Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Where to start... Almost 3 years ago I left South Africa to start on a journey of a lifetime, going to the USA was the best experience!! Spending 5 seasons back to back was overwhelming... there are too many great memories. Arriving back in South Africa less than a month ago to a bitterly cold Johannesburg I realized that in the past 3 years I have not experienced such cold weather, always moving with the heat.

Being back in SA really made me think how much I already miss the USA. I have made so many good friends and people that I could call family. The Workaway program gives you many opportunities from working at exclusive country club in Florida to a mind blowing club in New York. I was fortunate enough to experience the best of both.

I worked at a really exclusive club in Stuart, Florida called Sailfish Point which is situated on an Island. When I got to the club for the first time I could not believe that I would be working there for 6 months. Going on a tour I said to myself there is no ways that I am so fortunate to be here, the club has two restaurants; a casual and fine dinning. Its a small club but has everything you would ever want or need to live.

Looking out the restaurant you are amazed at the view of crashing waves on the shore, not to forget to mention the houses at the club. I have been lucky to have worked at a few houses doing private parties... let me just say MANSIONS! Living in Florida is like being on a permanent holiday, you live in apartments that are out of this world... hot tubs, huge pools and a good gym. The weather is always great, sunshine almost everyday so the pool is the place that you spend most of your time off, on your time off there is also the option to take a short drive to MIAMI... yes MIAMI, the beach, shops and night life definitely lives up to its expectations.

After an amazing 1st season in Florida it was time to pack up and head on off the “THE CONCRETE JUNGLE” Wow! Wow! And Wow! NEW YORK CITY was unexplainable, the first time I went to the city I was lost for words, walking out Penn station for the first time and looking up and just seeing all these amazing buildings that are extremely tall. alking down the road and you get to one of the biggest arenas Madison Square Garden, you look up and you see the Empire State building, you look right, you see Times Square, you look down the road you see Central Park. Everywhere you walk or look there are amazing attractions… that’s only to mention a few. The list goes on and on...

Working in New York, Long island at Glen Oaks Country Club was very different to Florida, the club was a lot bigger and I was very lucky to give food and beverage up for 6 months to work outside in the fresh New York air as a valet. Now that was an experience of its’ own... When you stand waiting for a car to pull up, the car of your dreams, the car you have always wanted... yes, a brand new Ferrari! When I saw that I knew this is going to be an awesome job. Driving every car that I ever wanted to drive. I drove everything from Mercedes, BMW, Aston Martin, Bentley, Porsche and Lamborghini. The list just goes on... What fun I had in the city that never sleeps!

To sum my experience up in the USA... Mind-blowing! It is difficult to describe the fun I had and will hopefully relive in a short 3 months upon my return to the USA. Please follow my blog for me to share my experiences with you and hopefully you will be there along for the ride. Since being back in South Africa a whole new chapter has begun, working with Workaway International in Johannesburg assisting Lucille. The first few weeks have been really fun meeting all the excited new applicants and hopefully to get them to live the experience that I so enjoyed.

Workaway really does take you there...

Author: Tyrone Havenga

Monday, 27 June 2011

Back in Durbs from the USA!

Home at last after a long flight back to South Africa from New York, I am so grateful that we didn’t have to stop off at Dakar. The flight was pleasant to say the least; I took three sleeping tablets and still couldn’t sleep. I had a couple sitting on the left of me who didn’t speak a word of English, and a lady sitting on the right of me who gave me looks every time I tried to spark up a conversation. So I decided to sit back, get as comfortable as I could and reflect on the amazing time that I had in Florida.

I stayed in Boca Raton, which is about 40 minutes away from Miami, for those of you who aren’t too clued up with the Floridian map. Our housing was awesome and housed six people, 2 people per room (hold thumbs that you don’t get a messy roommate). The transportation to and from work was arranged, by following the schedule, you can get yourself to work on time or take a separate van to the shops, should it be your off day. Your rent includes a lot of cool things and necessities such as electricity and water, free telephone for local calls, uncapped ADSL, washing machine and tumble dryer (there are no washing lines in America – weird!) and standard furniture that is needed to make things homey.

