Thursday, 21 June 2018

The American Dream

By Christiaan Haasbroek

I did not know what to expect, when I got on the airplane at O.R Tambo International Airport, in Johannesburg. I did as much research as I possibly could before I boarded on a 16-hour flight to New York City…and then off to West Palm Beach, Florida.

I did not know one single person on the plane and thought to myself: “This is going to be one huge challenge, to make new friends in a country that I know very little of”. I arrived in West Palm Beach around 2pm on the 10th of October 2017: we were picked up from the airport; taken to do some shopping for necessities at the local Publix; and arrived at our apartment, which completely exceeded my expectation!

Myself and all the other participants had the day to unpack, and to enjoy the Floridian scenery of stunning beach views and orange skies! I spent the day on the beach and got to know some of my fellow colleagues that have already arrived from Ireland and South Africa.

The next day we arrived at Admirals Cove Country Club, where we all worked together as a team. I was completely amazed at how beautiful the country club and surroundings were – I could not believe that I would be working here for 6 months.

The first 3 months, up to the Christmas Party hosted at one of the other country clubs, was an absolute dream. The friends I made became family. Work was a pleasure to go to everyday and we were offered great guidance and support from the country clubs management. At this point, I felt what “The American Dream” was all about…

Friday, 15 June 2018

The Beauty Through Your Eyes

By Robyn May

While marketing in Ballito, Durban, I got the chance to view the arts and crafts of a man who makes souvenirs. This made me realise, that often we forget to appreciate the simple things.

I watched the waves roll onto the shore which made me feel calm and allowed me to forget about all the negativity and appreciate all the good things that are taking place. Remember, when worries get you down, stop, think and acknowledge all the good and positive things happening in your life.

I challenge you to take the time to look around you and see the beauty, not only in the things around you but in the people as well. Never forget that after every storm there is a magnificent rainbow…

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Sebonack, you feel Like HOME!

By Nasiphi Sobahle

Google defines a home as “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household”. I would go further and claim that home is not a place, it’s a feeling, it is YOU. And Sebonack Country Club feels like HOME! One may wonder, how a workplace could feel like home – I am more than delighted to share the reasons!
Those who are very fond of me know that I am from a very small town in South Africa, a town that is nestled in the heart of East Griqualand, a small town that sits on the boundary between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, a town that boasts a population of 50 000... I am from a town called Kokstad and I am basically a proud farm girl.

Arriving at Sebonack Country Club in Southampton, New York, I really had no idea what to expect and I was certainly surprised. Who would have thought that one could find chickens in the Hamptons? I know I never did. But it turns out that Sebonack country club also practices poultry farming. We raise chickens for eggs and these are the very same eggs that we offer on our breakfast menu. Discovering this definitely took me back home.

As if learning about the chickens was not enough to leave me in awe, I was then introduced to Sebonack’s beehive. Yes, we produce our own honey, which is beautifully and proudly set on our tables in the dining rooms. Tell me that this is not impressive! This definitely sets us apart because we live in a world where the majority of people are now health conscious.

Kokstad is well known for its cold, biting, dry and bleak winters. Here, at Sebonack, they collect enough wood to last the entire winter. Walking into our staff housing, the beauty of the wood stacked in front of our building always catches my eye, and I think of how my hometown friends back in South Africa would love and appreciate this wood during the months of June and July. I can see them now, around the fire…

Sebonack, you definitely took me back home! Thanks for being my home away from home.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Final Countdown

By Megan Volker

As the season comes to the end; I look back and reflect on the amazing experience I have had and the amazing people I have met.

Majority of my colleagues and friends have either left for the recruitment season in North Florida or are already back home in South Africa.

We have had many farewells. This was the hardest part of the season - saying goodbye to your friends and especially your housemates. We have all grown so close and become one big family. 

Memorial Day was my last day of work and I was so excited to end my time at the country club on a positive note. Memorial Day celebrations in the United States of America takes place in honour of women and men who have died in the military service and is usually a big affair. After all the excitement, I am looking forward to my flight back to South Africa!

The packing has begun, and I am waiting anxiously to get on a plane home. It is going to be a long journey home and I know I will be leaving the states feeling content with my life.

I can already feel that I am going to miss Florida and I am not even home yet! Luckily, I will be back in Florida in a few months’ time which gives me something to look forward to. Even better, I get to do it all over again!

It has been great blogging and sharing my experiences. Goodbye for now, until next season...

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Recruitment process in full swing

Tara Clampett

It has been a busy few weeks for the Workaway International team as our recruitment process is in full swing!

I have had a great time marketing the program and meeting candidates from all over Cape Town. Among the locations I have visited is the stunning De Zalze Estate where I met the students from the Swing Fit Golf Academy, The Golf School of Excellence and The SA Butler Academy. I would like to thank all the students and lecturers for their hospitality during my visits!

The Joburg and Durban recruiters also recently made their way to Cape Town for training and it was lovely meeting Christiaan and seeing Robyn again. I worked with Robyn at Mirasol Country Club in Florida and I never thought we would be colleagues again on South African soil! I was also fortunate enough to assist Robyn in Durban for the first presentation, which was filled to capacity with excited potential Workaways! We met fantastic candidates and I look forward to seeing them again for their Workaway interviews this week.

While winter has hit Cape Town I am longing for the beautiful weather in the sunshine state, Florida! I am looking forward to hopefully going back this season and seeing all the excited new candidates on the plane starting your journey to the USA!

Thursday, 31 May 2018

A Priceless Adventure

By Christiaan Haasbroek

If you unlock all the doors you can surely choose an adventure to suit you, and that is exactly what I did in 2015. I unlocked a door of endless possibilities when I applied for the Workaway International programme.

Now almost 3 years later, I returned to South Africa and I am now the Johannesburg recruiter for the 2018/19 season. It has been a wonderful experience meeting the potential recruits over the last two weeks. It is also always exciting when I see some familiar faces.

I have had a few recruits ask me how the programme was and what I enjoyed most about being in the USA. Honestly, the only word I can think of to describe my experience is ‘priceless’. I have been very fortunate to work 3 consecutive seasons at Admirals Cove Country Club. This journey has been a rollercoaster ride, where I have made life-long friends from all corners of the world; something I never thought was possible.

The opportunities are endless once you have arrived in the USA. I have always loved to travel, and my one goal was to see as much of the United States as I could - I went to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Boston, Atlantic City, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Los Angeles and these are just a few of the places I was able to experience.

I have had the most amazing time as a Manager in our Blü Restaurant at Admirals Cove, a country club with high standards and expectations that taught me so much about the hospitality industry. It has been a world class experience working here and I am looking forward to the 2018/19 season.

I hope that all new recruits and returners this season will find the adventure they are looking for, this is truly a priceless experience that will teach you self-control, discipline and independence, with irreplaceable memories and friends for a lifetime.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Finish Strong

By Arthur Devon Petersen

Sadly, this is my last blog for the season. Boca West Country Club has been nothing but good to me for the last 8 months and I cannot thank them enough.

It is currently very quiet at the country club as many participants has left. Some are going up north and others are returning home. There is still so much that needs to be done before everything is in full swing for the summer season.

I am spending a lot of my time packing, preparing all my uniforms to be returned to the country club, cleaning the apartments we have been staying in and simply enjoying my last days in sunny Florida.

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to work here for 8 months. This is not goodbye as I plan on returning next season and that makes me very excited. Thank you to everyone who made this a wonderful working experience for me! I appreciate everything and I look forward to seeing everyone next season!