In And We Ate the Leopard, Margaret Baker Wente describes the unusual story of her family's life in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) catching marauding leopards, surviving serious malarial attacks and helping a hunting and fishing people gain the knowledge to join the modern world. Living in the jungle without electricity or neighborhood grocery stores demands pioneer ingenuity. Messages come by drum beat; canoes and bicycles provide the usual transportation; mail from the States takes three months to arrive. The mission steamboat Oregon spreads the gospel and provides transportation up and down the river for the mission.
Gradually educated Congolese assume positions of responsibility. With independence in 1960, the new Congolese government proves unable to control its rampaging army. The Bakers must be evacuated by the United States Air Force after serving twenty-eight years.