Monday, 16 January 2017

Making it RAIN

By Emma Seager

So we just finished Christmas week and “tired” is a complete understatement. I worked two weeks straight with no off days BUT I just got my pay cheque and MAN it was worth it. It’s hard work in season SO PREPARE YOURSELF! Especially at a big club like Boca West, expectations are high, we were serving around 1200 people on Christmas Eve, but it really does pay off once you see all that cash money. Boca West goes all out for these events and we had some amazing set ups and displays. My favourite was definitely the seafood buffet! The chefs even carved out ice sculptures as décor. One of our head Chefs dressed up as Santa and walked around the club giving us all ice cream! He did this every day before our evening shift.

It’s tough sometimes at these big events because members can sometimes be extremely demanding and occasionally rude, and you just have to take it all in your stride.

The managers are great and always there for you, they work through Christmas week with us with no off days and really are team players. I am in the bar as a cocktail server and we are like a big family, there are only 21 of us in our department so we can really get to know each other because we work together so often. We also get the most overtime which is a bonus!! Things have slowed down a little now, but we are preparing to open the new steakhouse where I will be moving to and it’s looking beautiful! (Watch this space). The steakhouse is a fine dining restaurant, so when that opens along with another new restaurant called Grand Central, we will be really busy again… or “in the weeds” as they say here at Boca. We should also be busy at the end of February when all the members come back for president’s week so I am sure I’ll have a lot to tell you about that!!! 

Friday, 13 January 2017

Going up north!!!

By Marvin Seekoei

Hi there my fellow Workaway participants. I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a belated happy holidays and a Happy New Year. I wish you all of the best for 2017.

It's that time of the season where the northern clubs will be scouting for staff for their upcoming season. Please just be careful if you’re deciding to go through private channels. I always prefer to stay with Workaway International because of the professionalism and efficiency of the organisation but unfortunately there are a limited amount of positions available.

So if you do end up going through different channels, please be mindful that other agencies do not operate at the same level. Do not fly up to any club or resort unless they scan and 
e-mail your new visa extension first. If you do not have it by the day before your visa expires I will encourage you to rather pack up and go home and spend the summer back in South Africa and return with Workaway.

You do not want your future US visas to have any issues or get denied because your visas have to follow one another. Also call and find out how much it will cost to extend your medical insurance. We don't always think about it but it has happened that I have two friends that passed away and while in the USA their families were stuck in debt to get their bodies home and with the loss of their loved ones at the same time.

Also always keep your channel of communication open with Workaway International at all times as you never want to burn bridges in life. All of the best with the rest of the season and remember that you can only go up north if you stay employed so work hard, be punctual and stay positive because there's still a few months left in season.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Third season going strong!!!

By Melissa Chauvet

I’ve been back in the States for about a month and a half now and I have to admit, it feels good to be back. The weather is lovely out here, not too cold and surprisingly much hotter than anticipated. Its been great to see all the familiar faces and places again, getting to meet the new staff who joined this season for the first time and specifically getting to see in person all the new changes that has been made to the club.

The opening of the club has been spectacular, show casing the renovations that has recently been made to the esplanade, pool area, gym and the restaurant. The club looks beautiful, with everyone in awe every time they grab something from the revived restaurant or go to the gym for a quick work out. The atmosphere around here has been different, the members and staff seem to be happy and excited…bet the renovations has something to do with this…

I can continue waxing lyrical on how beautiful the club looks and all the wonderful things taking place and crowds flocking in to spend their holidays here, but you have to see and experience the spirit during the festive season at the club for yourself… an experience from out of this world…

Let me end off by saying that I have already started joining in on all the festivities happening out here. Recently celebrated Thanksgiving, which was amazing but it doesn’t end there, still having to buy gifts, parties to attend and friends to celebrate traditions with for the rest of the holidays. Looking forward to these special times and what the New Year has in store…

Happy Holidays…xxx….

Monday, 19 December 2016

Life in Florida!!!

By Schae Spurway
Straight out of High School and now we are in Florida?

In January 2016 I found out about an amazing program called Workaway International. I had never travelled to America and thought this would be a great idea for a gap year as I would be earning dollars and would be seeing new places. I decided to convince my two best friends to apply as well. We all applied hoping we would all be accepted and not only accepted but at the same place as we wanted to work and live together. Thankfully we were all successful.

