“I have tremendous empathy and compassion for these people. If you have any concept of what they’ve been through one can’t help but feel compassion for them and admire their courage and resilience. Some of the guys spent their whole lives in a refugee camp. 18 years. And some of the things they were fleeing in the Congo were abominable. Frankly, I feel some responsibility for the Congo mess. If the US hadn’t aided in the assassination of Patrice Lamumba so long ago, who knows where the Congo would be today. We’ve been on the wrong side of so many situations in the developing world that have ended in such a mess, that to some extent I feel some sense of responsibility as an American. So it just seems important to help. It also is important to show a more generous and welcoming side of America than the current administration presents.”
Dona and Gary both taught in English Namibia while traveling through the country. Dona taught biology courses and Gary computer science. They are now Driver’s Education instructors at Soft Landing Missoula.
Photos and Interview by Elliott Natz