At first everything was very overwhelming, especially if you are venturing over there on your own, but trust me, coming from someone who is an only child, it is the best decision that you will ever make. Yes, you will miss your family and friends and yes, there will be times when you wish you were home, but the friends that you make become your family, the people that you rely on to get you through those tough times. This trip is not only for crossing borders and extending your travels, but a path of self discovery and growing as a person as you learn to stand on your own two feet.

My first season was at Boca West Country Club, which was amazing. I worked and played hard! I came home with all the electronics that I ever wanted to get. I went to awesome places like Miami, the Bahamas, Key West and Universal Studios, just to mention a few. The night life is good, different from SA but a good different. I personally didn’t save a lot of money this past season as I spent it all on sightseeing and electronics, but if you discipline yourself and practice a little moderation, you can come home with a decent amount of savings, and that is something I plan on doing in the upcoming season.

Since I have been home in SA, I am temporarily working at various companies, keeping myself busy and making some extra cash. I will be assisting Lucille at the presentations and interviews in Durban which will be great for meeting the new candidates for this year, I am excited to see what the year ahead brings. If you have not yet been to a presentation, check out the dates for your city, don’t be shy to suss it out, you certainly won’t regret it!

Author: Nolene Lotz

Monday, 20 June 2011

Proudly South African!

There is nothing more overwhelming than being proud, especially of ones roots and heritage. The other evening whilst away doing interviews in George I was in my hotel room flicking through the channels on TV and came across 'Invictus'. The movie had already been running for a while, but having seen it before I was able to follow the story.

I found myself reflecting on that glorious day in our sporting history and it made me think how far we have come as a nation and what a defining moment that was. Most of you will have felt that emotion of national pride when we again took the trophy in 2007 as the titians of rugby and again last year when we waved our flag and welcomed the world to our doorstep for the soccer world cup. There is no better euphoria than being PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN!

If you've ever had the opportunity to travel abroad, one always finds themselves the biggest champions of their nationality when asked "Where are you from?" This past year in the USA was no different for me, but there was that extra bit of pride as we'd just come out of hosting one of the most successful tournaments in soccer history. At least most Americans were now familiar with where South Africa was on the world map and didn't think that we were near Afghanistan or Iraq.

Lately, South Africans have put themselves on centre stage with sporting achievements and having a key role in international politics. There was also the moment when an unknown girl from Benoni took the coveted gold statue at the Oscars, which is a moment I remember clearly watching it live in the US.

Here I sit at 30 000ft in a plane returning from a presentation in Port Elizabeth where I got to meet a returner Ndelike Nonose, who back in 2007, was a shy waitress and has now blossomed into a mature woman after being in the USA for three years on the Workaway program. She got up at the end of the presentation and spoke about her experience and how pride she was to be a South African working abroad. When she missed home she was able to go to places like Madiba's and Braai in New York where she got to have a taste of good old home cooking.
For most of you that will get the opportunity to travel on our program for the first time, embrace the culture of a foreign country, but wave your flag with pride and be proud of your heritage; there are a lot of people that have pioneered for where we are today.

Author: Andre Smith

From the City of Roses to the heart of the People!

Well off to Bloemfontein I go with high spirits and great anticipation on the candidates I’m going to get to meet ……and returners I’m going to have coffee with and just chat to about our adventures we had with Work Away and the members we are missing....

