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My Journey at the Hurst Campus and One Year Later.
So as you know it all started in “2016”. Rebecca I want to start off by saying thank you once again! Thank you for what? For everything! Let me just highlight some things for you.
Let’s start from the beginning, thank you for giving me the opportunity to come and study at The Hurst Campus. How that came about I don’t even know myself, maybe it was out of frustration from sitting on the farm for 3 months that made me go online and start to do some research on the internet, I started searching for art schools in the UK. Then The Hurst Campus advertisement kept appearing on every page that I was researching. I became intrigued, so I decided to open it and see what it was all about and to my surprise it was a Chef school. I started to become very interested and the more I read the more I became convinced. I thought to myself, “should I apply?” I mean I had nothing to lose I was sitting on a farm in the middle of nowhere in Zimbabwe!
So I applied and to my surprise I got an answer back and I had been accepted! I couldn’t believe it, now at this point I thought okay I’m going to a Chef School to become a Chef! What? I was very excited to be going to the Cape to study, just to be in a new environment and to see what will come of it. Let’s fast-forward to when I arrived in Cape Town, I was extremely nervous and I felt so uncomfortable “like you say when you’re feeling uncomfortable, you are growing”. This is it no turning back now. I still remember the letters you made us write to ourselves in 2016 and 2017. I will be quoting a few sentences from them throughout this letter.
Rebecca I had a lot of fun over the two years at The Hurst Campus. I learnt so much, like you said on graduation day, “I even learnt how to drink.” There were difficult times at The Hurst Campus and you knew about that. I quote from the letter 27/01/2016: “Although you haven’t had the easiest life in Zimbabwe just always know you have been very privileged to go to The Hurst Campus.” which I was. I quote again from letter 27/01/2016: “Be strong and determined to go forward and always finish what you have started.” I needed to perceiver through the difficult times.
Rebecca thank you for choosing me to represent The Hurst Campus in “2017” reaching for young stars, the One and Only. Thank you for giving me that opportunity, trusting and believing in me. From that day you exposed me and opened my doors. But I had to work for it. I quote from letter 20/02/2017: “you are prepared to work and sacrifice, life is about sacrifices.” Which it was, everything I put in, I got back. What a beautiful way to end my 2 year journey at The Hurst Campus having accomplished winning the competition with Nicola and now having the opportunity to go to America. You and I both know how much trouble I had just to get to America. Eventually I got there, I was beyond excited when I arrived in America, and it was my first time in a first world country.
Winslow’s Tavern was challenging, six doubles a week, long hours, 400+ people a day or service. I ended up working the grill, to me it was the hardest and hottest section of the kitchen. I even mastered your favourite “swordfish”. I learnt so much working at Winslow’s Tavern for Phillip, the knowledge and experience I gained is priceless.
Thank you for your support once again, coming to America to visit Nicola and myself and for spending that amazing day with me in Province Town. I really appreciated that. I visited Province Town many times after that for various things like Whale watching, cranberry picking, sight-seeing and a drink or two. America wasn’t all fun, it was work! I quote and repeat from letter 27/01/2016: “Be strong and determined to go forward and always finish what you have started.” I pushed through the busy summer season. Then Phillip offered me to continue for the winter, I said yes, I grabbed the opportunity again. I quote and repeat from letter 20/02/2017: “you are prepared to work and sacrifice, life is about sacrifices.” Yes I made sacrifices, but the reward in the end was worth it. I got a fantastic letter of recommendation and I went on a road trip across America.
I set off on the 5th of January across America, I started in Cape Cod travelled through New York to Washington DC. Due to the government shut down museums were closed and no one was working in the National Parks. Next stop was Tennessee then Memphis, Dallas, Huston, San Antonio, El Paso, New Mexico, Arizona, California-San Diego, Hollywood, Sequoia National Forest, Yosemite National Park, Nevada, Las Vegas, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Virginia, Philadelphia and 19,495 miles later I ended in New York, Brooklyn. The road trip was absolutely breath taking, the places I got to see was phenomenal, and seeing how the terrain changed throughout the different states was incredible. Although the weather wasn’t the greatest towards the end because of the snow which hindered some of the sight-seeing plans and road routes, I still got to see my fair share of America.
Everything I did was so worthwhile and I can thank you for that Rebecca. It all started with acceptance and faith.
Love Rebecca Odendaal.
Dear Rebecca and Team.
My utmost thanks and appreciation to everyone at the Hurst Campus for making Danielle’s journey an experience she will always remember and be grateful for.
You did not just skill her theoretic principles, but she is now skilled to go out there and be a proud individual, not on her own accord, but to recognize that life is also about your fellow man’s assistance and walking your path with pride and joy.
Thank you for assisting on setting her on route on her journey and may you as the Hurst Campus go from strength to strength.
We have been the recipient of student chefs from The Hurst Campus for the past five years… We have enjoyed the benefit of having their competent students in our kitchen (who have become) …part of the brigade. I look forward to many more years of relationship with Rebecca and her students.