Education has been my life and my passion. I have taught for more than four decades - small children, university students, adults, refugees, but mostly teenagers, and mainly at St. Stephen’s. I consider myself very fortunate. My decision (taken at the age of 11) to live in Rome has brought me immeasurable riches. My thirty-five years at St. Stephen’s gave me the opportunity to teach what I love in the city I love, plus many valued friendships. A chance meeting with Kizungu Hubert, the director of an orphanage I met in 2009 in war-ravaged Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), gave me a new purpose and direction to my life, but education has always remained an essential part of it.
I have returned just now (in March) from a two-week visit to the DRC, my twelfth trip in fourteen years. Covid took two away. I spent several days on Idjwi island on Lake Kivu, where I visited the poultry project, which students and faculty of St. Stephen’s got off the ground some years ago. I checked in on our Agriculture for Pygmies initiative and the new Primary School, Idjwi Island Leadership Academy (IILA), established a couple of years ago by a Canadian colleague, Vicky English Pearson.