Monday, 29 October 2012

...Mixed emotions to the unknown...

By Nasiphi Sobahle
It was a Wednesday morning where a group of young South African Individuals were about to finally be on a plane to the land of the free, the land of the brave and you can imagine how each and every one was feeling.

We met at O.R Tambo Int’l airport and all one could see was a group of Eager individuals, ready to embark on a journey of Growth in their career fields, it couldn’t get more exciting.

We experienced so many emotions, all at once, for some, it was a virgin step to American soil and some, like me, were over the moon to be returning to the land of Great Opportunities, we looked forward to reuniting with friends that we left in the USA before.

I guess it all sank in real good when the plane took off at 20.25pm sharp (Oct 17 2012), from this point, there was no turning back.
The thought of being on a plane for 16hrs was alone daunting, however, the best part of the long flight was… in that amount of time we managed to make friends, learn about our diverse cultures and hopefully we managed to impact into each other the spirit of “UBUNTU” that even though we are separated by borders, we are all derived from the same soil.

We were family by the time we landed at JFK, and that alone made our flight a good one J


Taking off from JFK was the last lap to complete our 22hr flight as we were going to be flying to our final destination, FLORIDA…

This is where the mixed emotions kicked right back, it was all coming to Reality, all we were left to do was to assure ourselves that we will have an amazing time in Florida, as we are all away from home, creating a happy medium in our surroundings and of course being the Best that we can be in the workplace.
We are yet to find out if all our expectations were met.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Waiting to depart!

By Jean-Pierre Crozier

So, since this is my first Blog, I thought I would tell you a little a bit about myself, how I came about WorkAway and how I have found the experience so far.

My name is Jean-Pierre but almost everyone calls me JP. I am 21 and heard about WorkAway through a friend of mine that went last year. I never expected things to go so fast as they have. In hasn’t even been three months and I am getting ready to depart!

Going overseas has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember and thanks to WorkAway, I can now achieve this dream.

Visa Application and Appointment  

I had Orientation on the 8th September and, to my great shock, was told my DS 160 online application had to be in four days later for review. I went home and started filling it in, thinking it would be a quick process. Was I wrong!!! It took me nearly two hours to finally complete and submit it.
On the 14thSeptember I got the phone call to from WorkAway to say that I could now sign and submit my DS 160 as well as make the appointment. A few days later, I got the email confirming my consulate appointment time (you are never seen at the time given). After a three hour wait, I was interviewed and my Visa was approved. The whole process took ten minutes.

Probably one of the best things WorkAway has encouraged me to do was get a haircut! The above photo was the original one taken for my Visa but I was told that my hair was to long and that I shouldn’t be smiling.

The result below brings one situation to my mind: POLICE FILE!!!

The US Consulate in Tokai

Well, my departure is the 27th October and I cannot wait. I honestly have to say that the wait to depart is a much worse torture than the wait to get everything done that needs to be done.
Here it is! After all the hard work, the one document that says I can now legally travel into the United States of America!

Good luck to all who still has their Visa appointments and to everyone who didn’t go this year but is considering it? I would definitely say WorkAway is the company to go through! They make it easy, providing step by step information and above all else make it as stress free as I can imagine it gets.

Monday, 15 October 2012

A Journey to remember!

By Nasiphi Sobahle
It’s amazing how much time has gone by, how busy one has been in the past 3 months, the mixed emotions each participant has encountered, the smiles, laughs, frowns and even tears shed when things didn’t seem to go accordingly, but little did we know that we will be filled with so much excitement at the end, OH what an amazing feeling.

I can still recall the 05th of August 2012, a day where I finally decided to attend the Workaway Presentation at the Hilton Hotel in Durban, this was the very last presentation in Durban, that’s how much I prolonged to attend, I  then  had the responsibility to convince my BFF to do this with me as I didn’t want to do it alone, we were both shortlisted for an Interview with Workaway and I must say we never looked back ever since, we were looking forward to the final stage (DEPART FOR USA) bearing in mind that we were just on the first step  out of the eight (8). (Laughs Out Loud)

Nothing was more nerve wrecking than the club and visa interviews, but nothing beats a positive mindset and attitude in the Hospitality industry... such attitude takes you very far. In all that being said.. a wise person once wrote “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed in the things that you didn’t do than the ones that you did, so throw in the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour catch the trade winds in your sail” and I say to every participant “EXPLORE: DREAM & DISCOVER”, this is how I viewed the Workaway offer after the presentation, I was so sure I wanted to be a Workaway Participant before the presentation was even over.

Now we patiently await our departure dates, the excitement keeps building up, building up even more so that we will meet the amazing people we met at orientation, I guess what makes the program more interesting is the different people we meet, people from all walks of life, not so to see how different we are but to embrace & appreciate our DIVERSITY.

I’ve said too much and far beyond much, this brings me to my conclusion...
Workaway as well as our respective country clubs are with no doubt going to make a positive change, a great beginning for many, in our sandy walkways of our hearts. We hope for it to continue on impacting lives and changing futures of young South African individuals.