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Hello there! My name is Isha, and I come from the Netherlands. I came here in New Zealand to travel and work. When I arrived I discovered that I preferred to travel first, and so I travelled for 2 months and spent a lot of money. After these 2 amazing months I realised that I really needed to find a job to earn my money back. And so my job hunting began. First I tried to get a seasonal job in Nelson/Blenheim. Unfortunately, I was there at the wrong time: The season wasnít even started and most of the companies were on holiday break. So after two unsuccessful weeks I went to Wellington to try to find a hospitality job. This didnít work out either. I was pretty tired of (for more than 1 month) intensively looking for jobs, and so I decided to go to a Ďworking hostelí in Napier. This hostel would help me with getting a seasonal job, and provides also transport to the job, which is good because I donít have a car.
I came here together with Janine, another Dutch girl that I met during my travels. We both hoped that we could get a job really soon! At the time we arrived here and we checked in, I was more happy than anyone in the world, as the hostel-owner said they should have a job for us in 2 days. After all this seemed to be not exactly true, because it was one week later that we could finally begin. We were going to do picking, thinning and pruning Capsicums. When I first heard that, I laughed and thought how ironic it was. In Holland I live in an area where there is a big capsicum-business in glasshouses. So Isha goes to the other side of the world, to do the same thing she can do next to her own house in Holland! Haha!
The hostel-owner told us to wear a shirt with long sleeves and long pants, sport shoes, and a cap against the sun. We also put a lot of sunscreen on, because we were still a little bit sunburned from a few days before. Tip: Bring always sunscreen with you, although itís not sunny in the morning, you know the changing weather conditions in New-Zealand! I brought my little 750ml water bottle, assuming that there would be a water tap, where I could refill my bottle. When we arrived there by car with 3 other people from our hostel, we had to sign a contract on the bonnet , which I thought was funny because I expected that we had to have an interview in an office with the supervisor or something. But no, only signing the contract and giving our documents was enough. Tip: If itís your first day of work, bring your passport, and a copy of it, a copy of your visa, your IRD-number, and your bank account number. Besides, there was nothing like an office there! There wasnít even a water tap, which meant that I was going to die due to a lack of water;) Well, ok, it was not that bad, but you could say that I looked similar to one of the sad dried out Capsicum-plants at the end of the day! Tip: Bring always loads and loads of water with you!! I never have had a seasonal job before and so the first day was pretty hard. We needed to sit on a plastic box, which was placed on a trolley, and put ourselves forward with our legs. Meanwhile we had to remove the side-branches, but to do this you needed to bend over. How later that day, how older I felt myself. In the end I couldnít even sit straight anymore because my back was hurting and stuck at the same position. Haha, and with the sun shining, sweating like never before and a lack of water, the music in my ears was the only reason I survived that first day. Tip: Bring you I-pod with some good music and make sure itís completely loaded (the last hours of the day you will probably need it the most)
The day after, I was better prepared. I had a short-sleeved t-shirt on, because there was no reason to put long sleeves on, and I had ten times more water with me. Unfortunately Janine didnít come with me the second day because she had too much pain in her back. When we arrived I was happily surprised because we had to pick the big capsicums! This was actually pretty funny to do. Except that we had to use a little knife, and that I (of course) cut a piece of my finger of. Haha, but even though I had a Vietnam wound now, which I secretly thought was really cool, the picking of capsicums was sweet hey! Just racing with your trolley in front of you, put the capsicums in the plastic boxes, and try to be the fastest.! I was sad that after 1 hour all the big capsicums where already picked. Now I needed to fasten all the plants to a cable with tape so that they can grow straight. This was less hard for my back, so that was good. But this time my hand was painful after a while, because you have to staple the tape around the plant and cable with your hand. But never mind, the first days your body just have to get used to the act or move. So donít be scared, in the end everything will be all right;) We have 3 breaks a day and in the break we just hang around the car a little bit. Itís nice to relax for a moment and secretly eat some blueberries from the other field! Tip: Take except your lunch also something sweet, something fresh and something salty to eat with you. Like a muesli-bar, an apple and some nuts or chips.
At my third working day it rained in the morning. I first prepared to go to work, than I heard that we didnít have to work so I went to bed again. After ten minutes I heard that we did have to go to work anyway, so I stressed and tried to be ready at time. But then after 5 minutes my colleague got a text-message that there was no work today. Haha it was crazy, but in the end I went back to bed again. Tip: Check the weather conditions for the day after, so that you can prepared , and already know if there is a chance you donít have to work the next day. Well, this was a description of my first working days! I hope you enjoyed it. I think the first days are always hard because your body has to get used to it. But after a few days everything is ok, you will get to know the people you work with, and talk with them while youíre working. You can also listen to music, or think about your boyfriend (or girlfriend haha). So after all, itís not that bad, and sometimes it will be even fun! You will get tan, and maybe lose some weight! You are outside, in the summer, with the nature around you and although the days will be long, I think itís a nice way to earn some money!
I will end my story with three other tips. - Take many different clothes with you. If the weather suddenly changes you want to be prepared. So take a sweater and your raincoat with you! - If youíre preparing for work in the morning, put some fresh lemon and some sugar in your water. Believe me, drinking this helps you surviving the heat. - If youíre tired of all your music, because you have listened it for a thousand times, you can also buy some audiobooks and put them on your I-pod! Now you can enjoy a story, and earn money at the same time!
Submitted by: Isha Persoon Date submitted: 16/02/2012 3:45:06 a.m.