Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Back in the US of A!

The time had finally come to head on back to the USA… bags were packed and it was finally sinking in that I was going to be back in Florida in about 24 hours

After an extremely long flight from Johannesburg to New York, I knew the worst was over.. after a 4 hour lay over it was time for another 3 hour flight to Ft Lauderdale but I Knew it was almost over… which just made it that much more exciting!!

Finally after the 24 hours of travelling I finally made it to my final destination in Jensen Beach. It was a real relief, to just sit down and relax for a few hours until all my friends came home from work. WOW… it was getting close to everybody getting home from work…Finally they arrived and I was so excited to see them all and catch up on all their experiences from up north and they were so interested to hear how South Africa was…

Being back at work was great… Seeing my American friend and all the members was very exciting. A few things changed over the summer but it felt like never left… There was no time to settle in it was straight back to where I left off last year, atleast it has not been too busy as of yet but it will soon be crazy with all families coming down for Christmas.

The Workaway party a few weeks was outstanding, seeing all the people from South Africa enjoying and having a good time in the USA..the past week we had our Christmas party its always such a good event because you get too really dress up and see all the people you work with and you get to have a good time with them, which does not happen very often!!!

MIAMI… yay…This is my first real fun adventure since I have been back, I cant wait for Monday as myself and a few friends will be taking a drive to have a nice party before work gets crazy in the weeks to come.

ITS really so amazing being back, I hope everybody is having a good time too.

Author: Tyrone Havenga

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

From SA to USA!

The time came for me to start packing and deciding what would I really need to take with me to the USA. I spent two day sorting through my clothes packing for summer weather even though it is winter in Florida; the weather is very much like the humid heat of Durban.

The day finally arrived to take the long 30-hour journey to Florida. First leg was from Cape Town to Johannesburg with a 6-hour layover. I then met up with a group of participants from Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The excitement was brewing amongst us, but having done this trip many time before I knew that there still was a grueling 17-hour flight to New York.

After arriving at a very busy JFK, we made our way through immigration and customs to board the next flight to Ft. Lauderdale. It was a very chilly morning in New York with the skyline of Manhattan visible in the distance. Upon our flight to Florida we flew over Manhattan with the Statue of Liberty welcoming all to her shores.

After the long trip we finally arrived at our final destination and made our way to the apartments. What a relief to finally put my suitcases down and settle in.

The jet lag was a killer for the first few day with being exhausted by 9pm and wide awake at 5am. Getting up early gave me a chance to catch up on the news; well American news as there is very little focus on what is going on in the rest of the world unless it involves America.

The first 3 weeks at Addison Reserve have been hard work, but amazing at the same time. The club has just completed a $17 million dollar expansion and renovation with almost everything being replaced for new. A lot of time has been spent getting the club setup and training done for the restaurants. We’ve had a few soft opening allowing us all to go through the motions and fine-tune the details before opening the doors to the membership last week.

This past weekend we had the Opening Gala on both Friday and Saturday night. This involved a major setup and breakdown with us all working very hard. It was well worth the hard work after the positive response from all the membership.

I haven’t had much time to explore my new surrounding, but will definitely be making time in the New Year once we are in the swing of things.

Returning to the US and embarking on this new venture at Addison Reserve has been a great experience. I think I may have found a new home.

Author: Andre Smith

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Having fun!!!

Having fun means so many different things to me, as it does to a lot of people.

To me it means the simple things in life - being with my friends, having a chat with family back home, even being on the phone with your "China" friend and still playing our "low blow game" and as usual she wins :)

Meeting new people in the oddest ways, picking something up off the floor, throwing it away only to realise the next day what it was and what you needed it for... Sitting by the pool with a friend, or even on the bus with all your mates laughing and joking... Simply things = having fun :)

There is always a bright side to life, you just have to find it. When you do, not only does life become more fun, but you learn to laugh at the simple things. You learn to take what life throws at you (Lemon = Tequila and Salt!!!) and you learn to smile. Here at Boca West, where I am working, they call it the "Boca Smile" and it has to be worn every day and is our most important work tool, and I agree, it really is, and when you learn that a smile never hurt anyone, you learn that life is more happy and fun :)

I was about to through away a stale box of cereal the other day, and as I lifted it I heard a "different" kind of noise when I shook the box. I opened it to reveal my friends had put a bunch of bottle caps in my stale cereal box. I burst out laughing and sent them the picture. As it goes it was even funnier as they had forgotten all about it.

Just another small thing making life fun :)

Author: Michelle Lowe

Sunday, 27 November 2011

View from the ocean!

It's been nearly a month since I arrived and it's been such a roller coaster - it's crazy!

From 2 am shopping at Wallmart, to meeting bus drivers, to taking 6 buses just to get to one shop....

We have had an epic adventure and it just started now. It's amazing

We recently went to Pompano Beach, that's our local beach, quite late one night and it was phenomenal. We didn't do anything wild or exotic, all we did was dig our toes into the sand and we enjoyed being alive and in this remarkable place that we find ourselves in.

As per usual, countless people do not believe that we are from South Africa, because how could we be? Haha, educated people that speak English? Never.
The one day a lady in Publix asked us if South Africa was in Australia....Not quite, Ma'am, but thank you anyway.

The weather here is great if you like humid sticky heat, but it cools down nicely at night and we do get a few driplets of rain every few days.

Thanks Giving was a fun experience. At the Onyx Bar, where I work, we all went around the table at lunch and said what we were thankful for, over huge pieces of

Home sickness? Not anywhere in sight as I get to Whatsapp my parents whenever I get a chance, and skype with the whole, and I do mean WHOLE, family on my days off.I think a huge factor is that I've made such great friends here, from the people I work with to the people that I come home to. Everyone here - South African, Romanian, Irishman and American - is so inviting and welcoming.

We're at home right here.

Author: Melissa Rauch

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The time has come:-)

The wait is finally over and off to the United States we go.

Arriving at the airport in Durban on the 18 November, I was ready to embark on the long trip to the USA. Having to say farewell to my mother and sister-in-law proved to be rather emotional as

Landed in Johannesburg …. Now for the 7 hour wait in the airport.

Met up with André from Cape Town and a few of the other participants flying out on the same flight to the USA. Everyone seeming very excited!

21H40 has arrived and off we go, 15 hours and 50 minutes till we set foot in New York International (JFK) Airport…

Yes!!! We are in the United States of America!

Now, passport control - check, collect luggage – check, bags rechecked – check. Now for something to eat, and then, e-mail everyone at home to say “Safe in New York” while we wait to board our flight to Florida :-)

Landing in Fort Lauderdale… exhausted yet so excited!!!!! We are here and the adventure begins!


“Life is what you make of it”……… so to every participant on our program, remember to embrace every minute and know that there are so many that will never get to travel and experience what you will and are doing!

Enjoy it, have fun and see you all at the Workaway Party soon soon :-)

Author: Lucille Earle

Monday, 21 November 2011

And then there was America!

Daniel is going to add his 2cents in brackets throughout the blog.

We were excited that on Daniel's birthday, we found out that we were accepted into the Workaway program.( then we had a crazy surprise birthday party that Roxi organised for me. Thanx babe) Then we had to wait forever to recieve our petition number. Since the unemployment rate spiked in the USA, all the country clubs had to offer the available jobs to the Americans first - which is understandable.

