God Grew Tired Of Us

‘God Grew Tired of Us’ is a documentary about a group of Sudanese refugees who are granted a chance to live in the USA. This is after having been displaced by the wars that affected their country in the 1990s. Orphaned by the civil war, John Bul Dau, Daniel Abol Pach and Panther Blor find themselves among 25, 000 “Lost Boys” who flee their villages to seek refuge from famine, illnesses, wild animals and attacks from rebel soldiers. The Boys travel together for five years in to the UN’s refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. As some of them settled in, the three young friends together with 3800 others were selected for resettlement in the United States (Dau & Sweeney, 2009).

Being brought up in the ways of the Dinka community, they had been used to sheep and goat herding while men took care of the cattle. Cooking is done outside by use of firewood by the women and girls and the males do not cook at all. Their diet is mainly of heavy millet porridge, eaten with milk or spiced vegetable sauce. Houses are mostly temporary huts due to their nomadic way of living while their religious practices are conducted through ceremonies that involve offering animal sacrifices to their God who speaks to them through possessing a given individual. The cultural differences begins with their boarding of the plane where they hear the airplane loudspeakers, eat processed food and continues as they learn more about refrigerators, running water, supermarkets, getting used to permanent buildings and sky scrapers among others. It is interesting to watch the amazement they show to these “simple” things and to the Western customs where everything is done differently like cooking indoors and men cooking. As for religion, the Americans attend churches and no sacrifices or dances are offered to their God.

Things are hard for them as they take up multiple jobs (which they have never done before) and struggle to keep up with them. For the first time in years they find themselves well fed yet sad as they are forced to separate ways which makes them miss the brotherly fellowship that they once had in their survival years. What shocks them even more is the American’s need for privacy and cases of racial segregation that they also face. They truly miss home and are concerned about how their families are faring on. The Dinka expect a person to be generous to others in order to have a high status in the society and this they do by helping out the families and friends they have left behind. Through the concern that had been taught to them by their community, family and friends are not all they looked after but also involve the larger community in it.

John founded the American Care for Sudan Foundation, which raises funds to build the first medical clinic ever in Duk County, where he was brought up as a boy. He is also the director of the Sudan Project at Direct Change, which raises funds for its partners who are working at rebuilding Southern Sudan. Other international charities such as CARE and UN Millennium Project are also involved (Laura, 2008). Community involvement is important as it lowers cost of life when resources are pooled together. It becomes easier and less expensive to put up projects that may have seemed impossible at first. To participate in community involvement practices, one can join and donate to an already existing project or can create own project. Community for refugees can also be enhanced by creating a friendly environment to them by cutting out on segregation and offering to explain the new way of life to them among others.

This book helps us see the lives that the refugees live from their perspective. With the difference in both geographical and cultural settings, the way that they try to fit in poses the biggest challenge to them especially if the new community around them is not welcoming at all. It serves to help us review our ways (as well as have some soul searching) in the way we treat each other and to uphold communal values and involvements that are positive and community strengthening in nature.























Dau J. B., & Sweeney, M. S., God grew tired of us, Michigan: National Geographic, 2009

La Bella, L., Angelina Jolie: Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2008

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