It was our first time flying and we had an amazing journey to the USA together.
We have now been in Florida for about two weeks and we are loving every single minute. We have learnt so much in just two weeks such as time and money management and for youngsters like ourselves just coming out of High School we are doing pretty well. I highly suggest young people do this program after school as you learn so much. You will become disciplined and you gain so much experience and you earn a lot of money.

We have been here for two weeks and have already done so much such as, going to the beach, to the hot tubs daily that our accommodation has, going to the mall and fancy car rides in West Palm.

Not only are we seeing amazing places we have also met so many people and have made so many friends. I know it has only been two weeks but we do not feel home sick at all as we are always busy and there is always something to do! Actually too much to do with too little time!

We are truly loving each and every single moment and we highly suggest you apply and do this program. 
It's truly an opportunity of a life time and each and every single one of us do not regret coming on this program and in fact we are considering doing another season.
Thank you so much Workaway for such an amazing opportunity!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

I am settled in so what now?

By Marvin Seekoei

Hi fellow Workaway participants. By now your homesickness should be gone and everyone should be well settled in at work. Most of you have had a taste of how busy it can get with Thanksgiving and for the next couple of weeks it should maintain a steady pace up until New Year’s Day?

So what now?

Now is the time to set up some little goals for yourself.

First goal should be to save some money. Whether you’re going north or back to South Africa, saving a little bit of money would not hurt you. For most of you there will be between 12 – 15 pay checks. Putting away $75 per pay check would end up getting you to +/- $1000 and of you add in your tax return you could end up with a handsome amount.

Second goal should be to buy yourself some nice clothing items. I would recommend you shop at stores like Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. I even buy clothes online where you can get some nice items very inexpensive like on E Bay and Amazon. I think you could spend approximately $50-$60 each pay cycle and you will be amazed how much you end up with.

Third goal should be to travel and explore this beautiful country. If this is your first season then I would recommend to just focus on Florida for now and whether you come back or go up North you could explore more States. For example you should do a cruise to Bahamas, spend a day or two in Miami. Sleep in a Hostel and not a Hotel when visiting Miami. You could also go to Naples to swim with dolphins on the West Coast. Just rent a car from Enterprise with 4 friends and it will cost almost nothing. Lastly you definitely would want to go to Orlando to visit Universal Studios and Disney World and watch at least a basketball, football or baseball match. It’s a lot of fun! Also look out for some of your favourite artist who loves to come down to Florida for concerts and music festivals. Just check Google for all information.

All these things are possible in the next few months so good luck with your season and I want to wish you a Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Life in America

By Emma Seager

I have been in Florida for about two weeks or so! Can’t even believe it’s real. Although we have been working VERY hard at the club, I have made some amazing friends and I can’t wait to get settled into life here. 

I have an amazing Manager and all my work colleagues are fantastic, all the returners are so understanding and helpful. The club is really amazing and so beautiful and I am so grateful to be here and have this opportunity. 

The work is mostly easy but when it’s busy it can get really crazy! I have been a bit sick since arriving which hasn’t been great but I’m sure my body is just trying to adjust to the climate change etc. I must say I was slightly nervous regarding the accommodation arrangements, however I happen to live with some great people and things are going pretty smoothly… considering I live with 4 guys... AHEM. 

My roommate is lovely and I am so excited for the next few months. 

Although I know I am here to work, I am so excited to explore Florida and hopefully travel a bit after season next year, possibly Mexico…or… Bahamas… I’ll keep you posted on that… Tonight the club has organised a trip to Miami which is so exciting! We also have our Christmas party coming up so there is so much to look forward to!!!!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


By Nasiphi Sobahle

After receiving our flight packs and realizing that we have a 12 hour layover In New York, We could not wait to get on that South African Airways flight to the United States of America. The Big Apple experience that was waiting for us on the other side of the world made the 16 hour flight from Johannesburg to New York City well worth it.

I can only imagine how excited the new Workaway recruits were when they realized that they can actually step out of JFK International Airport and go into the city for a few hours. I mean, who does not want a few hours in down town Manhattan or some of the New York Experience in general!

We landed In New York and successfully went through customs, checked in our luggage and saw all of the other Workaway candidates proudly carrying their red packs in their hands and going through the daunting process of customs looking excited but exhausted.
At this point in time, we had all made new friends from all over South Africa and everyone was traveling to their respective country clubs. Some of us had reunited with old friends from previous seasons which made the long trip seem somewhat shorter.

May you all have a jolly good winter season, creating memories and learning as much as possible. Remember, this is an experience of a lifetime.