Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Life lessons 101!

By Megan Nevett

Yes, I agree that everyone comes to the USA for the International experience…. And of course to make money (especially now with the Dollar / Rand Rate of exchange), which now works out to be exceptionally good money!!!

But besides the work experience and making money part of it, the most important thing you will learn is Real Life Experience.

I knew that when I left South Africa, I was leaving my family and the comforts of home, and for me that was the most daunting aspect of travelling overseas.  I was scared that I would miss home too much and that I was not strong enough, emotionally or mentally to cope with working and living with strangers in a foreign country, many, many miles away from home.

But I also knew that this experience would teach me to become a much stronger and independent woman. To what extent would I become stronger and more independent, I wasn't sure, but bit the bullet anyway and signed up.

I can now tell you that after being away from home for a mere 2 months I feel that I can safely say that I have learned to stand on my own two feet, even though it has been hard and there have been many occasions that I have missed home, friends and family so much that I even contemplated coming home.

In Florida, I have learned to survive and thrive, simply by having a good attitude, not taking things too seriously (I mean people… not work), to laugh at myself and most importantly being true to myself.

No matter what happens, no matter what situation you are faced with and it doesn't matter how hard it is- You will be just fine as long as you stick to you core beliefs and are true to yourself!

So, that is my life lesson that I have learnt from being away from home in a foreign country.  I will carry this lesson with me in the future, and hopefully grow from strength to strength!!!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Counting down the days!! - America!!

By Melissa Chauvet

Firstly I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New year and all the best for 2016, getting to spend the festive season with family and friends was amazing, but on the other hand saying goodbye is not easy.

With only a week and a half left to go before I leave for America, although I have done a season before, I'm excited and looking forward to what this season has in store for me, and can I say I'm ready to earn some Dollars again!

Getting all my things in order and doing some last bit of shopping and making a little check list before the time helps me keep things a bit more organized, seeing what to pack and what not to pack can be a headache but then again I've definitely learnt my lesson from the last time, NOT to pack so much clothes and unnecessary things (easier said than done) but two weeks of clothing is more than enough, considering you will be tempted to buy a couple of new outfits or shoes, accessories etc. (girls you know how it is).  With limited space in our bags, having to throw out things at the end of the season to return home is heart breaking, so making sure you have enough space for some extra little goodies is a must.

Safe travels to all leaving on 23 January 2016. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Season to be jolly

By Amy Bruigom

Firstly I have to start off by saying Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Although this season is pretty much over, I have to admit being able to celebrate with all my friends and family has been a high light of my year.

Having received my new approved visa and starting the “packing” stage of my great adventure  I can honestly say that I at least have a small idea of what I should and shouldn't pack.

Going over the first time with absolutely no idea of what to expect and what to pack, you really seem to take alot of the more unnecessary stuff that actually end up never being used such as winter coats, boots and far to many pairs of jeans. I feel lucky enough to say that I will be experiencing a full year of summer for the first time in my life, being that of Florida's winter feeling the same as South Africa's summer J

Just knowing that i only have a few days left in beautiful South Africa definitely leaves a bitter sweet taste, but just knowing of the great adventure that awaits me makes it all worth it in the end.

To all those who may only be leaving now, may this year be filled with great expectation and may it be a year to remember. 


South African Christmas in America

By Nasiphi Sobahle

This has to be the most emotional part of the season for me, growing up in South Africa has had its impact in one's life & daily living. The festive season is celebrated so differently in both the USA & RSA and I guess what I miss the most is the party vibes back at home throughout the festive season ... apart from the endless family gatherings. 

It's a busy time in the majority of our clubs and on Dec 24th (Christmas Eve)., We were given the evening off and everyone had plans as to how they wanted to celebrate Christmas Eve in the USA, Away from home and their beloved families. Plans varied from hosting BBQ's to trips to Miami with friends who have become family. 

I must mention that I had the Best Christmas Eve dinner ever, for the first time in the USA, on the Workaway program. 
I was invited by my best friend (Nolwandle Nolly Ngwenya) who works for Gleneagles Country Club,  she hosted a South African home Cooked Dinner for 22 people and there was no better way of celebrating this holiday season but with good friends, South African food/ drinks, music and company. 

The highlight of my evening had to be the desserts, South African custard and Tennis biscuits. 

From my heart to yours, Happy Holidays my dear Irish and South African peeps, a happy Healthy 2016. 

End the year on and good note put your best foot forward 😊

Work hard, Play hard!

By Megan Nevett

Well I have only been in Miami for 3 days short of a month now, and I can gladly say that it is already starting to feel like home!

With Christmas being just around the corner, work is crazy busy, with everyone having to work double shifts as there are functions happening on a daily and nightly basis.  I am definitely not complaining though as double shifts mean overtime – so bring on the silly season!  In Miami all the South Africans live for Fridays, but not because we get the day off or it’s the start of our weekend….but because it's pay day! And man oh man does hard work pay off in the end.

My motto is work hard and play hard, so on Sunday evenings the South Africans all go to a place called Roxy’s. With rooftop views, good vibes and music, it somewhat feels like home, where we can all get together, relax and unwind after a very busy week.  We also enjoy Claematis Street, which is definitely the place to be over the weekend. It's similar to Long Street in Cape Town or Stanley Street in Port Elizabeth, with plenty of bars and restaurants to explore.

So even though most of the people I have met in Miami are South Africans, it is a good idea to try and make friends with some of the locals. Massiel, the one and only American colleague that I work with  has been a great help to me by giving me advise and tips on how to find my way around Palm Beach.  She also knows where all the secret shopping spots are and where to go for the best burgers in town (which almost taste like Spur Burgers to me – a little bit of home – sigh!)

I'm looking forward to some time off from work, so I can hit the beaches of Palm Beach and relax for a day soaking up the sun, and perhaps a nice cool cocktail or two.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2016.