Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A Good Day!

By Jasper Burger

Most people aren’t lucky enough to experience a job or career that they can enjoy, and in which they can thrive.  There are two types of people when it comes to careers:  Those who enjoy what they do for a living, and those who don’t enjoy it, but merely do it as a means of an income.

It is safe to say that I am the first type of person – one that thoroughly enjoys what I do!

Most of my days are routine, which is definitely not a bad thing if you manage and handle it properly, as it becomes part of your lifestyle and helps with stability.

I am currently the men’s solarium restaurant opener which means I have to get up at 5.30am every morning to open up and clock-in at 6am.  To give you an idea of what my work days are like, here is an outline of my basic daily routine:

6am: As I walk out of my living quarters, the first thing I see is the beautiful red, white and blue – yes, the American flag!  I always take a minute to look at this flag as it reminds me how lucky I am to be here in the US.

Being the first one at the club with only a few others around is definitely something to get used to.  The club is very dark and quiet, and you are still busy “waking up” whilst starting your work duties.  Working at the upper course at Bultusrol, there are a few glorious, serene moments I get to enjoy:  The first person I encounter is Chef John in the kitchen, and we always indulge in a quick cup of coffee while it is brewing for the breakfast rush.

6.30am: After my wake-me-up cup of coffee, I move on to Fran at the front desk who hands over the keys for me to open up.  The restaurant is, of course, empty and in the blissful silence I get to work on setting up food stations and opening up the bar.  The restaurant will soon be bustling with members and their guests so this has to be done before the rush starts.

7am: Breakfast is now served and, believe me, 9 out of 10 times it is a busy shift!  The golfers like to tee of early and need fuel to golf during the day.  Working this shift on my own is hard work, so I am always a little bit relieved when the rest of the crew comes in to set up for lunch.  This allows me to take a quick break before the madness of the lunch shift starts.

11.30am: At this time of the day, the rest of the staff and I often have a laugh and a chat as we await the usual tidal wave of members joining us for drinks and lunch, which usually starts from around 12pm.

3pm: Things have calmed down by now because the lunch rush is over.  It usually always runs smoothly, and at 3pm I get to clock out and do whatever I please.  I often decide to go to the gym, cinema or even take a trip to the city – anything that intrigues me on the day.

It is a good feeling to know that although work will always be work, I enjoy what I do.  Various jobs have their own hardships and challenges, that’s a given, but you have to make the best of it and just enjoy the ride!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Back home!!!

By Julie-Ann Blom

It’s been a few months since I’ve been back in South Africa and since I joined the Workaway International team.  Since then, I’ve been hard at work in Johannesburg helping to recruit potential candidates for the upcoming season.

We’ve had many long days of presentations and interviews, and during the process I have met so many wonderful people with big dreams and aspirations.

While I have been recruiting in the Johannesburg and Pretoria areas, I’ve had to drive all over Gauteng.  Bearing in mind that I haven’t been home for two years, I’d forgotten how beautiful this country really is, and how wonderful and friendly the people are.

About a week ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Durban presentation – the first time I’ve ever been there!  Although I did not have the chance to see much of the city, I met a lot of friendly people at the presentation and it was a really lovely day.

To all our future recruits who will shortly be joining us on the programme to go to the US: You all have so much to offer and to contribute to the Workaway Family, and I know you will grab this opportunity with both hands!

It is important that you’re proud to be South African and represent South Africa in the best way possible in the US.

I look forward to meeting all new excited potential recruits at our next Johannesburg presentation!

See you soon!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Tips on Travelling to Florida

By Struan Goss

For those of you who are first time travelers, making the trip with Workaway to Florida this coming season, here are a few helpful tips on travelling.

On several occasions while travelling, having copies of important documents saved in the cloud has gotten me out of a tight spot. You can upload your flight itinerary, certified copies of your ID and Passport as well as any other important documentation. Once in the cloud you can access it later from your smartphone anywhere, anytime. Personally I prefer to use Google Drive, however there are several cloud storage options available, another popular one being Dropbox.

Unless you’re a machine who enjoys watching 16hrs of in-flight films back to back, at some point you’ll want to sleep on your flight over. There’s nothing worse than sitting in an airplane seat restlessly shifting about trying to find a comfortable sleeping position. Every time you are about to drift off into a warm, dark place your head rolls around to the side and then flops forward; waking you up with a sudden jolt in a disgruntled state. If I could recommend only one thing to make the flight across the Atlantic easier it would definitely be to get a travel pillow. This provides your neck with support and ensures a far more comfortable sleep. While not a necessity, an eye cover, ear plugs, and sleeping pills can also be helpful for those of you hoping to get some shut eye. The latter should however be used after consultation with your doctor and not anytime near the end of a flight. You don’t want to be drowsy when you get off the plane into a bustling airport.

Be wary of using currency exchanges at the airports as they may be more expensive than your local bank. That said, I would be careful not to take all pocket money for the first two to three weeks in cash. Most South African bank cards have a Visa facility that allows you to withdraw dollars from Visa friendly ATM’s in the States. Just check with your bank if you need to have your debit card ‘activated’ for foreign withdrawals before you leave.

I would also be sure to have warm clothing as the stopover in New York can be a cold one. Other than proudly wearing my Springbok jersey at JFK International, I only got a handful opportunities to wear it while I was in Florida as the Sunshine State does well in living up to its name.