08/02/2007 at 10:00 AM EDT
Isaiah Washington says he found solace doing charity work in Sierra Leone after being fired
from Grey’s Anatomy
"This is the thing that kept me sane,” Washington told
. “While all the
negative was happening [on Grey's Anatomy
], I had all this support over there."
To soothe any bad feelings he had from the on-set altercation
with Patrick Dempsey
during which it was alleged that Washington used a homophobic slur, he says immersed himself in his children's charity, the Gondobay Manga Foundation.
The actor also tells the newspaper that he and his wife are considering adoption since the trip.
"There is one boy, about 8 years old, who I fell in love with [in Sierra Leone]," he says. "But I'm not interested in stripping him of his culture. My wife and I have three kids already, but we have talked about [adoption], and we're not ruling it out."
The actor's foundation is building a school in the Njala
Kendema village in Sierra Leone, with 350 students due
to start there this September.
Says Washington , who is currently shooting five episodes
of NBC's new drama The Bionic Woman
: "I feel safer in Sierra Leone than I do in L.A., because they're my people and they're not trying to hurt you. If anything, they're maybe going to try to get money
out of you to survive."
He adds that, once he found that he had a genetic
connection to people of that African nation, it has helped keep him going on a regular basis.
"When I get to the point when I'm very frustrated, I go to my Web site to check e-mails from [people] all over the world who want to help out."