Meet the Virunga Lodge Team;Dieudonne Habimana, Service Department.
Q: How long have you been working for Volcanoes Safaris?
A: I have been working here for three years now. I finished school just before I started working here and I had a couple of internships at hotels in Kigali.
Q: So you are one of the youngest team members at the lodge?
A: Yes. I just turned 25 this month! I studied hotel operations at school and was very lucky as I found work very quickly. Our guests who visit are always very interested to know what it is like to find jobs over here and find out about our lives. It is actually much easier for the younger generation in the developing countries because work is usually easy to find. I hear that it can be very difficult to find a job in Europe and the US.
Q: Would you say that there are plenty of exciting opportunities for the younger generation today?
A: Yes. We are now starting to learn English at school, instead of French, which is very beneficial to young people today. There are more job opportunities and we have a number of internship schemes that enable Rwandans to travel to Dubai for hospitality training for example which is really great for youngsters to get involved with
Q: What is your favorite thing about the lodge?
A: There are beautiful views of the volcanoes, which all of the guests always really love. I feel privileged to live here. I also like working with the team here. I enjoy being challenged, but also having the free reign to guests and clients and improve my English and knowledge of the world. I miss my family while I am here, but I see them every few months, so I cannot complain.
Q: Have you ever seen the gorillas?
A: Yes! I saw the Kwitonda (meaning humble) group in Parc National des Volcans some years ago. They really are amazing creatures. Rwandans are not generally interested in visiting national parks, but I do think it is very important for the people to know their country.
Q: What are your views on tourism in Rwanda?
A: I believe that tourism is so important for Rwanda. It is improving all the time, more and more hotels are being built, the roads are being improved, I hear the airport in Kigali is being upgraded. It is important for the world to see how far we have come in twenty years and see what an amazing country we have here.
Q: What does the future hold for you?
A: I would like to carry on developing at Volcanoes and learning more. I started in the kitchen at the lodge and I have now moved to the service department. I work with some very experience and intelligent people and I would like to be able to learn as much as possible from them.