Then on MY birthday, Workaway called us to say the petition was signed and that we may
start making our visa appointments.(Roxi was actually pretty grumpy that day but she got happy later.:)I was at the consulate just a few days later. For me, this was a really stressful thing. I was having to take rescue tablets the day before, the day of my appointment, and Daniel's visa appointment was the day after mine, and I was still gulping down the rescue. I like to blame it on happiness and being excited not scared and anxious. Anyway, the consulate appointment was about 30 seconds long, done individually and they tell you immediately afterwards that your visa
is approved. So I was so relieved when the consulate officer behind the glass window gave me my receipt to collect my visa the next day! The next day was Daniel's turn at the consulate. I think the consulate officer must have been getting accustomed to all the Workaway applicants, because there were about 7 people from Workaway there with Daniel, and the officer who does the interview called the first girl, then the second, and then got over it, and called in all 5 of the remaining applicants at the same time and did a group interview. (he really struggled pronouncing my surname so we just called each other sir the whole time) And they all got their visa's approved! YAY! (WOOP!)

We then had 8 days to start organizing our clothes, and saying goodbye to family. Daniel's family lives 1:45 hours away, so we went to Greytown to say goodbye to them. Came home and had our fare well party (EISH), and then got packing. Of course I had been packing slowly for the last 3 weeks, but it only took Daniel a few hours! The day we went to go collect Daniel's visa, it was a Thursday. I drove past the consulate, Daniel ran in to collect while I drove around the block, 17 times, and picked him up again.

Let me see your visa!!

I don’t have it.

Okay, ummm, why?

It is a public holiday in America today.

Roxi: So we just have to fetch it tomorrow before we leave.

Its a public holiday tomorrow too.

But, but we leaving tomorrow. (white face) When are we... How are we... But then...I was speechless! Then Daniel takes the visa out and shows it to me!

Friday came, the excitement reached boiling point! We arrived at the airport and crossed through
those dramatic boarding gates, where our families were waving through the glass
windows and our mothers were crying bucketfuls of tears.

The journey has began!

A 1 hour flight to Johannesburg from Durban. A 6 hour wait at the airport. A 15 hour flight to JFK. (let me just warn you now that if you have limbs, representing legs, that the seats are a tight
squeeze so when u checking in find out if you can change seats to one that has a vacant seat next to you.) A 8 hour wait at the airport.A 4 hour flight into Fort Lauderdale(you get blue chips on this flight, they're actually blue in colour). And when those wheels of the plane hit the ground, we could not have been happier!

A Workaway representative met us at the airport at 6pm USA time, we got our luggage, we jumped on a bus and drove to Boca Raton (which according to the American sitting next to us on the plane, means "mouth of the rat") The driver took us to Walmart! We had 20 mins to
shop for food for the next three days. Not so easy when the shop is the size of a small island. And you don’t know what you looking at or what you looking for!
So we got eggs and bread, the all-time die-hard. We were then dropped off at our apartments, which are really really nice, and spacious, and the beds are so welcoming!

PLOP, we were passed out before we knew it! (I was out, Roxi was trying to make the place all pretty before bed, don’t ask me cuz i dunno)

Author: Roxane Gordon and Daniel Pfeil

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Bon Voyage...

A lot has happened since I wrote my last blog for the website… We received the approval s for the visa applications which meant the we went into full gear to get everyone to sign and submit their visa applications and prepare for their departures to a new adventure in the USA.

It’s been quite hectic, but exciting as well seeing all the hard work from the last few months come to fruition with the participants going to the consulate for the visa appointments, which has been very nerve-wrecking for all. For many it has been a success story and for few, some have not been so lucky, which is just unfortunate because everyone deserves the opportunity to experience another culture.

A lot of the participants have already flown to the US and started the season. It’s great to see the Facebook updates with everyone’s experiences of flying and settling in. For some it has been the first time they have ever flown. A long way to travel for ones first time, but there is no better way for the travel experience to fly half way across the world. No fear… because your travel instinct (which you don’t know you have) automatically kicks in when you board the flight.

I too decided a few weeks ago to travel again to the US for a different experience. For many seasons I have been fortunate to live in Palm Beach and work for Admirals Cove, but will now take on a new experience at Addison Reserve in Delray Beach. I am VERY excited and can’t wait to go. Luckily, I will have a good support structure with Michelle and Lucille from Workaway joining me there for the season.

I have one more hurdle to pass in getting my visa (nerves) and then hopefully jetting off to the US within the next two weeks. A benefit is that I will for the first time in many years be here in South Africa to celebrate my birthday with friends and family.
So lets hold thumbs that my visa application is successful and I will be joining you in the US of A. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Workaway Party!!

Author: Andre Smith

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Its the final countdown!!!

So I finally found out that my visa petition has been approved, its been a long wait but once you get the call with the good news that all is then realize, this is it the time has finally come.

There are so many emotions that go through your head at that time, I had to take a few minutes to just think that I will be going back “home” well lets just say my second home!!! You start thinking about, what you need to pack, when you need to start... Its so exciting knowing that I will be back very soon but also very stressful knowing that I will be leaving my friends and family in SA but on the other hand I have got such great friends in the US too...

Its going to be hard to leave again because there is so many things I enjoyed while i have been back like peri peri sauce, Simba chips, boerewors... the list goes on, but I will make sure that there are a few things I will be packing in my bag.

15 days it is... I have so much to look forward to when I get back...I did not think I would ever say this but I miss the work in the US, its just so much fun working with all the good people that work at Sailfish!!!!

Well done to all that have got their visas and good luck to the ones that will be going in the weeks to come...Its the last step then you can say its OFFICIAL you will be jetting off on the most amazing experience of your life.
See you all soon....

Author: Tyrone Havenga

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Saying goodbye!

So I found out that I'll be leaving earlier than expected, which I'm really excited for, but also really stressed about at the same time. In all my excitement, I suddenly realized that I haven't started getting ready. I have so much to do in so little time.

Most importantly my BLACK socks... Yes, something so small and silly, but trust me, when you are working a 19 hour shift and your feet are killing you, something as simple as socks could make you feel better. So try to get a couple of good quality long black socks.

2nd thing to pop in my mind was my favorite food. If you like Aromat, take a couple with you; and also something as simple as Rooibos tea, even if you don't drink tea now, in 2 months, you will be craving it. :)

3rd thing I thought of was ... *Ping* "Hey Mich, what you doing tonight?"
Scratch that thought, I need to see all my friends...

In a huge panic I rushed to the calendar and counted my sleeps I have left.
*13 sleeps* Mission Impossible commence... In a matter of hours I had planned out my last days in SA. :)

Mom: "What time are you coming into work after deliveries tomorrow?"

Oh my word, I forgot I still have work...

Dad: "So when is your Visa appointment?"

Ahhh... Dam, I forgot about that too!!!

Basically I had to re-plan everything... As we all know, work comes first.

