Thursday, May 2, 2013

Night of the Jackal?

David, an extremely tall and very regal Dinka who lives in Mapuordit, South Sudan, can tell you a lot about the danger of guarding cattle and goats. As a young teen he was keeping watch over his family's cows when he was attacked from behind in the darkness by a wild animal that gouged out both his eyes.  He does not know the English word for the attacker: perhaps a jackal, perhaps a hyena, or a rabid wild dog. For sure, something vicious.

David has not let his total blindness--in a country where there are no services for the blind--prevent him from living a full life. He is the de facto leader of a simple compound for disabled persons. He is strong and upright and deeply gentle; his smile creases his whole face.  He walks with great dignity, even when being led by a small child.

Once you meet David you never forget him.

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