Phew, dripping wet and cold… finally out of the rain, having to climb the stairs to the plane in the thunderstorm at OR Tambo I’m in my seat and ready to head to Bloem… Taking off was entertaining to say the least, turbulence that felt like it lasted 15 minutes was finally over. I got to catch 40 winks…..Flying over Bloem all you see is water. I thought that there has been so much rain it looks like the land is soaked, with cars and houses in water that’s about a foot deep, realizing how fragile we are when it comes to nature… Great, landed and now off to promote in the City of Roses…

Got to meet some great people and even make new friends. Amazed at how not even the weather could dampen the spirits of the new candidates, the venue buzzing with excitement as they all asked questions about the program. Trying to imagine the whole idea of traveling to the USA, seemed unreal to some while others were just wanting to leave as soon as possible…. I met with all and then scheduled interviews… Stocked by the friendliness and warmth of the Free State people, while I was freezzzzing my butt off… I interviewed the candidates and enjoyed having had the opportunity to meet such warm and open people and wish them all the best for the club interviews later on in July and early August… The City of Roses truly is like a flower garden in the spirit of the people who stay in Bloem… This I got to experience firsthand. Friday night I got the opportunity to go out at 10pm, O YES in the Freezzzzing weather and help a church ministry feed hungry people and just talk and encourage them in their current situations knowing that it is reality! Some just don’t have a home or even a warm blanket or a bed that they can sleep on…. I realize how blessed I am and these young people that offer up their time in the cold to go and encourage others truly demonstrates the hearts of the people in the City of Roses…

Bloem, I bid farewell and off to Jozi I go…….. Met up with Tyrone from Sailfish and had a few good laughs at how he is adjusting to being back in SA after being in the USA for 2 years and 8 months. Tyrone got to go on our summer program after his season in Florida and got to do 5 back to back seasons before having had to come home…

Leaving you with food for thought till next time……..

Author: Lucille Earle

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It all starts with a Connection…

Well here I am drinking a rich aroma, cuppa , Jacobs coffee………. Thinking back on the day I met Nigel at my first Workaway interviews. Knowing “I HAD A DREAM” to travel the world.

Watching all my friends travelling and enjoying the different cultures and experiences I just never could… So unlike my friends it took a lot longer to start my dream. But start it I did! ……. 2006 flying to Florida with Workaway to work at a golf club…little did I know, Soon to become my second home….. Season 1 done and off to Africa again to excited about seeing my family, 6 months felt like forever. But not back for 2 weeks and you realize you missing people and they not here……. So off to the next presentation.

Listening to Michelle give the presentation in 2007, I knew, yes that my next dream…… and working for Workaway became the beginning of it all…………

I returned after season 2 to work in Durban recruiting candidates and so moved on to Johannesburg…… where I got to pondering over how many great people I will get to meet and build friendships with over the next few month... Johannesburg’s first presentation done and interviews complete……enjoying the returners that pop in just to say hi and have a quick chat, one realizes that there is a bond between us and its Workaway………. Off to Durban I go to meet the surfer dudes and dudesses, once again not to be disappoint and all arrive on Zululand time sharp…..11:15. Getting the opportunity to be entertained by three returners that share their experiences and affordable ways of eating and it’s not at the $1 store, that all first years seem to learn the hard way…………yet another presentation down and super candidates met. I get to have a good cuppa coffee with good friends I have made over the past 5 seasons … knowing with laughter filling the air how blessed I was to have be granted the opportunity to meet such amazing friends while following my dream to travel……………….

Next stop Bloemfontein….

“Good friends, like good coffees, are not born they are made”

And in some way connected through Workaway …

Author: Lucille Earle

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Garden Route of Eden!

Winter took hold this past week with cold front after cold front slamming into Cape Town bringing more rain than we needed and forcing me to dig deep in my closet to find gloves and scarves. Pulling out my gloves reminded me of my trip to The Big Apple, New York City... It was freezing in the city with snow and blizzards, one of the worst winters they had had in years. I wasn't able to find gloves in warm and sunny Florida as one would not need them. In fact it was quite difficult to find warm jackets and scarves to prepare myself for my first real experience of snow. The last time was when I was 6 years old and it snowed in Johannesburg during a freak storm.

