They were sometimes called "The Lost Boys" -- Sudanese refugees between 8 and 18 years old, separated from their families and forced on a thousand mile march from Sudan to Ethiopia and Kenya.
Half died on that trip, from hunger, thirst, exhaustion, alligators.
A few of them were rescued and delivered to places like Fargo, North Dakota, in the middle of winter.
"Are there lions in this bush?" one asked, riding in a car to his new home from the airport.
From The New York Times Magazine, April 1, 2001:
Peter touched my shoulder. He was holding a can of Purina dog food.
"Excuse me, Sara, but can you tell me what this is?'' Behind him, the pet food was stacked practically floor to ceiling.
''Um, that's food for our dogs,'' I answered, cringing at what that must sound like to a man who had spent the last eight years eating porridge.
"Ah, I see,'' Peter said, replacing the can on the shelf and appearing satisfied. He pushed his grocery cart a few more steps and then turned again to face me, looking quizzical. '
'Tell me,'' he said, ''what is the work of dogs in this country?''