So I've seen a couple of friends already and said my goodbyes to them. A lot are busy with exams, and I wish them all the best, but have to thank them for making an effort to see me instead of studying. Naughty children ;)

One week left before I leave and I only finish work on Wednesday - so sad :( But I'm going away with friends and family the weekend before I leave, and I'm super excited about that. :)

Today was especially good as three of my friends came over with pizza :) We just chilled and relaxed and spoke about rubbish :) It's also days like today that I'm gonna miss the most, because although you will make friends, there is nothing like a friend that can understand you and have a whole conversation with you in a matter of a facial expression :)

I know I have my "family" of friends I made last season waiting for me, and I'm so excited to make new friends when I get back there. But there is nothing as hard as saying goodbye to your friends and family on your home side.
Take tissues to the airport, also maybe a little mascara to touch up :) Lastly, a lesson my parents always taught me, is don't forget to tell those you love, that you love them. :) I love you guys :)

Author: Michelle Lowe

Packing tips!

Congratulations to those who have already received their VISAs, by now I know you are probably nervous and not sure what to expect, but buckle up and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime. If this is your first season and you are like how I was, excited and anal, I am sure you have already started to put things aside to take with you, there are a few things that I would like to mention to you, as I know that I would have been grateful if someone had mentioned these to me while I was packing:

1. Try your best to only take one suitcase with you. I know that the allowance is two, but if you enjoy shopping and you don’t want to eventually throw away the majority of the clothes you are taking, then trust me, take a maximum of two weeks’ worth of clothes with you, you will buy new things straight away and you will be wearing your uniform most of the time.

2. If you are like me and you love your aerosol cans of deodorant or antiperspirant, buy a whole bunch and shove them in your check in luggage. For some unknown reason (and probably due to global warming or something) America doesn’t have spray antiperspirant. If you are a speed stick kind of person, you will be okay. Remember not to pack any perfumes or aerosol cans in your hand luggage, if you do, they will be confiscated.

3. Don’t waste your time packing your hairdryer. America uses a different voltage system to us and unless you have a fancy, expensive hairdryer, I doubt that it has a built in converter. They are cheap over there, you can get a lekker, colourful one for $20 and it works like a charm. If you have a GHD on the other hand, that has a built in converter and it will perfectly, all you will need to buy is an adapter which is usually around $9.

4. Buy your urgent toiletries at home and take them with you, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and a sponge. After a long flight and you only landing there in the afternoon, the last thing that you want to do is have to run to the shop just so that you can have a decent shower and using your Rands to buy those products works out to be a little more expensive.

5. If your check in luggage means something to you and you don’t want your bags ruined, I suggest getting them cling wrapped at the airport or even wrap them yourself at home, it seems expensive at R50 a pop, but consider it an investment because by the time you collect your bags in your designated city, you will find that you might have some tares, scuff marks or even a broken zip (this can also help restrict anyone breaking into your bag).

6. Avoid wearing a lot of jewelry, belts or shoes that are difficult to take on and off. Just like in the movies, when you go through security in the US, you have to take off all of your jewelry, take off your belt, take off your shoes and empty your pockets. It becomes very tiring and frustrating taking these things on and off and you don’t want to forget anything on the conveyer belt.

7. Take one of those airplane pillows with you, or even one from your bed, the airlines do allow you to carry one and they make things a hell of a lot more comfortable and easier to sleep with. If you are a difficult sleeper taking sleeping tablets because if you get no sleep during that 18 hour flight, you are going to be miserable when you land in the USA!That’s seems to be all I can think of for now, have a safe flight and I will see you all on the otherside!

Author: Nolene Lotz

The thing I love about airports!

You know, I love airports, but the one in Durban is my favourite. I love how they are full of possibility and promise, of stories and heart breaks, of reunions and happiness.

The first time I was on a plane was on the way to Durban for camp. Oh my I was so nervous I could barely get the seat belt fastened. I remember I was going with a bunch of campers and Tink thought it would be fun for me. Haha, wow that was ages ago. Every single plane trip I've ever been on has been between camp and home...

This one trip, from OR Tambo to camp was awful. Oh my gosh I was so paranoid, my heart was racing and I was so nervous. Why was I nervous? I had flown a bunch of times before, I'd been in and out of King Shaka countless times. The difference is King Shaka is small and airy and welcoming, OR Tambo is big, noisy and so scary

And I was only in the domestic departures terminal!

Seems silly to me that I would be scared by something as trivial as a large building filled with people when I make a living surrounded by hundreds of screaming happy children....I think it comes down to the unknown really.

When you're on your way your way to the airport you're happy and excited, surrounded by people who love you. Then you stand at the counter, and I'm always just a little stressed in case my bag is over weight - which it always is - then the nice attendant hands you your ticket and everything is still hunky dory.

But walk though those gates...the gates that only ticket holders can go though, and goodbyes need to be said and hugs are slowly walk though, carrying your small luggage, hand bag, book, other book, lap top case and you need to go through the metal detector.

I always secretly worry a bit when I go through those metal detectors, will my earrings set it off? Will my belt? Shoes?

Yes! made it through the metal detector without any hassles. Repack my lap top, shove various items in my pockets so that I can move out of the way of the person behind me...and then it hits me. I'm all alone.

That's when the adventure really begins I think. Then this small excitement starts to form, I hope I get the window seat, I hope I sit next to someone nice and mostly, I hope that the weather is nice so that the view will be great.

I remember a while ago I was on a plane to Durban with 3 teenage girls and we hit a patch of turbulence. The girls screeched but I kind of enjoyed the feeling, sort of like a roller coaster....
I really love airports though, I love the dorky pictures that we always land up taking, I love the promise and hope, the excitement in the air....I can’t wait till the 1st.

Author: Melissa Rauch

Friday, 21 October 2011

Confessions of a wondering traveller!

Hey guys!

My name is Mike and I am many things. I am proud to say that one of those things is a writer. I love writing, and I love having people read what I write. I do believe, however, that your typical and common ways of getting your voice "out there" in the past, be it journalism, publishing your own books, or merely writing a poem, seem to becoming more of a minority in this ever changing world we live in, with blogging gaining much popularity, with it being one of the easiest forms of being heard. I personally think people are just getting lazier. Now you don't even have to leave your room, you can wake up, order groceries, see all your friends in a conference video chat, and read up on everyday news, all from the comfort of your own home. Which is great in its own unique way, but it just seems to be lacking that sense of exploration.

The focus of this blog will be my travels, experiences, hardships and just general good times that I have on my trip to the United States. I love meeting new people, travelling around the world, experiencing things which I probably didn't even comprehend existed until I actually had my eyes opened to them. Different cultures and societies intrigue me. I am imminently awaiting the go-ahead for an 6 month work trip, which will undoubtedly be amazing.It will be the first time I've visited the United States since I was a wee little boy, and now, doing it years later by myself, is really kind of exhilarating and nerve racking at the same time. Having recently gotten a call just this afternoon, I will be signing and submitting my forms this evening and hopefully sorting out all the payments for my interview which should be relatively soon. My pathologist, radiologist and GP appointments all went well - as expected, and were actually very easy, quick and smooth. Each day that passes by is a day closer to experiencing life and culture in Florida, and I cannot wait to meet everyone who I will be spending the next half a year with, at the BallenIsles Club. I'm sure it will be an experience and opportunity of a lifetime, much like any travelling is! Maybe if I'm lucky I will be able to attend another Film Festival, much like the one I attended in London last year during my travels (see picture!)

