I was born in Rumangabo on the edge of the park. From a very early age, I was in constant contact with nature. Being a ranger brings about many unforgettable moments, some good and some I would like to forget.
One of the more terrifying experiences happened in 2003, while I was stationed at the Rubare patrol post. At about 7:30 pm, while we were in our ranger quarters, a group of eight armed men showed up and demanded that we surrender our weapons. We were caught completely off-guard and were trapped, but suddenly one of our fellow rangers Nzabandora appeared about 20 meters away from us. He immediately saw what was happening and ran to his cabin to get his gun. The armed bandits chased after him and that diversion allowed us to escape and get our own weapons. Nzabandora began shooting at the bandits and a two hour gunfight ensued. We were finally able to push the bandits back, but they escaped into the forest. I then heard someone calling me and realized that it was Nzabandora. I ran to his cabin and found him lying on the floor, mortally wounded by a bullet to the hip. He died a few minutes later. Nzabandora, my dear friend, gave his life to protect his fellow rangers and the park he loved.