In the final days of the placements I have begun to reflect on my time here and have noticed that I have developed more confidence in working in my vocational area. Many of the treatments I have done had taken me out of my comfort zone and I feel as though I have conquered all of them very effectively. While here in Spain, I noticed a difference in people as they were less reserved and more open. I had many good experiences in dealing with customers and also having to deal with some difficult ones. I feel as though these learning curves will stand to me when I return and begin my career. I also believe that I over came my most difficult days by being polite and sometimes asking for help when I needed it. This experience is one I will treasure and I hope to return to Tenerife this summer to work again, and this wouldn’t have been possible for me with out doing the Erasmus+ placement, and for this I am most grateful.
Today the salon was busy. I worked from 11am to 6am. We had a short meeting with an 'Aroms natur' representative. She talked to us about new products and the benefits of them, also the difference between natural/ organic and mixed products. It was interesting to be part of such a meeting and to see how salons here source their products.
I performed different treatments today including: back massage, cranial massage, legs and feet massage, VIP muscular massage. I felt a little confused with the duration of the treatments as they all differ. My colleagues had a cacao body wrap, so I helped her to prepare the exfoliation cream and the mask. The ingredients are colourful and some have strong smells.
I believe this work placement was a great experience for me because it helped me to develop my key skills relevant to my area of work. I learned many things, from hygiene/ laundry systems to treatments. I remember how lost I was during the first weak and how nervous I was due to language barrier with a few of my colleagues and clients. Now I am more relaxed and I enjoy doing treatments. I am also more confident with the techniques of the treatments that they use here. My colleagues who have experience in this area gave me great tips when performing different massages. One of these is to take off your shoes to make myself more comfortable during treatment. Another tip is the sound of breathing. A nice, deep breath helps the client unconsciously to relax.
Regarding the culture, I realised that the people communicate a little different to us in Ireland. Some people speak loudly, and at times converse over others, and are not afraid to open up. People here are very friendly, and they are also very affectionate...'a hugging nation'! For them this is very natural, even if they are meeting you for the first time. Overall it has been a great experience and I am looking forward to putting some of these new skills into practice when I return home.
Thursday: I woke up today at 8 a.m.I had my breakfast and got prepared for work. In the morning, I did relaxing massages including back, neck and shoulder. I was also handling various customers at the reception where I took spa and beauty reservations. During the day I did a sports massage on a client with a problem area. The client had a tense neck and shoulder, so I used deeper techniques in sports massage which I had learned at GTI. During the massage, the client felt the nodules getting loosened. I’m glad that the massage helped her, and it was great that my techniques were used to such good effect. In the evening, I did Ayurveda massages using Ayurvedic oils. They smelled so gorgeous. Overall, It was a busy day. Although I am looking forward to finishing my last day at work tomorrow, I am also sad because I will miss Tenerife and the many new people and things I have become so familiar with.
Friday: I woke up at 8.30 a.m. today, my last work day here in Tenerife. I started work at 1pm in the afternoon. When I arrived, my colleagues had arranged a small party for me which was so lovely. In the afternoon, I completed an eye lash tinting and eyebrow tinting treatment. My client was very happy with the outcome and she said that it was very natural looking. This made me feel very confident in my abilities. After this treatment I then did an aloe vera massage which lasted 25 minutes, and it turned out to be a relaxing massage. I also did a few manicures and pedicures. It was a busy day and it was sad when the day was over as it marked the end of my work experience. I’m happy that I finished my placement on such a positive note by completing these treatments successfully. I found a beautiful flower called 'siempre viva'. It’s an ever lasting flower and it will symbolise my time here, something that will stay with me forever.
Today I started work at 11am and my shift was until 6pm. I started off by getting the spa ready and the relaxation area sorted for guests that had booked in for appointments and treatments. Today I was also trained in how to do the Balinese massage and the Loim Loim massage. It was great to learn a new skills, one that I can use when I return home. It is also interesting to see how they do such techniques here in Spain and to compare them to the ones we do back in GTI. I then performed the Balinese massage on a client during a couples massage. I was very nervous before doing the massage as I had never done it before and I only had a few minutes training. I definitely feel that I got more confident as the treatment went on and I hope to use these skills when I return home.
Day 11: I woke up at 8 a.m. and had my breakfast before getting prepared for work. In the morning, I did few relaxing massages including head, back and scalp. In the afternoon, I was at the reception dealing with various customers and helping them with their inquiries. I also got the opportunity to take some spa and beauty reservations. Today I really enjoyed doing nails and facials where I got the opportunity to use a papaya scrub for an organic facial. It was really nice to use on the skin, and it is so enjoyable to use the new organic products they have in the hotel. These are products which I have not used before. In the afternoon I did full body massages using aloe vera.
People in the work place are extremely friendly. For me this is really important as it allows me to feel more relaxed and to feel confident in using my skills whilst here. I feel that I could ask my colleagues anything which is great. People are so friendly in Spain and helpful towards me. It reminds me of living in Sri Lanka. I have to say, I love the weather in Tenerife. I would love to come back for a holiday or even to work in the future. This is my first time in Tenerife, and i'm making the most of it, along with every opportunity to learn something new. Thank you to GTI and Leargus for organising this opportunity.
