Today is our last day in Tenerife. During our time in Tenerife we’ve learned so much new skills during our work experience as in communication skills we have really built in as we were working with guests constantly and communicating with staff. Another skill that we’ve learned would have to be listening skills this is an important skill as you need to be able to listening and complete your tasks in the job.
I really enjoyed my work experience and have learned a lot of new skills and I have improved on my communication skills and have become more confident at doing tasks. On our last day we went to the beach for a while as it was a lovely sunny day with the degrees of 25. After the beach we just went back to the Oro blanco apartments and chilled by the pool.
Today is our last day in Tenerife as we are finishing up in work for the last time. Today we decided to go to the world renowned Siam Park, a water park only 5 minutes walk from our accommodation. We left at 11:30am and spent the day there going on every attraction at least once, some more that others. One attraction which if I close my eyes I can still fell like I’m on it, is the “Tower of power”. This is one huge water slide, many stories high. We spent the day there until the park closed at 5 o clock. We then retired back to the apartments to get ready to go out for one last meal as a group. Tonight was also special as it was Merilyn’s birthday and me brought her to a place that Liam and myself had discovered which was one of the best on the island. We had a great stay and we will miss Tenerife and our colleagues and friends.
Today was my last day in Hovima La Pinta so there were mixed emotions all round. In one way, I am looking forward to going home and getting back to reality. However, in another respect I will miss my colleagues and the guests in the hotel, who are like a second family during my trip.
I think that I have gained a new level of independence from this experience. Living away from home for the first time and fending for myself is a massive achievement that cannot be taken from me. I also believe that my communication skills are getting better, before I went I was a shy and reserved person who wouldn’t talk often unless prompted to do so. After these three weeks I have learned to put aside my reservations and just go for it. As a result, I have spoken to many wonderful people from different parts of the world such as the UK, America, Russia, Spain, France and Holland.
Finally, I have noticed that my work ethic has greatly improved. Now I find myself a bit more organised than I used to be and I can dedicate myself to somewhat mundane and seemingly unimportant tasks.
Today I started work at 11 am and it was my last day at work. I started out the day by fixing tables and chairs and picking up empty glasses that were left on tables. There were a couple of arrivals today also, so I helped to fill champagne glasses and handed them out to the guests. Fridays are the busiest day for arrivals where we could have approximately 50 new guests arrive.
I was also given two keys to go into some of the guest rooms and check if they were still occupied, because people were late checking out later than they were meant to do so. I had to go and knock on each door and check if they were in the room and if their belongings were still there. At work you get breakfast, lunch and dinner if you’re working within the hours of your break. They have a variety of foods available for all staff and there is also a place that you can sit down and eat. I learned as a receptionist, most of the workers speak a lot of languages and they use them frequently as a lot of the guests don’t speak Spanish or English.
We are halfway through our final week and we are all beginning to look forward to going home. Work has been good to me during my time here and the staff are all so lovely. I really get along well with all of them and they are comfortable with me also. Today I was given the task of supervising the outside contractors whilst they were installing WiFi as they had to be fitted to every room of the hotel. The hotel cannot allow maintenance to be done on any room by an outside contractor while they are occupied, without a member of hotel staff to supervise for security purposes. The receptionist issued me with a master key to access all the apartments that needed WiFi routers fitted. We had about 3 hours of going from room to room, and on occasion the guests would ask us to come back later as they did not want to be disturbed, but we managed to get most of the rooms done.
Patricia who has been a volunteer firefighter for years offered to show us around the fire station and told us how they operate, which has some similarities and some differences to Ireland. One of which is that apart from two bases on the island, who have full time firefighters, all the rest are voluntary and they do not get paid for the extensive hours they put in. They have similar equipment and training to Irish firefighters. The Tenerife fire service do not do water rescue, this being one of the bigger differences. They also only have basic first aid, whereas in Ireland firefighters are trained to EFR level which is below a registered professional. Overall it was an interesting day to observe the emergency services in Tenerife.
As we’re coming into the last few days of the Erasmus programme, I’m trying to make the most of my time by speaking in Spanish where possible. If I am unsure of a word, my work colleagues help me which is a great way to learn. I have also tried Spanish food, such as 'tortilla de patatas' which translates as Spanish omelette and paella. I noticed that during lunch, the other staff in the hotel drink a special type of coffee called 'barraquito', which is made of milk, espresso, condensed milk, cinnamon and lemon peel. This coffee is unique to the Canary Islands and can’t be found in other parts of the world.
With regard to work, I have noticed that I’m carrying out tasks faster than before and I’m able to assist people with directions and other queries they might have. I have become more confident when talking to customers and I have learned how to do most of the things that the receptionists do. I helped two guests to check in for their flight tomorrow and I also printed out their boarding cards. Another guest injured his foot by the pool area and required a hospital visit. I gave him some ice and also got him to sit into the reception chair while he waited for a taxi to collect him. It was great to use some of the ECS skills that we would have learned back in GTI.
