“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Maya Angelou
Get to meet the staff!
Every month we interview one of our staff members, so you can get to know where they are from and what drives them to work in the hospitality industry.
This month: Manon - assistant manager intern from October until December -
she has written an article about her experiences here
Project: leave Belgium to combine travel and work!
I had the opportunity to do a 2-month assistant-manager internship at Kupaga Villas in Zanzibar and I jumped at the opportunity! Having never travelled alone and for longer than two weeks it was an adventure. Inès and her mother Brigitte warmly welcomed me and did everything to make my internship go as well as possible.
I learned a lot of things, starting with the content of the work which was totally new to me. I took care of the check-ins and check-outs of the guests, their questions, the reservation platform and the hotel's social networks. It was an even bigger challenge when Inès, the owner of the hotel, trusted me to manage the management with her mother during her absence for a week. We say that we always learn better when we are in the field and this was absolutely the case! This allowed me to learn how to deal with the unexpected and to learn more about hotel management.
I particularly enjoyed doing this internship at Kupaga Villas because it is a small scale family owned hotel. The interesting discussions I had with guests from all over the world are countless!
The setting is breath-taking with the ocean and palm trees. It is of course very different from what I know in Belgium and therefore the scenery was surreal!
I was lucky to get along with the staff very well and some real friendships were born. They introduced me to the culture, the food, the Swahili, the village and in this way I didn't feel just a tourist anymore. I also had the opportunity to meet a German student who was also doing an internship in a hotel and we had a great time together visiting the island and doing lots of outings.
I was able to swim near dolphins at sunrise during the dolphin tour, I spent a day on the boat and snorkeled, saw the mangroves and ate delicious bbq of fish and seafood on a sandbank in the middle of the ocean. I also visited Jozani Forest with the monkeys (red colobus) that are only seen here in Zanzibar. I really liked the city of Stone Town with its day and night markets and all the old doors that you can find walking through the streets. When I was at the spice farm it was very interesting because the guide explains everything to you and makes you smell the spices, you can also buy some at the end of the tour. Not to be missed either is the sunset at Michamvi, the atmosphere is festive with acrobats and music, you can drink a cocktail or a fresh fruit juice and swim while the sun is setting.
The way of seeing life and living life in Zanzibar is very different from what I used to know. Zanzibar's "pole pole" and "Hakuna matata" mindset allowed me to take a step back from what was important and when to let go of what you couldn't control.
It was the ideal destination to detox from the anxiety-provoking climate caused by Covid-19 in Europe. This experience was enriching and full of surprises and discoveries, both professionally and socially.
It was a trip that made me grow and gain self-confidence. I fell in love with this beautiful island and its inhabitants.
I sincerely thank Inès for this golden opportunity because I will never forget this trip.