By Kenan Manthe
So on the 17th of October 2012 I left South Africa coming to America expecting to experience some new things in life!!! Well I got a lot more than what I bargained for! Firstly sitting on my quite eventful flight from Johannesburg international to JFK international I had a nice comfy isle seat and next to me was a very informative lady from South Africa who had immigrated to America in 1994 she was quite helpful in giving me a few tips for my journey to the USA! The flight was quite long but meeting fellow Workaway people on the flight made it go by fast then once landing at JFK it was quite weird how all us Workaway people grouped up and we found our way through the monstrous airport to check in for our flights to FT Lauderdale! Upon arrival at FT Lauderdale we met people from Workaway who ushered us on to a bus to take us to do our first lot of shopping and to our apartments where we met our housing managers Annie Snell and Angela Herrington the 2 ladies who will go out their way to help anyone! The following day was orientation at Boca West where we got to meet all our colleagues and our managers and our GM Mr D "aka Pappa D"! And so our season was under way first few weeks was training for all departments! In the catering department during our training we had functions to serve and attend to where we had to rely on everything we had learnt the days before but mainly one another and this then created the unbreakable bound of the famous Boca West banquet crew! We are the smallest department at Boca West but there is no set up or serving or even a brake down too big for us! We have done banquets for all sorts of events from community meetings, weddings to cancer awareness groups and from 12 people to 700 people in one single seating!
It wasn't long before most of us who are on our first season had to experience Christmas away from our families and friends and especially from HOME! But we all made the best of it and pulled each other through it and in turn we all had quite a good Christmas and New Years some experiencing it at their apartments while most did the whole Miami South Beach excursion for New Years! LIFE IN AMERICA is good! Experiencing life on a different side seeing how easily everything works!
Boca West has taught me several things and opened my eyes as to how broad the hospitality industry is and I have a background in the hospitality industry and here I felt like an utter new bee with lots of place to grow and learn new things!
Charlotte and team make it very clear in presentations that this is not a working holiday! Which is so true but if you work hard you can play hard like South Beach or Key West are not TOOOOO far they still far but worth a day visit or longer if you have the off days! And these ladies on this program love Sawgrass every time you see someone and ask them what they doing their off day most common answers are either Delray Beach or Sawgrass mall hahaha LIFE'S EASY if hard work is put in!
As our winter season slowly draws to an end many of the Workaway participants are either planning their trips up north for the summer season or the ones that are returning home to SA are savouring every moment here in sunny Florida and loving life!