Anyway, I should probably get on with the process, I've been told everything happens very quickly here on in.
Good luck to everyone else during the interview process! Cheers!

Author: Michael Elliott

Monday, 17 October 2011

Local is Lekker...

So we got to experience the Springboks devastating loss against Australia … and just like South Africans we had to see how quick we could get some humor out of it all… it’s just the way we are.
So, you are all excited to be leaving for the USA, right? But let me just remind you why I come back every year.

“Mrs. Balls” (moment, sigh)……….. ouma rusks, rooibos tea, all gold tomato sauce, nik naks, Simba chips, real coca cola, Milo, Albany chocolate, kettles (giggle, you will understand when you get there), Rugby, cricket (and I’m not referring to a insect)….
And …

Only South Africans know how to braai, gooi a sokkie and mix their languages and everyone still understands…
Ja nee, it is lekker hey iesh…

So for everyone that is waiting, enjoy the wait and embrace our wonderful country while you still get to braai boerewors on open flames and have cross and Blackwell mayonnaise in the potato salad…
Because soon you will be on a plane heading to the USA, where a barbeque is a means of preparing hamburgers without big flames wearing an apron and “half & half” is a term used daily by most Americans… Where cream soda is brown and the fuel station can’t supply your vehicle with “Petrol” but gas… and everything is BIGGER… just like the movies…

What an experience…

…Hope you are all ready for it…

Author: Lucille Earle

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

In the beginning!

I found Workaway International through an old school college of mine and Daniel and I was very interested in attending the presentation. After which we had to stand in a long queue to fill out application forms to get into the program. Daniel hates queues, but I insisted we stay… (best decision of my life…I hope!) A few hours later and after Daniel practiced all the patience I’ve taught him, we were out of the ‘patience-mode’ and into ‘anticipation-mode’

‘Anticipation-mode’ thankfully didn’t last long, because just a short few days later, we were in a meeting with Lucille. And I presume that went well due to our sms soon thereafter confirming us into the recruitment part of the program. Our next step was to attend our next interview with the representatives from the Country Clubs in Florida. That interview required a smartly dressed Daniel, with a tie. That didn’t go down so well with him, but after my fluttering lashes and persuasive smile, it was on and we were ready to ‘knock their socks off’, which we did oh so well! Our individual interview was with a lady from Boca West, her name was Darleen. How more American can you get, especially when she said her name with the perfect Southern (I think) accent! I think the success of our interview was that we made her laugh. Just because Daniel had a suit on, and I had heels on, did not mean to say we had to be all professional. We were just ourselves…smartly dressed.

Then there was the ‘eagerness – mode’ we had to endure, waiting to find out if the club would accept us into the program and which club we were going. Rumour had it that Boca West is the best of the best, so we were holding thumbs for that!

It was Daniel’s birthday on the 5th August. I decided to throw him a superhero surprise party, I rented myself a tinkerbell outfit (ok, so it’s not a super hero, but she did make Peter Pan fly…and it was super cute!) There was a lot of excitement in the air for me, and then at 5pm "The” phone call came. WE WERE ACCEPTED INTO BOCA WEST AND WE WERE ECSTATIC!!!!!!!

Author: Daniel Pfeil and Roxane Gordon

Friday, 7 October 2011

We are going to America!

Finally I have received good news about my petition... unlike the rest of you who were all celebrating over a week ago, myself and a few others only find out today that our petitions have been granted, we can now join in the celebration and start preparing to leave within the next month. These last few weeks that you have left are going to fly by. Before you know it you are going to be sitting on that plane with butterflies in your stomachs, a cramp in your butt from the long flight and your mind racing as are not too sure what to expect – but trust me, it is all worth it.

Myself and my friend Kaycee raced off to go and get the first half of our medicals done, it was unfortunate that it was such a miserable day with the rain and the cold wind, but we held our heads high as nothing was going to dampen our spirits now that we have received such good news. We endured 6 flights of stairs as the elevators were down, prodding needles into our arms, no parking anywhere near the medical center and practicing holding our breath while butt naked – good times, but at least we are one step closer!Good luck to all of you will your consulate interviews!

Author: Nolene Lotz

Monday, 3 October 2011

I'm going back!

Hi my name is Michelle and I am an...

Just kidding, I am finally 21 and legal in the States this time around. My moto would be, work hard, party harder. I have green eyes and blah blah blah :)

I'm going "back", I'm going "back", tell the world I'm going "back"...

This is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the fact I'm ACTUALY going back to the states for another season. Why this song, and why change the lyrics? Well my friends I made last season will know exactly why... You see, it was our "going home" song (literally - it played b4 we left lol) last season, I couldn't wait to get home. Now I find myself desperately but patiently waiting to go back...

For those of you who are going for your first season you will come to understand what I mean. Yes it is hard and there are times you just want to quit, me, I cried for the first 3 months... :) but then you start to really enjoy yourself and before you know it, its time to be "going home".

Make the best out of your time there, enjoy every minute, make friends with everyone, because you never know what an impact someone may have on your life. I got a nickname while I was over my first season... "POLLY", yes polly the parrot because I had a blonde moment but besides that it was given to me by someone I was at first hesitant to become friends with, because he was a returner, and yes returners have RANK, lol. But besides that, we became friends and he gives the best advice ever, when you down in a rut, he will pull you out, when your head is getting to big, he would pop it, basically he would tell you how it is and now, being back home and back in the "real" world I have often used his advice, and it keeps me on track, and I know I can always pick up the phone and he will give a "daughter" ;) some advice.

I also got a "mommy" while I was there and even some "sisters" and very naughty "brothers", very weird and crazy people, but people I had a blast with, people that became my "american family", and when your sad or upset they are there for you, when you "frekkie" and lost, they laugh at you, tease you and record you :D, but they are always there for you.

So go out there, make the best of your adventure. As our very own famous KC would say... Live, Laugh, Love and never forget to just...

Author: Michelle Lowe

This really is something of a head rush!

Just this week I have 3 doctor appointments, then I'm off to Durban for a few days, then I'm back then then then then then then.......

I know that there is still a lot of time before I leave, but wow it feels like I don't have enough time to do everything that I need to get done before departure. At this point in my life everything is scheduled.

From Docors to visits with friends and this is even before my Visa appointment, which they tell you isn't that scary but believe me - it kind of is.
I was looking at pictures of the club, Boca West, that I'm going to and its so pretty. It almost doesn't look real.

During our pre-departure orientation meeting Charlotte said that as soon as our petition was approved everything would happen really she was right.
There's also packing...which I think is causing unnecessary stress for me....because I know that I'm going to shop over there, and I just really don't know what to take. Besides clothes, that's quite easy. I mean what STUFF am I going to take? and which shoes?

Goodness....while writing this I have a picture of Dali's clocks in my head...all the time melting together and not being real...I really do wonder if I'm the only one who is stressing this much..

Hey but people say opportunity is what happens when you grab luck and run with it. Well we sure are running aren't we?
Well, it's now my scheduled time to sleep, because I have to call doctors again tomorrow.

Till then. Peace, light and love

Author: Melissa Rauch

Laughter is medicine to your soul...

A very big hello to everyone….. Feels like weeks since my last blog, so let’s get you up to date with what is happening.

