Ready, Set, Go! Training starts

After 2 days of relaxation and getting mentally prepared for the following weeks there I was, sitting at the first day of training.  I can still remember the faces of the other 15 girls who like me, felt fear and excitement at the same time for what was yet to come.

Amazed at how diverse our group was, I was eager to know where they were all from. One by one we stood up and introduced ourselves. We were coming from South Africa, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Philippines, Slovenia, France, Rumania, Lithuania and finally Mexico and Costa Rica. Our Service trainer was from The Philippines and the Safety one was from India. They were both ladies, perfectly groomed but with a serious yet charming flight attendant personality.

We were told our batch would be named AB 629 and all our classes were going to be from 7:30 am until 2pm.

After the introduction, the trainers started mentioning the drill of the following 7 weeks: They strictly mentioned that tardiness was not going to be tolerated, we would have breaks between 15 to 20 minutes and a lunch break of 40 minutes.

If we fell sick, we would have to go to the Airline’s medical center to be evaluated. Under no circumstances were we able to go out past 10pm during Initial training. Even during the weekends which we had off.

We were bound to read, study and learn the Manuals by heart. If we failed the oral or practical exams we would not graduate and would be sent back home.       Training days were absolutely intense! Countless nights of reciting word after word the evacuation drills, drawing maps about all the aircrafts we were about to fly. They were Airbus 320, 321, 330-200/300, 340 and Boeing 777-200 and 300. For someone like me who never knew anything about aircrafts it was perfect panic…

Looking back at how this airline trains their crew, I must say hats off! One of the best trainings I have ever got! I still remember some things. Those days of crying during practicals paid off. They made the training in my current airline way easier!

 

Goodbye West, Hello Middle East!

There I was, after 2 months of sending papers back and forth, waiting for the Airline to send me notifications of my DOJ ( Date of Joining) and a serious case of jitters. I finally received a One-Way Ticket that will let me embark on 20hrs of traveling via Houston to my final destination Doha, Qatar.

I remember the time I landed into Doha and stepped out of that enormous metal bird, which I know identify as a Boeing 777-300. I was wearing reading glasses which I used to watch movies, the humidity suddenly covered my lenses and I was unable to see for a few seconds. The air was so sticky that I felt it right in my lungs.

Once at the arrivals, there was a lady with a board filled with names. I quickly identified mine and joined the group. We were about 10 girls, some of us had a farther journey than others. We looked like a committee from the United Nations, so diverse…

We got our suitcases, a welcome bonus and a paper that stated our new flat mates. To my surprise, mine was from Mexico so I quickly felt calm since I wouldn’t have to struggle in getting along with her.

We reached our compound. It’s name was “My City” it was a girls only accommodation. Six buildings, a common gym and a roofed pool (unfortunately). Our apartment was 2 bedroom with 1 and a half bathrooms, a medium sized living room and a small kitchen. Yes we had to share the shower, it sounds crazy but we managed.

Everything was brand new, we got cutlery, plates, glasses, towels, sheets & pillows. Later on we just customized the rooms according to our taste. One thing I must say is, don’t go wild with the decoration and other things, because when it’s time to leave, you’ll end up with a bunch of unnecessary things! LESS is definitely MORE!

It was time to decompress from that 16.5 hour trip and relax. Looking out through my window all I could see was sand, a few not maintained buildings and at far the majestic area of West Bay, where all the fancy buildings of Doha are. At that moment  lots of thoughts crossed my mind, what if I don’t like it here?, how will I survive being so far?, I don’t know anyone, Will I feel lonely?…

There I was a girl from Central America, who was about to spend her first night of many in an Arabic Country.