What was it like growing up in the Congo?
“Like the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. It was the perfect place to run and play. We were safe because everyone looked out for us. My African name was Baditu. It means: of the forest.
“Our dad was an avid hunter. He brought deer, antelope, guinea or nquadi fowl (similar to prairie chicken or pheasant). We ate well.
“We also ate bidia made from the maniac root and a green plant similar to spinach. We had eels or chicken, too. A favorite Congolese dish was a fried meal called, mikata. It was made with greens and plantains.
“For pets we had baby crocodiles and a bright-colored talking parrot. Stan had a pet monkey. He’ll have to tell you what happened to it.
“There was always a sense of adventure. Our location was heavily forested. We walked the forest paths through trees, grass, and bamboo. We had picnics on the white beach sandbar beside the crocodile infested waters. We always had a fire to keep the crocs away.”
“Yes. A South African crocodile hunter came to hunt along the Kasai River about one mile from our mission station. Like any younger brother, I always wanted to do what my older brother did. Stan got to go with Dad to the hunt. I didn’t.”