Building a future in the Community
“I suppose life is what you make of it but if you don’t have an opportunity then life could only be what it is. Bushmans Kloof changed all of this for me. Through hard work and dedication I have become something in life. I never would have thought that one day I would become the Sous Chef of a 5 star Hotel that was ranked number 1 in the world in 2009! I have learned and experienced so many things, and I have travelled overseas which is a major opportunity for someone from my community”.
I started working on a citrus farm where I picked citrus. This was the most challenging time in my life. The worst was the working and living conditions at the time. I had to get up early in the mornings to make sure that I had something to eat for the day and then go to work in the cold winter.
Then I heard of Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Nature Retreat – I heard there were some job opportunities there. I started as a scullery worker. There was the light at the end of the tunnel. I started taking interest in helping the chefs whenever I had a moment. I peeled vegetables, cut fruit and started baking bread. I helped with breakfast and as soon as the opportunity arouse I applied for the breakfast chef position. From there on I grew within myself by leaps and bounds. Today I am a Sous Chef, and I am so proud.
If I was not doing this, what would I be doing? I might still be working on a vegetable farm for a minimum wage. The quality of life would probably not have been the same. My family would probably still be struggling. I could even be sitting at home and living off the government subsidy for my kids. I would definitely not be as successful as I am now.
Sandra Perang, South Africa