I have loved nature my entire life. There is no life without nature, so I realized that this is what I should focus on. I have no interest in going anywhere else, whether paid or not. I prefer to remain here surrounded by nature, where I see the flora and fauna that fascinate many of those who do not have it.
On patrol in the Gorilla Sector, 2007
There have been many moments when we worked without getting paid — without food. When there aren’t problems associated with the war, some people, including several of the guards, maintain small farms near the park border. These small farms have helped us make ends meet while we wait for a paycheck.
Entering Virunga with Innocent, 2007
When I started as a ranger, I was first posted to where the gorillas were, even though I didn’t know anything about gorillas. After I had settled in and gotten used to the animals, I decided to stay with the gorillas because they are such gentle and innocent beings. We were told that these are very aggressive animals, but in time, I realized that they were not and that made me want to stay and protect them.
Blogging from the field
Any day I see a gorilla in its natural surroundings is a good day. It brings me so much joy that I don’t need anything else, even food, while I am with the gorillas. Shortly after the killing of the Rugendo gorillas in July 2007, we said to ourselves, “If someone was prepared to kill defenseless gorillas, would they think twice about killing rangers?” That is when I concluded that we are at even more risk than the animals we protect.
With my wife Justine, who is a nurse in Kiwanja, just north of Rumangabo