Walking the streets of NY, I was forced to bury my freezing hands deep in my pockets as I made my way to Century 21, one of the best designer outlet stores in the city. Upon entering I was greeted by floor after floor of clothing and accessories. Everything from fur coats to cufflinks. I made my way through the crowds of shoppers to a wall of pigeon hole boxes stuffed with all types of winter gloves; leather with wool, hard leather, soft leather, wool, and many others. After feeling a bit like Goldilocks, I found the pair that fit just right. They served me well on my trip and saved me from frostbite I'm sure as the temperature on top of the Empire State building was -14 degrees celsius out of the wind.

As I planned for my recruitment trip from Port Elizabeth down the Garden Route to George, I decided to contact past participants to see how they were and what had happened in their lives. It was amazing to hear how some had found great positions in management, how others had got engaged and also those that were now considering on going back on the program. It really does make us proud when we hear success stories.

My trip to PE was not off to a smooth start after getting up way before what is a civilized time to catch a flight to PE. After boarding the flight we were disembarked after sitting on the plane for an hour whilst the plane was undergoing repairs for technical difficulties. We had to wait another hour in the airport terminal before boarding the flight again to PE. Although it's a hassle, I'd rather fly on a safe plane than have an issue mid flight.

The landing was quite rough due to the bad weather. Much like a space shuttle reentering the atmosphere. Glad to be in PE, I got to work visiting culinary institutes, colleges and various restaurants. It was great to meet eager people looking to participate on our program.

Two days later, I road tripped along the beautiful garden route through the mountains and forrest marveling at what an awesome country we stay in and how spoilt we really are surrounded with natural beauty.

Stopping en route in Knysna, I drove up to Penzula Golf Resort with vistas of the lagoon on one side and the ocean on the other. It was breathtaking.

I spent the evening recruiting in a very chilly George and was told by a local that the registration of CAW stands for cold and wet. This explains why almost all my trips to George have always been either cold or wet. Haha.

The George Herald did a fantastic full page article on Workaway International and had interviewed past participants from the George area. We couldn't have asked for better press exposure. If you saw the article, please attend the presentation on Saturday, 11 June at the Protea Hotel King George (full details are on the homepage of the Workaway website).

Speaking of the website, I got to experience a mockup of the future Workaway website which will launch in a few weeks. You are all going to be blown away by the changes. I know I was!

I am Looking forward to seeing all of you at the PE and George presentations. Bring your friends along too.

Author: Andre Smith

Pondering where home is!!

Sitting at M&B having a traditional, Rooibos tea ……. *Thinking* how much I miss Florida, the friends I made there and the people I worked with……. Questioning myself as to where home really is?

I have been on the Workaway program for 5 years now and feel so comfortable both here and abroad that it has become normal to have two homes :-)

So let me tell you more of what I experienced in Florida, Been to the Big Appel that you read about So where had I gone before?......... Ever Seen a moose? Increadibly large! Ever seen a bear?Huge, understatement!...ever been to the point that regesters the worst weather conditions in the World? Freezzzzzzzing! So have you guessed yet? Yip New Hampshire, Mount Washington.

I had the opertunity of visiting the State during my fourth season in Florida, flew to Boston and then drove up the Mountain, to the peaks covered with white white fluffy snow of Mount Washington….increadibly beautiful! So I got to go on a canopy tour and flew down the mountain top in a harness and helmit with ice and snow covering my face but my word was it amazing being higher than the trees seeing the most amazing sceneries, wow…… Waterfalls, rock faces and so much more……And yes moose, bears, increadably huge and so real.

Now back is South Africa, home! Knowing that I love my job and get to travel and experience things so many just dream of. I am grateful to Workaway for making it possible. Well off to work for me for now……Catch up with y’all later…. Have a blessed day…..

Closing Thought - Home is not where you live but where they understand you. ~Christian Morgenstern
Author: Lucille Earle


Wow, I cant believe that my first month of being back home in Cape Town has gone by already. I did finally have the opportunity to Braai this past Saturday and it was DELICIOUS!

