My Work and Journey in Utah, USA

in , , , , by Rejoyce Canaynay, September 07, 2017

It was April of 2011 when I flew to the US to complete my cultural exchange program in my chosen state. It was my first time leaving the country with no adult supervision and also me being away with my family for that long period of months and that gets me scared and nervous actually but knowing that this is a new journey and experience that I need to face on my own brings me that exciting feeling too.

On the day of my flight, my whole family sees me off at the airport. It was in the afternoon if I am not mistaken. My Korean classmate is already waiting for me at the entrance when I got to NAIA so I hurriedly bid goodbye to my family and went inside with her. Yes, I'm with a classmate of mine who's also a participant of the program during my flight to the US, we were both headed to Las Vegas airport but we were going to a different state when we get there. I'm heading to Utah while she's going somewhere I forgot, sorry! We have a total of 18 hours flight with 4 hours layover in Korea. You could have imagined how tiring my journey in just a while. Anyway, we both have a printed detailed instruction on how we could get to our respective working places so we didn't worry at all.

It was late afternoon (still) when we landed in Vegas and with no proper sleep and really tired from the long flight, we strictly followed our map as soon as we got out from the airport. We took the express bus to get to Greyhound station as instructed by our printed guide. Thankfully, after buying our bus tickets we still got time to catch some sleep and get a decent meal before our separate buses arrive. And since we have few spare hours, we got to roam around The Strip to get some meal, little did we know that time, most establishments in there are casinos and souvenir shops and as much as we want to dine-in, restaurants are hella expensive. So instead of spending so much in a restaurant, we decided to just get some burger and drink from a casino food counter. When we are asked for our orders, the waiter also looks for our passport then he found out that both of us are still minor so he said that we can't buy anything even food inside the casino. I was really hungry at that time so as desperate as I was I told the waiter that I won't tell anyone and I'll just pay for what we have ordered and still, we didn't get the food. At that moment when he already got my orders then he suddenly canceled it for that reason, it crushed my heart, really! And since our time is almost up, we end up eating snacks from a vending machine found inside the station.

My friend left for her bus before me and my bus got delayed for another few hours so I was left all alone. And at that moment it hit me and realized that I was really now on my own, alone and all by myself. To be honest, I really felt unsafe that time. I was scared to close my eyes and took a nap because I might wake up without my luggage anymore or miss my bus for an instant. I was so sleepy, hungry, tired and I couldn't do anything but wait. I am grateful that I was able to overcome it and made it to my next stop - St. George, Utah.

After 2 hours (according to this site) on the bus, I arrived in St. George where I should wait for my pickup to go to Bryce Canyon Lodge. As instructed in my guide, I needed to call my employer and inform them of my arrival and unfortunately, they didn't expect me at that time so I was asked to wait (again). So I waited for another few hours inside Mcdonald's while I keep myself wide awake as much as I can because I might fell asleep and they decide to kick me out (it's not allowed to take a nap inside Mcdo, obviously!). I decided not to check-in in a nearby inn by the way because I don't have contact information to leave at the help desk and my pickup doesn't know my face and all.

To be honest, I actually can't count anymore the hours I waited in this journey and the hours or probably days I was awake since I arrive in the US. All I know is that I'm sleepy, tired, and in need of good and long bed rest.

And on our way back to Bryce, the two people who picked me up also did some errands so I got to my housing past sunset already. I was mostly asleep during our way to Bryce but after the moment I felt the extra chills and needed to wear my thicker jacket I know I was close enough to see snow for the first time. And there it was, for the first time, I saw a field of grass and some orange rock formation covered with white crystal-like snow as we reach the park.

When I arrived in the employee housing and unpacked my things in my room I also waited for my classmate to arrive from her work. It was already really dark and I was ready to sleep when someone knocked on my door and there she is, welcomed me with open arms, and introduced her Thai roommates right away after that.

My work started a few days after because something happened on my supposed first day of work. I went to work that day together with my Filipino co-workers, I was excited and full of energy and then my manager suddenly notice that I was wearing the wrong shoes, so I was sent home right after that. Thankfully she was kind enough to give me a pair of sneakers I could use the next day because there is no way I could buy one at that moment for the reason of no scheduled ride going out of the park.

Anyway, on the day of my work, I was brief by our supervisor and remind me of the rules and regulations to follow during work hours. It actually took me a week or two before I was left to clean a guest room on my own. So yes, I was a full-time housekeeper by day and I'm also a restaurant all-around by night. My night job is actually just part-time, I only get some nights to work in the restaurant when they need an extra hand in the kitchen or a busser to clean tables or a hostess to assist guests in their seat. I do shift nights with my Thai co-workers as they also want extra hours of work. Well, my work is tough and tiring but I enjoyed both because I know it taught me a lot of lessons in life and it gave me an experience I could proudly say I did.

This entry is something I remember clearly hence a very lengthy post. So to those who read the whole story, thank you I appreciated it, and to those who didn't thank you still cos you took the time to click that "continue reading" to see the rest of my photos. I guess I'll see you in my next US post. Bye!
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  1. Hi Rej! Hope you still remember me. :D I'm so proud and happy you get to travel on your own na. It's amazing how you were able to juggle multiple jobs. I can't even keep my sanity intact with just one T_T Anyhow, I have just bookmarked your blog. I hope to see more of your posts! :)


    1. Thank you! Hope to see more of you here in the blog. :)

  2. Hi Rej! Where did you go in college? Your story is like Maine Mendoza's ojt in New York.

    1. I graduated from DLSU-D. :) Yea, I think it's the same program. Hehehe!

  3. Hi Rej! I reckon it is really satisfying nailing things on a foreign land, is it? I hope you'll get on.

  4. You're so courageous, Rej! Sounds like a really exciting journey. I can't imagine being in your shoes but it does feel good when you've done something new, doesn't it? Anyway, can't wait to read more of your US posts!

  5. Your first few days in US must be really tiring. I can't imagine how restless and sleepless you were. But it's good to know that you finally settled after a few days and enjoyed what you're doing. Being on your own in a different country feels scary, indeed!