Elishka meeting first year PYDA graduate Sanelisiwe Damawe, who is working at Stellekaya Winery
Elishka meeting first year PYDA graduate Sanelisiwe Damawe, who is working at Stellekaya Winery

My official welcome day in class was when I felt the relief of being one of the students of PYDA.  First thing I should always remember is to always be on time.  Before starting the day what we do sometimes is meditate just to relax your body.  We had a story telling first day where my classmates lifestyle stories really touched me, my classmates opening up – I really felt connected. The fun part was when I was placed in a group, getting to know their names and pronouncing it was difficult at first but not the end – then I was told that we as a group have to do duties (sweeping/washing dishes etc.)   Learning about industrial relations was something new I never knew words like misconduct, incapacity and operational requirements. Learning about my learning style was great – I am more left brained.

My second week of class was probably the beginning of much more memorable, fun and adrenaline rush moments at the academy. Me and my team-mates got an assignment on how South-African market their wines. The two days with my mates was allot of fun. We went to DeMorgenzon farm for interviews and took a train. We as a team did not have much but we manage to eat something as well, we co-operated very well. On Friday we went to Kleine Zalze – what an absolutely beautiful place. The tour guide Wayne took us into the vineyards. through the wine cellar onwards we went into the tasting room, tasting two of the finest wine Kleine Zalze has to offer. At the class we were introduced to more wine tasting and how to do it, the way you drink and roll the wine, how to look at it how to smell and how to hold the glass. Learning presentation skills I did not like that much I don’t like it when allot of people look at me, but what I have learned at PYDA is my feelings are welcomed.

My fourth week at the academy I can’t complain. I am part of a great academy. I get a calendar of the months lectures so I know what to look forward to and for what to prepare myself if I do not like it plus I can get myself something to eat and drink for lunch.  What I like is when we do check’ins basically saying how I feel physically, intelectually, emotionally and spiritually. Being seated for 2 hours sometimes listening to the lecturer talking in front can make you feel sleepy.  The family commitment day was the exciting for me to bring my mother to class and getting her more informed about what this academy is about which is nothing more than exceptionally good. The engagement and relationship of the academy I like always checking in on us as students.  What the academy has done in the past four weeks is not just focusing on theory, we will go on a trip and have a look at how the product is made.  At the academy my experience so far has been educational and fun.


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