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About the AuthorAuthor Margaret Wente

Margaret Baker Wente grew up at Mondombe playing with her siblings, educated by her mother and surrounded by the loving American and African residents of the station. Seeing monkeys swing through the giant forest trees behind her house seemed as natural as the African gray parrot talking three languages on the back porch.

Trying to make herself understood in a foreign language seemed no more difficult for her than the difficulty the Africans had understanding why the Americans boiled their drinking water. Classes in school taught about germs.

Home schooled with the Calvert correspondence curriculum, which went through the ninth grade, the missionary children then returned to the States to finish high school and attend college. Margaret taught for four years and then in 1959 returned to Mondombe for a visit with her parents. Little did she realize it would to be the last summer before Congo became independent and dissolved into chaos.

After Donald and Lelia passed away, Margaret felt an urgent desire to tell the stories of her childhood and her parents’ later experiences in the field. These all existed written in letters preserved by her Aunt Ruth and others. What a treasure of memories to revel in. And We Ate the Leopard was the result of this delightful review and much other reading about the Belgian Congo.

The author can be reached at