Recently, I reached out to an alumnus of the Cultural Representative Program, BK. He is from the east side of Botswana called Maun. BK participated in the program as a savannah guide at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge from 2013-2014. Since then, he’s worked as a camp manager at the Moremi Game Reserve overseeing lodge operations and guest experience.
Q: What was your Cultural Representative Program training like? Did you know most of the information you provided to the guests?
The training was beneficial to me, as I learned a lot with regards to guest service and safety at large. Most of the information regarding animal facts, I knew them practically from the job I was doing before [the program]. I was a guide before, so it was much easier for me with some of the information Disney provided.
Q: What was the most unique experience you had? Any special moments watching the animals or interacting with guests?
The most unique experience that ever happened to me was staying in Florida. It was my first time to see myself in a place with so many people; it came as a culture shock to me and one memorable sighting was when I was at Arusha [in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge] watching a giraffe sleeping on the ground. It was my first time ever to see a giraffe so relaxed, without being vulnerable to predators.
Q: Tell us about your roommates and experiences.
When I arrived, I was staying at Vista Way in a six-person apartment and I had roommates from France, South Africa and Burundi. I then transferred to Patterson Court, and was staying in a two-person apartment with an American (Chris from Dallas, Texas). I found it funny and enjoyable to get to know everyone, and how they do their things. We are all different, but the fact remains we are all human beings.
Q: Did you experience any fun activities outside of work? (Special trips, unique adventure etc)
My most funny (and scariest) adventure was riding the Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I don’t think I will do something like that again. I liked Epcot and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park; those were my favorites.
Q: Did you participate in any housing events?
Yes, I went to the Starlit Splash at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and I met characters from Pirates of the Caribbean!
Q: What have you done since your last program?
As soon as a finished my program with Disney, I came back home and continued with what I was doing before (managing & guiding). I came up with health and safety program in the camp. The whole idea is to make sure that safety comes first in our operation at all the time.
Q: Do you still keep in touch with other alumni?
Yes, I don’t feel like we separated, as we communicate often, and this keeps our Disney memories alive.
Alumni from Disney International Programs, like the one BK participated in, are now able to connect with other alumni in the DCP Alumni Association. Anyone interested in applying for this opportunity may do so at dcpalumni.com. There will be other ways of connecting through different social media sources – but the applying for the Alumni Association would be their first step!
Thank you for your time, BK, and we wish you the most in your journey!