There are so many of them. Today, this one, for no grand editorial reason — just because it popped up today in one of those “on this day ## years ago” moments of forced Facebook nostalgia.
I think about this little girl a lot. I met her on my first trip to South Sudan, in July 2013, in a moment and place that felt like the proverbial calm after the storm, or maybe just far enough from it, before the storm became everything, everywhere. Between South Sudan’s fighting, near-famine and displacement of millions, there’s not much chance she’s still alive. But by god was she curious, keen, excited, and holding her five-year-old own — I think she was five, but I’m writing from far away, far from South Sudan, far from all my notebooks and hard drives and press cards and scribbles that tether me to the places I’ve been, and I might remember wrong. She circled and studied that caravan of strangers, and never seemed to decide just where to come down on us. And then, as ever, we were gone.