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