I was so incredibly lucky being sent to Bradach Manor, because Peter, the boss, and David, my co-worker, are two of the nicest people I've ever seen. We got friends so quick, that I was able to see all parts of South African life just after a few days.
Peter cared great for me, not only at work but especially in my spare time. We were hunting, playing cricket, partying and or watching rugby. He is a really good friend of mine until today and we are still in regular contact. On the one hand, he treated me like a normal staff member, what was important for my relationship with them, but on the other hand he knew I want to see as much as possible of his beautiful country, so he took me to different places and events whenever he could and helped me plan some tours.
David was actually more a brother than a friend. He showed me all I have to know at work and we enjoyed working together so much. In our spare time we played soccer, swam or went to town. We even made a 2-day-tour to Addo National Park, the first time David, a Mpumalanga origin, saw something else than Knysna for months.
I worked together with David as a person, who basically is caring for our guests at Bradach Manor. That includes check-ins, check-outs, working out plans for tours, excursions and sightseeing, reservations, serving breakfast and dinner, serving in the bar(my favourite, because of the great conversations with all kind of people) and small maintenance tasks. Further I was introduced to stock management and bar balance.
Work was great!!! Peter saw that David and I liked each other so much, so he made us work together all the time. Pete, thanks for that! :-)
David and me had so much fun, we joked so much and had great evenings with our guests in the bar playing pool and talking about their and our views on South Africa.
The best part of the job was definitely the time with David and the other staff as well as the connection to our guests from the entire world. I spoke with people from about 50 different countries, which made me learn a lot more about our world.
As I lived just next to my workplace transportation to work was not needed. But we had a company car (Mazda RX8) and I was allowed to drive it whenever I wanted, so I was able to make great tours to Plettenberg Bay or Buffels Baai.
I also travelled in South Africa. My first bigger tour was a day trip to Plettenberg Bay, and Monkey and Birdpark and the Knysna Elephant Park.
Then I was hunting with Peter in the forests in the northeast of George, my first time hunting and although I was only observing, it was great especially in the sense of getting so deep into nature, a real adventure!!!
In the beginning of December, David and I booked a tent in the Addo National Park on recommendation of Brian, lovely tour guide from southern eagle, with whom I also had a great time in Cape Town. So David and me got 3 days off and rented a car. On our way, we stopped at Jeffrey's Bay and PE. Addo was just great; we made game drives, had Braais in the evening and just enjoyed ourselves.
With Peter I flew from George to Johannesburg, where we rented a car. Peter showed me Johannesburg by car before we went to Hazyview. There I had a couple of game drives in Kruger and I even saw the 'Big 5' on the first morning. Especially the leopard was amazing to see!!! But also the typical African nature was great; I only saw the bush in Addo National Park before, because along the garden route the nature is quite similar to the Mediterranean one.
The last week of my great time in South Africa I spent at Floreal House in beautiful Cape Town. This was a present from Peter; he let me stay there for free for one week.
The whole stay was a great experience and for me, it was just a great time I wouldn't like to miss out on. You learn a lot about the world and develop your horizon in your mind. I especially can recommend coming here in summer, because it's about 30 degrees warmer than in Europe.
So as a conclusion I can indeed say, that I felt at home since day 1 due to my friends Peter and David. I now know how beautiful and versatile South Africa is, the nature, the cities; just breathtaking! I still even feel me as a South African. Every time something is on TV or newspapers, it catches my eyes.
I will definitely come back; my aim is in at least 5 years.