I’m still adjusting to the wintery weather that up to now hasn’t been as bad in past years. But, when you have just come back from tropical paradise to wind swept Cape Town, it does take some getting used to.

The past two weeks have been spent interviewing all the great candidates from Cape Town that applied after our record attended presentation. There were many great candidates with fantastic experience that will do really well on this program; others have a great attitude that will take them far.

Squeezed in between the interviews has been the fine detailing of the 2011 Workaway Handbook, which has had a radical facelift, much like some of the members at the clubs. It has a new look and layout that we know will appeal to you. For those of you that will be receiving it, we would love to get your feedback and posts on our Facebook wall. If you’re not a friend already, please click the link on our web homepage.

Speaking of the website, there has been another exciting development involving the complete revamp of our Workaway website that is scheduled to be launched soon. I can speak about what I’ve seen so far and tell you that it’s going to be awesome.

As, I prepare for my marketing trip to Port Elizabeth and George this year, I can only think back at such a special time last year with the FIFA World Cup on our doorstep. It was such an amazing experience with the South African pride everywhere you looked. I had the fortune of travelling to Port Elizabeth and George last year at the start of the World Cup and was so overwhelmed by what us South Africans had achieved, I was beaming with pride.

An experience I’ll always remember, was watching the opening game at the Dros in George, where the atmosphere was electric and when Tshabalala scored that first goal the place erupted with delight. I am excited for my road trip in the next few weeks and will reflect up on many such great memories.

Check out our home page for details of presentations in your area. I look forward to meeting you all.
Author: Andre Smith

Overwhelmed by bigger and better!!

Memories………….., Overwhelmed by Bigger and Better………..

So where to start so many memories and experiences in the last 5 seasons that they all seem so unbelievable………

Just giving you a little idea of what Workaway has given me the opportunity of experiencing…. I got to go and spend 4 days in the BIG APPLE, Words could not explain how amazed I was at the amount of people that could be in one place at the same time and be moving at the speed of light (over exaggerated but sure felt like it) all heading in one direction and everyone seemed to be so focused on where they were going….”Overwhelmed” is the least I can say….Thinking to myself ‘no way I could every stay here’….

SO day two was just as eventful, approaching Ground Zero and all you see are NYPD cars and people everywhere, camera men asking you how you felt about the situation? *thinking* ‘my word this is crazy’………………..So off we went from the Statue of Liberty to China Town to Penn Station to an evening at Broadway, the city was growing on me and of course a Starbucks in the lobby and on every corner, felt like I belonged there……

Wondering how I got from knowing I would never want to stay in this place to feeling like I never wanted to leave and that all in 24 hours!

Indescribable to anyone how it all just fits, subways to trains to just walking fifth avenue……Central Park watching the business men having lunch on the grass J and Time Square. An experience of a life time, one I would recommend to anyone. It is a must!

Now that’s a bit about my New York trip so let’s give you a sneak preview of what it is to work in Florida on Workaway.

I work at a Golf Club, Boca Rio which is known as the “best kept secret in Florida”. Boca Rio was founded with its main focus on being able to offer the members a facility where they could come play golf whenever they wanted and without booking tee times. It has a membership of 140 and each member is addressed by Name. As for the staffing, there are people from all over the world, Brazil, Poland, USA and yes, South Africa. But we are all like a little family J you get to bond with everyone and the best is that we all speak English yet don’t seem to understand each other (daily joke in the club).

We serve lunch and dinner 7 days a week and have functions every so often where we would have to serve a breakfast. Our dining room seats 200 people and we average 70 people on a daily basis. We have a one on one relationship with the members and they expect exceptional service. You get to know their habits, likes and dislikes and are expected to remember it all. Yet we seem to manage to do so J You will get the opportunity to see and experience how America does things and let me add is on a much bigger scale than what we are use to. But that’s what they say “Bigger and Better”……….

Leave you with a Closing thought and a question to ponder- “Memories are a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose.” So what memories have you made?

Author: Lucille Earle