Orientation was held in Johannesburg on Sunday, 18th September and it was so exciting to see the final selection for this 2011/12 season. Charlotte flew up from Cape Town to hold the orientation and the boys where there on their places, doing a phenomenal job as always. Everyone seemed so excited! Charlotte had explained the then current situation regarding the visas and yet everyone seemed to just be so positive. Which I can add, paid off in the end…

Off to Durban…

…. Charlotte arriving in Durban and we had not received our boxes with the well known “red packs” in. It was time to improvise. The girls getting stuck in and helping arrange, from tape measures to name tags to club posters, all was done in no time and orientation could start...

…what a great vibe in the air. Returners and new participants in such high spirit and full of laughter, many of them sharing a deep, from the gut laugh; the kind that makes your eyes water and leaves you gasping for breath. Which I without a doubt know, many returners have shared a number of times in the past, building great memories…

Makes one think of how life would be without laughter?

And like Murphy’s Law the last participant leaves and here our boxes arrive. Thanks to the loyal staff in our Cape Town office, the ‘red packs” made their way to everyone the very next day…

So here we sit with our red packs waiting for the sms, and in just a matter of a few days we got it! Yipppppeeeeeee……….. Time for visa forms and medicals.

Visa form DS 160 completed and e-mailed, check.

Pathologist, check.

Radiologist, check.

Next on list is visit to GP… and I must add I’m getting super excited!

So I’m off to the GP and will leave you all with food for thought – God certainly knew how important laughter would be for us. Just think of all the things He made that bring us to that point, from the antics of kittens to the wit of gifted humorists, He gives us daily chances to shift or focus from ourselves and just enjoy one another and the wonderful world He gave us. Go ahead, laugh … it’s good for you.

Author: Lucille Earle

Summer in the City...

Over the past few weeks Spring has crept into the Mother City with the warm days and evenings and the green on the trees. Last weekend the weather couldn’t have been better.

Saturday it was off to Port Elizabeth to host the Orientation for the participants from that area. It was great to spend time with all the returners and the newbie’s, who for most would be their first time oversees. The returners did a great job of sharing their experiences with the first-timers and making everyone excited for the trip.

Waiting at the PE airport, Charlotte contacted me to confirm that the petitions were in the process of approval and we can start to prepare everyone for their visa appointments. Exciting news as we were all holding our breaths waiting for the final nod from the US government

On the flight back I realized what this meant… We are going to be VERY busy to prepare everyone over the next few weeks. I took the time to relax and look over the South African landscape, reminding me of what a beautiful country we stay in.

Sunday was a clear crisp day, which was perfect to explore Cape Town. A good friend and I with his son and his friend decided to take the Cable Car up Table Mountain as it had been years since we had both done it and for the boys it was their first experience.

WOW! What a spectacle! There were many jaw dropping moments with views that stretched as far as the eye could see. Amazing! One a side note, I would also like to mention that I suffer from vertigo; strange considering that I am almost 7ft tall. So it was quite an accomplishment for me to take this trip. HAHA! Another cool factor was that there were people from all parts of the world that had come to be there that day and experience what is on our doorstep everyday.

This experience reminded me of one of my favorite quotes: “The passing moment is all that we can be sure of; it is only common sense to extract its utmost value from it... “ - W. Somerset Maugham

Author: Andre Smith

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Proudly South African girl!!!

21 years in the making: an American Adventure by a Proudly South African girl

Before the scramble....

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not going to the States because I don't like my country, I LOVE South Africa. We have the best of everything, but an andventure like this could not possibly have been passed up by someone like me.

So shall I introduce myself?

Hi, my is Melissa and I'm here to give you my own colourful view of my transition from a South African in South Africa to a South African in The US of A.

Where to begin.....hmmmm.....well this is so unbelievably have no idea! A friend of mine told me about the Workaway International programme and I literally jumped on it in a second. My forms were filled out and sent through to their offices before I could even contemplate that I would be leaving South Africa for half a year.

It's a pretty daunting thought for someone who has never been out of the country before, but let me tell you I am so ecstatic to have been given this opportunity.

So where do I go from here? Well obviously I cannot just get on a step one of this epicly epic adventure is filling out a bunch of forms, going to the doctor for a bunch of tests and then off to the American Consulate. This is all going to be happening before the end of November. Lots of time, you might think but after all this I still have to pack (harder than it sounds, believe me), have my going away/21st birthday party and go visit and say bye to all my friends. Yup.....sound like fun eh? And I wouldn't be doing any of it without this job. I'm even looking forward to the packing...which is making me crazy anxious because besides the 10 mandatory pairs of black socks that I need to take with I have no idea what other STUFF to take with...but that is a conversation for another post.

So before the scramble all I have to do is fill in forms and enjoy this crazy exciting feeling in my stomach, yes you know the one. America is only a month and a half away....

Author: Melissa Rauch

US Consulate Tips!!!

On Wednesday the 20 September was the long awaited Workaway orientation in Durban. It was lekker to see who had been accepted onto the program and who was going to be joining who at the specific clubs. I personally met some awesome people and Kaycee and I managed to find four suckers to live with us (just kidding ladies – we are going to get on like a house on fire!). It was also good to see how many returners are going back, it’s always nice to return to a place that still has some of the old furniture.

The next step is waiting to hear about our visa interviews. If you are nervous about your actual interview, don’t be. If you are honest, friendly and don’t look like you are hiding anything, you will be perfectly fine. Last year was my first time, you will feel nervous because there is tight security and anxious because you feel like your whole life depends on those 5 minutes with the consular officer. You have to have your ID book on you to verify who you are, you have to make sure your cellphone is turned off (which makes for a very long and boring wait) and everyone is sitting there in silence, moving from chair to chair waiting for their name to be called out. Like they tell you in the presentation, make sure that you are there 30 minutes before because you don’t want to miss your appointment.

I met one of my current friends, Bryce, in the waiting line. It is easy to recognize all the Workaway participants because we are always carrying our red folders J I was lucky that he was going to the same country club as me, so we chatted the whole time. He told me about our living conditions, the awesome restaurants that I needed to try, the jols that we would be going to and about the everyday life of the Americans. It was nice having someone who could answer all my silly questions and correct my stereotypes. The interview is literally 5 – 10 minutes. Before you arrive at the cubicle, the officer has already checked your file and knows all the questions they need to ask you. I got asked simple questions like:

Have I been to the states before?
Why am I going there?
Who will I be working for? (Remember that this year you are employed by the country club)
What are my intentions when I have finished working? (And that is of course to return to SA J)

A little bit of small talk in between doesn’t hurt anyone, so make sure you are smiley and speak loudly and clearly. Good luck to you all, you will be fantastic!

Author: Nolene Lotz

It's Almost time!!!

YAY... it’s almost that time to start heading back to the states... the past weekend was the Johannesburg Information session... which means it is here, all the final preparations .

It was awesome being around all the excited candidates that have made it to start their new journey and the ones that have already been were just as excited to finally start preparing for the final stages.

I had been getting so excited to see the people again that are going to Sailfish it’s always nice to chat and catch up to see how they are’s always good to see how excited they are because it makes me even more excited to go back. All we have left are our medicals and visa appointments and then we are off on a jet plane!!!
I know from now till the departure time will go by so quickly and before we know it, we will be back in the sunshine State enjoying the hard work and the time we get to spend with great people.
All I can say to you guys that are in my same shoes look forward to the most amazing time of your life!!!

