Friday, 3 November 2017

Overcoming challenges

Taking up BA Hons Culinary Arts course was very exciting for me. Mostly because I was looking forward to the 3rd year of the studies. Travelling, I had so much enthusiasm thinking of going to Shanghai. I was so lost in my dream of living and learning Asian cuisine that I forgot the biggest challenge of my life. As a parent studying full time is a challenge but going abroad when you have children is insane, so many will think but it's possible. I am deliberately posting this for those parents who wants to pursue their dreams but hesitate because they have a family. It is challenging but can be done. I soon realized going to Shanghai should remain a dream and decided on Canada, that did not work out either. The only thing left was for me to think rationally. Northern Ireland was recognized as an international country for students to take up both industrial and academic placement. That was the first challenge out of the way, it meant I can continue with my international placement closer to home. The best part was getting my work placement in Newry which is only two hours away drive to my family all that was very relieving.
The next step was to look for accommodation, I had never been to the North, so I had no idea where to start. The hotel had offered me a live-in accommodation, but I had to turn it down because I could not Live with a three-year-old at the work place and a childminder. I looked up estate agencies online and private postings, rang a few places but I had no idea how far those places where from the work place. Finally, I gave myself a task of finding from Google map the nearest areas to the Mourne Country Hotel and rang the places which were closer and arranged a viewing day. Luckily, I fell in love with one of the places I viewed.

 A spacious one-bedroom apartment in Warrenpoint just a minute walk to the beach and a playground right across the road it was perfect for me and my little girl. Of course, that meant 15-20 minutes’ drive to work
but it was worth. Warrenpoint is a very small town in Newry with loads of tourism attractions. My favourite times were walks on the beach after work and going to the ice cream parlour Genoa. I decided to start my placement during summer, so I could see my kids more often without worrying about taking them out of school. Also, the main reason was so I won’t have to worry about find a childminder on top of everything that was going on. Every week on my off days I drove to Carlow and took one child with me to help mind the baby while I went to work. Despite being away from home I got to see my children every week I overcome the first challenge by planning a little. Accommodation and babysitter was sorted I only had to start work and open the bank account, how hard can that be so I thought.
First I had to get a National Security number, that was not so hard the work place manager helped me making phone call and appointment. Opening a bank account was more challenging that I thought to an extend that I gave up on the idea of having one.

By Sindile Vundla @mournecountryhotel. Newry. Northern Ireland

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