. Light blue Unicef backpacks are everywhere. Beside one outdoor lecture hall several hang from a tree branch and drift in the breeze like a Calder. We are introduced to a class as travelers from London to Cape Town who have been kind enough to bring things for the school. False on both counts. It’s Cairo to Cape Town for me, Nairobi is the last stop for Hilary, and Mike is the man when it comes to the charity. I later find Luka in front of his class using the inflatable globe I brought, and soon enough I am alone in front of the class. The children are perhaps in fourth grade but vary in age from 8 to 14 from the looks of it. I spend forty-five minutes reviewing continents and countries and make up a game that involves throwing the globe. Dip into their actual subject of study with the help of one of their textbooks. Boring stuff about the migration of early humans in Sudan — the Acholi, Nuer, and other Nilotic peoples. Guess I once had to learn similar things, but I quickly return to the topic of geography. Afterward I find Naomi and Hilary in a classroom with older students. They have just received pen pal letters from fourth-graders in Neah Bay, WA. Some of the letters include paper airplanes and handmade bracelets. What a great concept, the pen pal. I look at the postmark on the envelope: May 4. Two and a half months after it was sent to the founder of the school, a Sudanese man who lives in California, it arrives here. I imagine what the kids of Neah Bay are doing now. Soccer camps and barbecues and fireflies. They live completely different lives. By now it is after two and we are offered a lunch of sorghum (curiously provided by USAID) and lentils. I sample a bit of the dish. The sorghum is the texture of canned dog food, and I can’t imagine it tastes much better. Very bland. Naomi wants to introduce us to the founder of the school — or his father, I’m not sure — so we go for a walk behind the school. We can’t find him, but we meet other people as we wind through the high sorghum stalks and Dinka huts. Two women are topless; another is sitting in a plastic chair and apparently is stricken with malaria. Wade back to the car, give three schoolboys a lift back to Luonyaker, then head to VSF to get input about driving south from two friendly men who are knowledgeable of the roads. The Uganda route makes more sense. Return to the compound, shower, then eat dinner. Walking back to my room, a little after 8:30, I realize that this is the first cloudless night we’ve had in Sudan. I can see the stars clearly.