Author: Tyrone Havenga

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Rejoice with your family and friends in the beautiful land of life!

Rejoice with your family and friends in the beautiful land of life! ~Albert Einstein

Hi Y’all, well I have been having a great time in Bloemfontein. I arrived here at the end of August and was put to work…

A kids birthday party was my first job and how do you keep a group of ten year olds busy? The cherry on the cake was they were having a sleep over… Hannah Montana. We made cupcakes and imitated Hannah, and believe me when I say I have not had so much fun in ages. Nice to be ten again! Then time to make a blackforrest cake and eats for two friend’s birthdays. All went well and we had great fun.

But time seems to be going fast and in just a few days we will be holding our orientations, first in Cape Town and then off to Johannesburg and Durban. Exciting stuff!!! Starting with medicals and visas.

So I hope you are enjoying the time you all have with your family and friends, because soon you will be “leaving on a jet plane” heading for the United States of Americrrrrrrrrrrra…

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot

Author: Lucille Earle

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

9/11 Remembered

“Where were you when…?”

For each generation that question has different meaning. For our parents it was moments like the first moon landing, the assassination of JFK and the day Elvis died. For my generation it’s the fall of the Berlin wall, the freedom of Nelson Mandela, the day Diana died and the day that changed our world… the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

We all remember those poignant moments in our life, but the most important is 9/11. Today on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the USA, I watched a rebroadcast of the NBC morning show detailing events as they unfolded that day. It reminded me of the exact moments where I was on that Tuesday in 2001 and all the emotions that I felt.

A few years later I took a trip to New York and downtown Manhattan where the twin towers once stood, and history was made. Standing at ground zero, I took a moment of reflection and remembered that fateful day and was in awe. I still couldn’t believe that I was standing there and of just what an impact those moments made on so many lives, not just Americans, but to everyone around the world.
I’m sure there will be many more “Where were you when…?” moments in our lives to come, so remember every experience and emotion as you never know if history is being written.

Author: Andre Smith

Sunday, 4 September 2011

South Africa is home!!

I am really starting to enjoy being back in SA, the weather is getting much better, its not cold so you can finally start doing things outside in the sun and not freeeezzzzzeeeee to death!!!It really makes you feel at home!!

I was fortunate to go watch rugby at Ellis Park stadium on Saturday (Lions vs Sharks) I was so excited as I have not been able to watch a rugby match live in a very long time, it was a very fun day starting in true South African style with a braai before the game!!! It was such a nice vibe as the lions are doing so well.... the anticipation was so high for them to win and of coarse they did not disappoint, the stadium was packed and it just made me realize that this is why South Africa will always be HOME!!!!! It was one day that I will say has been the best since i have been back!!

On the other hand time is getting close to go back to my second home the USA I must say I am getting very excited to see all my friends...I really thought I would never say this but I do miss the work too!!!

With the orientation just around the corner...I am going to see all the new people that can’t wait to go on an amazing experience and to see how excited everyone is. I must say I cant wait and am extremely excited to head back!!!
To all the people that have not been accepted to hang in there, you never know you might just get the call and if you don’t, don’t give up there is always next time!

Author: Tyrone Havenga

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Life time friends!

So my time for recruiting has come to an end and time to start my long awaited vacation… I sit and ponder where I am going to spend the next few weeks. That did not prove to be very difficult at all.
I started the Workaway program in 2006 and have developed many friendships along the way. So I decided to take a trip to Cape Town and meet up with some of my friends I had made over the past 5 years. Thinking that 5 days would be enough I purchased my flight ticket and off to Cape Town I went…

Was greeted at the airport by Johan, whom I met in 2008, in Florida. Excited to see him I immediately began chatting about all that has happened since we last saw each other. Our friendship has taken us many places, we even went sky diving. So seeing him was great fun to say the least but we decided to stay on the ground this time round.... We then met up with Shae and Shaun, whom I met in 2006. We were the first South African team to work at Boca Rio country club and had returned there every year. With Shaun becoming our dinning room manager on our second season, we became like a family. I had been super excited for weeks, knowing I get to see them and that in our own country for the first time. So the few days came and went and I got to meet up with Jomar, Jorg, Roger and Michael, all whom I met through Workaway.

Travelling from Blouberg to Milnerton to Stellenbosch to Worcester. I embraced the beauty of our country and enjoyed every minute I got to spend with dear friends, realizing that 5 days was by far too short a stay. I decided to extend my flight ticket, for an additional 5 days.

I got to travel the wine routes in Stellenbosch and Paarl, a tour to Chapman’s peak, dinner at Andiamos, and Blue Peter, just to mention a few. I even got to visit with a dear friend Bennie and have lunch At Ons Huisie, granting me the opportunity to experience the vibe and hospitality of the Capetonians and I loved it!!!...
Now it’s time for me to head off to my next destination. Happy to go, but sad to be leaving.
I realized that I had made friends for life and no matter where life might take us; we all know that this friendship will be a bond we will always carry in our hearts. Thank you to everyone that has made this trip so worth it and to everyone I never got to see I hope to see you soon. To the new participant, I believe you will to have the opportunity to develop such special friendships on the Workaway Program…So looking forward to the next season and new friendships…

Author: Lucille Earle

Monday, 29 August 2011

My 9 to 5 job!

Wow it feels amazing to have my first paycheque. I no longer have to be cautious on what to spend and can now splash out on new shoes and clothes – I am in heaven! It was however a bit difficult getting back into the routine of waking up early and working a 8 and a half hour day again, sitting behind a desk (so boring), dealing with paperwork and answering the telephone (annoying) , but it all pays off when you have your own money in your bank account.

On the Workaway side, I know a lot of you are still waiting to hear if you have been a successful applicant or not, I know that it is nerve wracking waiting for the news, but hang in there. And for those of you who were not successful, do not despair, it does not mean that you are not a worthy candidate, it just means that it wasn’t the right time for you to go. So if you are really keen on trying again next year, make sure you are extra prepared this time. Make sure that you have all the necessary training and experience you need for the position that you are applying for, and especially if you are applying to be a server, get some more serving experience, it won’t hurt to have that extra year or so on your CV.

For those of you who have been accepted, congratulations, you are in for the experience of a lifetime. Now the dreadful part begins, anticipation… you are so excited to leave and all time seems to be doing is taking it’s sweet time. The next step is the orientation which is very exciting because you get to meet all the other candidates who are leaving with you. You will be divided into your clubs so you get the chance to see who they actually are. If you are going alone, this is the perfect opportunity for you to meet other candidates who are also going alone and perhaps find yourself a roommate or a housemate, so that you are not too much in the dark when you get to the other side, and also to create some piece of mind. Last year for me, I was going on my own and I was worried about who I was going to live with and just afraid of the unknown I guess, but I made friends with one of the Workaway staff, begged her to be my friend, she offered me to stay with her in her house and we have been best friends ever since – she will be so happy that I actually posted this online because whenever she tells people this story, I always deny it! But seriously, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, invite some of the people on Facebook, get to know them and see if they are a stalker – just kidding – but at least when you are on your long flight to the US and those long layovers at the airport, you will have that familiar face to turn to.