Today and yesterday were my days off from work, so I planed a two day trip. Yesterday I went to Loro Parque which is a wonderful park, founded in 1972 and was originally intended to be a refuge for parrots! This park is very organised and from the beginning you get a map of the place to plan your route. I found it very interesting and knew that before getting into the park you have your photo taken, and at the exit you can buy it as a photo memory. To see the entire park took me at least 4 hours, however I enjoyed seeing the diversify of the animals and flora, it is so different to what we have at home. Also, I loved the short but memorable performances of the dolphins, orcas, parrots and sea lions.
Today I went to Teide, Icod, Garachico and Masca. This consisted of a one day trip with a guide. We went to the National Park of Las Canadas del Teide which is the largest of Spain's Canary Islands. It was named after the Mountain Teide, the highest peak in Spain. Icod or Iced de low Vinos is the place where the famous Drago tree is found and here we had a tour of a famous Dragon house where we had the chance to taste some of the traditional wines together with special cheese. Afterwards, we went to Garachico which was destroyed by the volcanic eruption in 18 century. It's more like a coast landscape, and it is so beautiful. The lasting memory from the day for me was Masca. This has a beautiful view with deep ravines as seen in the images above. The two day excursion was so interesting and such a worthwhile trip and it was such a nice contrast to the business of work. I am back to work tomorrow again, and this is our last week so I aim to make the most of the last few days remaining.
Today I started work at 1pm. It was a busy day as I completed 4 treatments including an anti cellulite massage, relaxing massage and manicures. It was great to learn new techniques and also put some of the ones that I have learned in GTI into practice. I also got the opportunity to complete a 50 minute therapeutic massage which is a deep tissue sports type of massage. This was difficult as I’m only used to working with one area during a massage treatment. I was able to use many of the techniques I had already learned but also learned more before starting the treatment. This was great as it's a new skill that I can bring back with me to Ireland and begin to use and also share with others. Overall it was a busy but very productive day.
Day 8: Today I woke up at 8 a.m and I went to work at 10.15 a.m. I worked at the reception dealing customers and helping them with bookings and also giving them treatment information. I took spa reservations and beauty bookings for the day. I was dealing with local and foreign clients and I got yo use my Spanish phrases with the local clients. These included- 'hi, good bye, good morning, how are you, can I help you, thank you etc.' It is great to be able to use the language skills that I have developed, it makes you feel more confident. In the afternoon, I did a few relaxing massages which included; back, neck and shoulders. I also did a full body massage using gold and essential oils. Gold oil promotes cell regeneration and growth. It will leave the skin nicely firm and give a radiance, and it was great to get to use some new products. It was a busy day, but I’m delighted I learned so many new things today. I haven’t use gold oil for massages before os it was great to build up my understand of these new techniques and products. Overall my day went really well.
7th day: I woke up today at 8 am and I got prepared for work as I had to be in for 10.30 a.m. In the morning, I completed some relaxing massages on guests where I got to use the skills that I learned in GTI to complete scalp, neck and back massages. It's great to be able to put these skills into practice in a new environment outside of college. In the afternoon I did a few full body massages which included a scalp, back, back of the legs, front and abdominal area massages. It was a really busy day in La Siesta Hotel and it gave me a good insight into what it would be like to work in a busy Hotel/Spa environment. I’m glad I finished my day smoothly and completed all the treatments, and all the clients seemed to be happy. In the evening, I did a shellac manicure on a client. I really enjoyed doing it and my client loved it too. I’m so delighted that I’m working here in Tenerife, and i'm looking forward to come back to Ireland soon to put these skills and experiences into practice.
8th day: I woke up again at 8 am and I went to work for 9.30 am. In the morning, I distributed brochures to clients in the pool area and I helped a few customers at the reception. I also opened up the spa in the morning which a great responsibility and it was great that I was trusted to do this task. In the afternoon, I completed a few relaxing massages including back, neck and head. It is great to be so busy with the treatments, it helps build your confidence and develop your techniques. In the evening, I had paella, rice with sea food and it was so tasty. On my day off, I also got to go jet skiing with my few friends. It was really exciting and adventurous.
I started the day by checking the appointment book in case that I had any treatments booked in. Jeni and myself went to the Carpa. The curtains were taken off so she needed to take pictures and to forward them to the administration to begin the process of recovering them or getting new ones. My colleagues had treatments, so I worked at the reception area for a short time with another colleague. She showed me what information I need to write down on the appointment card (this is for the client) and included the number of room, type of treatment, date and hour. She also explained me how to charge the treatment as this is done on computer. The spa does not accept cash, everything is paid with the account that the clients registers with when they arrive at the Hotel. In the afternoon I helped my colleague to prepare the room for on of her treatments. She had a treatment called " Especial Parejas VIP can Jacuzzi" which means Special Couple VIP with Jacuzzi. This treatment include relaxing massage, the chief champagne and 20 minutes use of the Jacuzzi. The treatment lasts an hour and 20 minutes. It is interesting to see these different types of treatments.
Health Science Students 2017/18
Map of Tenerife