Since a few of us had the day off yesterday, we decided to take in some of the sunshine and head out on a yacht to look for dolphins. The trip was 3 hours long but it was fantastic to see dolphins swimming right beside the boat. On the way back, we stopped the boat in a small bay to go for a quick swim in the sea. There was a black sand beach near by, something that is quite unusual but is such a pleasant sight.
Today was a busy day at work as I started my day by helping guests bring their luggage to their room. After that we had some new arrivals, my task is to open the luggage room for guests. When reception is busy the guests need to get the key at reception for the luggage room.
When guests arrived in the afternoon, I got the champagne and filled the champagne glasses and gave it to the guests with a greeting. This is done for every new arrival. I had to help people with connecting to the wifi today as some people don’t know how to do this and other don't understand how to put the code into their device, as there is a code given for every device that the guest has. It is hard to describe how to connect to the wifi to people in different languages but after a few times I was understanding them better. It has been great to be more aware how we interact and the important of body language, and gestures. A lot of the guests here speak French, Dutch and Spanish.
There was an accident outside today where someone slipped near the pool and cut himself just below the eyebrow. We had to call the doctor as the cut was quiet deep and it was clear it needed stitches. We told the person to keep pressure on it with tissue until the doctor arrived. It was interesting to witness all aspects of such a resort and the different needs that guests have. When I am not busy I go and make sure that the chairs are in the proper place and make sure that the tables are clean. I also ensure that there aren’t any glasses or cups on them and if there are, I bring them to the bar. Today was a very busy day but I enjoyed it and i'm used to the busy days now. I have developed a lot of new skills so far, like communication skills and listening skills as I am using these extensively each day.
Sunday: With two weeks of work complete we are about to begin our final week of placement. I have benefited from this experience greatly by learning more Spanish. One of the staff has been trying to teach me Spanish as much as she can which has been a huge help. The days at work are enjoyable my, although the hotel is not always very busy, i'm never idle for long as there are always jobs for me to do. I have recently started being more hands on in assisting with check-ins. I'm very much enjoying my placement especially working with the reception team; Kristal, Pedro and William, who are great company and are good people to learn from. The past few days I find myself assisting in the restaurant too when they need me. There I put welcome fruit, water and champagne into the rooms. Everyone is so kind and the guests especially the elderly come to reception just to chat to the 'Irish lad', which is always welcome.
Since my last day off, I have qualified as a PADI Open Water diver and will be sent a licence to my address in Ireland. My final dive was quite special, not only did I dive to a depth of 18 meters but I was also up close with stingrays and giant turtles. My instructor also found an octopus who had been sleeping, which was so interesting and beautiful. We were brought out on the boat where it was just the instructor and myself. Even though there were other divers from different centres in the area it was amazing to see all the divers swimming above me. It is definitely something I will continue to do in the future, and the skills I have developed will stick with me for a long time.
As I have been working in the Hovima La Pinta for the last two weeks, the reception staff decided to give me some new jobs to do. The first of these was to show a group of British tourists around the hotel as they were interested in staying in the hotel the next time they visit Tenerife. I also checked prices and availability of rooms for them. After this, I was given money to be changed into smaller notes from the bank down the road. I got to use a bit of my Spanish while talking to the Bank assistant and it was great to be given such responsibilities and also to practice and develop my language skills.
As guests checked in, I accompanied them to their rooms and showed them how to work the safety deposit box. During this time, I also helped a young girl who had fallen and hurt herself. I reassured her that she would be OK and this helped to calm her down. I used some of what I had learned through my EFR course at GTI. It was great to get to put some of these skills into action. The work here is varied and each day brings new challenges, so it's important to be adaptable. This evening there was a huge fireworks display down by the beach which we watched from a distance which was a great way to finish off our day.
Today was an eventful day as there were a good few check-ins to manage and help with. Mostly the guests that arrived today were Scottish people, who were only delighted to walk into a Spanish hotel and hear an Irish accent! More and more of the UK guests are looking to me when they have questions about the hotel or if they need to book something or want which I’m only too happy to assist with. I still need the receptionist to do these bookings so it is good to be able to work with my colleagues to make the guests experience as pleasant as it can be.
Today we received a call from the president of the community. As Hovima Panorama is an Aparthotel, some people own the rooms. The president was notified about someone who had been placing leaflets for local business under the doors of all the apartments, which is not permitted. They sent me out to collect all of the leaflets from all 400+ rooms in the hotel. This took me about an hour and while the task seems repetitive, it helped me memorise where all the rooms are for when I’m helping guests with their bags and escorting them to their room. So it's always good to be open to learning as you complete each task.
Emergency Care Students 2017/18
Map of Tenerife