Author: Nolene Lotz

Travel and Tourism

One great opportunity the Workaway International program provided me was the opportunity to go work and travel abroad. I would otherwise have never had the opportunity to see and do all the amazing things the USA has to offer. I’ve been all along the east coast from Key West, Florida to Greenwich, Connecticut.

I was fortunate the last week to play SA tour guide to Angela from the Workaway Office in Florida, whose first time it was to come to South Africa. As a local, I never really took the time to see some of the amazing beauties of our wonderful country.

It was a great sunny Cape Town day and we headed out through Camps Bay and along the coast down to Cape Point. What an experience to stand where the two great oceans meet and look back at the view. Afterwards it was off to Spier Estate for Angela to pet the cheetahs, a little wine tasting was to follow. Then a dash back to the city for cocktails at sunset watching the sun dip into the sea…

This is not the first time I’ve had to play tour guide to someone from the US, but it is always a proudly South African moment to “show off” our country. I would have never had the opportunities the program has provided to me, had my best friend Rob not persuaded me nine years ago to take the chance.
The Country Clubs are in the process of finalizing their selections, but for those that have been selected and this is your first time traveling overseas, make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. You never know... you may get the opportunity to fly in a private jet to Key West for dinner.!!

Author: Andre Smith

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

From Joburg to Cape Town!

It has been a very busy few weeks with interviews and presentations in Johannesburg. A departure is beckoning us and soon it will be time to jet set on a 24 hour journey to the USA!!!!

With interviews going so well, it was time for Boca West to touch down on South African soil. It was very nervous times for the candidates that were being interviewed; you could just see the fear in their eyes as they got closer and closer to the time for their interview. I tried hard to help them relax but from my past experience I know its very nerve wrecking!!! Interviews went very well and candidates left in high spirits.... hopeful that they would receive good news!

With the next week fast approaching it was time for some of the other clubs to do interviews...I started feeling very nervous as I was going to be on the other side of the fence. I was going to be conducting interviews for my club “Sailfish Point”. I must say the nerves were getting the better of me...but after the first few interviews were completed I felt much better :) I got to interview some REALLY nice people and knew I would have my work cut out for me when I had to make my final decisions on who I wanted to select!! Knowing that in the back of my mind I still had to go to Cape Town to meet more amazing people...

After the Johannesburg interviews it was a rush to get to OR Tambo Airport to catch a flight to Cape Town. Can you believe it I had never been to Cape Town before! Excitement had hit me that I was finally going to be in the Mother City, after so many of my good friends have told me how great it was, I was finally going to see it for myself. Getting on the plane I was now so anxious to get there. The flight was not one of my best as it was sooo full and I got the last seat on the plane right next to the toilet so just imagine....not fun!!

Finally I arrived in Cape Town... it felt like I was in another country! Driving to my hotel, The Westin, I was just picturing how it would look after the stories I had heard. WOW… it was amazing! Felt as if I was not supposed to be there!!!

After a good night’s sleep, I was off to Rondebosch for more interviews, hoping that the Capetonians would be as good as the Joburgers. Let me just say... they did not disappoint, got to meet some really, really nice people. It was really hard to make the final selection with so many fantastic people that I interviewed, wish I could have taken them all!!!!!

Interviews it was time to enjoy the rest of my stay and have a good time with great friends, that I must add I met on the “Workaway Program” I had great fun in my short stay in the mother city and I will definitely be back soon!!!

Good luck to all the peeps, hope you all get calls to say you have been accepted!!!!!!!

Author: Tyrone Havenga

Sense of Pride...

Hi everyone

It has been a flight filled two weeks since my last blog… traveling back and forward between Durban and Johannesburg. Spending a number of hours in the air I got time to reminisce over the past 4 years of recruiting for Workaway. There comes a time in your life when you feel a huge sense of pride in something you’ve achieved…

With the first club interviews behind us we head straight into round two. Up in Johannesburg we had Richard and Angela from Addison Reserve, Angela from Workaway Florida office and our very own South Africa Manager Charlotte interviewing participants for some of the most exclusive Country Clubs in the United States… I truly don’t know how they select the participant as everyone is just so nice and super friendly!

Then off we go to Durban … with Mirasol and BallenIsles interviewing applicants as well as Angela and Charlotte of Workaway International still energetic and friendly after two whole days of interviews, Johannesburg then Cape Town now Durban. Embracing the excitement of the applicants and the humour of my team, we made it through the day successfully. Thank you to Calvin, Kappie, Tyrone, Kaycee and Nolene, you all made me proud. “Good Job”.

With everything going off well and the clubs making their selection, we are left with placing the remaining a

applicants over the next few weeks… Congratulations to the applicants that have been selected and a heartfelt thank you for allowing me the opportunity to feel a sense of pride, especially in being a part of you stepping out into the big world and making a success of the opportunity at hand.

To the others waiting for a reply… there is still hope, so hang in there. The wait will be worth it. As for the applicants that have not made it, I would like to add one of my favorite scriptures. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to enable them to fulfill the purpose for which they are called. (Romans 8:28)”.

…remember this might be the time in your life when you get the opportunity to experience that sense of pride in something you’ve achieved no matter how big or small…

Author: Lucille Earle

Sunday, 7 August 2011

It's all about a good attitude and a big smile!

Since I have returned to SA I have been landing some temporary jobs with a couple of temping agencies I joined, they have given me some assignments where I work a day or even a couple of days helping a company whose receptionist is off sick or in some sort of training. I was happy with this sort of arrangement as I was still getting some time off here and there, and still being able to sleep in and have the day to myself – something that becomes very valuable when days like these are limited whilst working overseas. If you are like me and you don’t end up saving the first time you go over, you are luckily covered for your first two to three months when you return, because you receive the refund of your security deposit and your final USA pay cheque. This certainly helps when you aren’t earning a steady income and all you want to do is party with your friends and family when you get back. But alas, I have now landed myself a permanent job where I am working 8 'till 5 and totally missing my free time, but hey, we all got to earn a living, and besides who else is going to support my shoe fetish!

I have also been lucky enough to help out with the interviewing process for Workaway at the Hilton in Durban; here I get to meet a bunch of people who are excited about branching off in a new direction of their lives and exploring a totally different part of the world. I love sharing my experiences with them and giving them some helpful tips for their Country Club interviews. I get flashbacks when I watch them sitting anxiously in their chairs, nervously waiting for their 10 minutes to shine, all dressed to impress in their suits and pencil skirts – takes me back to when I was going for my final interview. I remember being so nervous and thinking that my whole international future counted on the outcome of that interview. Need I mention that I am so glad that it all worked out and I got the opportunity to check out the greener grass.

For those of you, who are undergoing the interview process at the moment, try your best not to be nervous. Confidence is key! If you are sure of who you are, what you are capable of and have a big smile, the Americans will love you. Make sure that you dress smart and professional and speak loud and clearly, remember that you are trying to impress employers of a 5 star golf estates. Once you have heard the results and you have been selected, it’s all hustle and bustle from there – orientation, visa appointments, medical exams, and before you know it you are on your flight to Florida. If you don’t get selected however, don’t be discouraged, try again the next year, and if I can offer you any advice, it would be to go to the first presentation that is in your city, which is usually around May. Otherwise that’s it from me for now, check the rest of your Durbanites at your interviews tomorrow!

Author: Nolene Lotz

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The beginning of friendships...

Well the past two weeks have been busy busy busy…..

I have been jetting between Durban and Johannesburg for our last few presentations and interviews. while everyone in our office in Cape Town, has been busy preparing for the final interviews with the Country Clubs.

So the day arrived and Boca West was in South Africa. Excitement running high and nerves even higher…. the candidates arrive at the Southern Sun Grayston on Saturday in Johannesburg for their final interview. Everyone looking “uitgevat”. The day went off very well and everyone seemed to be in high spirits and soon enough candidates were making new acquaintances and adding Facebook friends… and my Boyz (TyZee and Kappie) did a super job in assisting with photo’s and police clearances.

Day done, time for us to head off to Durban for “Day Two” of interviews.

Arriving at the Hilton Hotel Sunday morning I was greeted with big smiles and super excited candidates, My girls Kays and Nolez were already waiting ready for the day to get started. Both were at Boca West the previous year and could not wait to see Harris, Darlene and Barbara. It was also great to see so many returners there on the day coming for police clearances Durbanites, being known for the friendly and social personalities, did not disappoint and there was such excitement with a vibe filling the room in no time and new friendships developing…

“Day Two” done and Boca West was off to Cape Town…

Now all we can do is wait in anticipation for the outcome but in the mean time we are getting ready for “Round Two”. We are waiting for some of the clubs who will conduct final interviews that are going to be held this coming week end. I wish you all the best of luck!

Author: Lucille Earle

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Final Countdown...

The last two weeks have been spent indoors, office bound. Not complaining though as it’s an exciting time... preparing for the Country Club interviews.

This is were I really get to know the applicants. This is something that people always ask how I remember people and their stories.

Each file is removed from storage and read through to get a biography of each of the applicants. Looking at friends and seeing who would be a good fit at each of the Country Clubs. A lot of thought, consideration and discussion with the help of Vida e Cafe coffee is made in placing each of the applicants.

Making the calls to applicants to is great because after months or weeks of waiting the final interviews are here and traveling to work in the USA is becoming a reality. You can hear the excitement and anticipation when giving the details for the interviews.

Boca West Country Club is here this weekend doing their selections; I’ll be in Cape Town on Monday for those interviews and the other clubs next weekend.

GOOD LUCK to all the applicants. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Author: Andre Smith

Friday, 22 July 2011

We'll take you there!

With excitement running high, everyone is getting ready for the club interviews that are only 2 weeks away. I remember my final interview like it was yesterday *smiling * knowing its one step closer to traveling and working in the USA for you all…

But just to bring you all back to earth and out of the clouds for now… Let’s see what’s happening right here in our country. As most of you know I happened to celebrate my birthday last week and what a day it was… Got a choir call from my office and May I add, they should all keep their day jobs.*big grin* just kidding “love you guys!”…. I received so many messages during the day from people all over the world. This made me think a lot about where Workaway has taken me? And how effortless it has always been to use Workaway, they have always walked me through step by step from the get go… I listen to returners as they share their experiences at every presentation and time and time again one of them will add “Workaway will take you there”. This is so true! Workaway has taken me there and back and there and back and………… sure you get the picture. So with me receiving the messages and e-mails and so forth on my birthday I realized that 70 % of the people I received messages from I had met through Workaway…and even share my birthday with two of them. . . I would like to share a poem with you that was shared with me…

like you are hard to find.
In a lifetime,
You get only a few.
And when you find them,
You always grow a little bit
taller in your soul.
And when you find them,
You also know that
as the years come and
as the years go by…
…you have been blessed
Just to know them: thus
Blessed am I, thus lucky
have I been…
To know a friend like you.

These are the amazing people I have had the opportunity of meeting with the Workaway Program! And I do hope you all get the opportunity for Workaway to take you there!
But I am not the only celeb… *grinning* celebrating a birthday in July. My grandmother is 80 and just as beautiful as when she was 30!
We also celebrate “Our grandfather, the world’s heroes” 93 Birthday…
…………… HaPpY bIrThDaY Mr. Nelson Mandela……………

Yet these past two weeks have been busy busy busy with Tyrone and myself recruiting out in Jozi and Pretoria and Kaycee in Durban. We are still looking for more candidates to join us for this season adventure… Can’t wait! We held our final presentation in Johannesburg Saturday and once again had the opportunity of meeting the most amazing people… I’m looking forward to interviews and then off to Durban for Saturday presentation. So if you still have friends that are interested bring them along………

So that’s it from South African soil…..
Leaving you with a thought….

Workaway will take you there!

Author: Lucille Earle

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Back in the homeland!!!

Being back in South Africa after almost 3 years in the USA has been very challenging at the least. The cold weather, living conditions and not being around friends 24 hours. But I have definitely adapted!!!

Getting used to all the things I missed for the past 3 years like being able to drive, stopping at a petrol station, getting a pepper steak pie was like heaven!

Working with Workaway and assisting with the recruitment in the Johannesburg area has definitely helped going around meeting such amazing South Africans that I will possibly be working with has been so so much fun.

Being at the first presentation in Johannesburg made me realise that there are such great people out there and I must add some very interesting ones too! With a good turnout we had interviews at the Southern Sun, I got to meet really nice people and give them a little bit of my amazing experiences in the USA.

After the first presentation was done it was time to get back on the road to find more great applicants, driving around with Lucille, the Johannesburg representative, we came across a very excited candidate at an Ice Cream Parlour, We stopped and spoke to him. He was amazed that we had came to him. ‘It’s meant to be. I have to go!’ were his exact words. He was so excited as he had looked at the Workaway program before and never pursued it further. He just made my day knowing that finding people I can make their dreams come true by going to the USA. Trust me it is a dream come true when you get there!

Off to the second presentation in Johannesburg with anticipation to see if all the hard work recruiting has paid off. Great turnout at the presentation with many good people that that may be going on a journey of a lifetime.

Knowing that there is only 2 months left for me to pack my bag and head off back to the sunny state of Florida is starting to get very exciting. To start the journey all over again, meet new people and some... let me say family. You meet such amazing people that you can almost call family, I cant wait to see them again!
Just remember if you have a dream pursue it, you never know it might just come true one day.....

Author: Tyrone Havenga

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Man About Town...

Well the past two have been spent wrapping up the recruitment drive for this season as we are hosting our last presentations this coming weekend.

The weather couldn't have been better in the Cape, which allowed me along with Megan to head out from Blouberg to Simonstown. It was great to meet people and to bump into so many past participants that are now in management positions at some of Cape Town best restaurants.

The management from the Country Clubs will be here within the next two weeks to select participants for this season. If you are interested in taking an opportunity of a lifetime and looking to work abroad in the USA at some of the most exclusive Country Clubs in Florida, then your last chance to apply will be to attend the presentation in your area. Details are on the website under presentation details.

"A mind is like a parachute. It only works when it's open." - Anthony J. D΄Angelo

With that thought, take this opportunity to broaden your horizons, gain valuable skills and discover a different part of the world.

Author: Andre Smith