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When Pieter Swanepoel left Johannesburg, South Africa on an 11-hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany, everything was normal. By the time he left Frankfurt on a 10-hour flight to Denver, the world had changed.
When Pieter Swanepoel left
Swanepoel is a South African native who is the groundskeeper at the Kenmare Country Club. This is his second year in the
“There were no issues because I came in before everything got closed down,” Swanepoel said. “I had to go through
For a time, flights out of
There are direct flights from
One thing Swanepoel had in his favor is that the paperwork is much easier the second time around. Last year, he had to go through customs and fill out a lot of paperwork. This time around it was much easier.
Swanepoel’s sponsor, Shane Harris of Kenmare, said that because he was here last year, getting through customs wasn’t as complicated as it might otherwise have been.
According to North Dakota Job Service, if an H2A worker spends an entire season in
Swanepoel made it to the
Like Swanepoel, Brekhus’ hired hand left just before the lockdown and has had three weeks to settle into his new digs.
This is the first year Brekhus has brought an H2A employee to the farm. He said he is learning about the process as well, but Schalk Kleyhans, who goes by J.D., has some knowledge as he worked in the Carpio area in 2019.
Brekhus said he went through an agent in order to get Kleyhans to
He said Kleyhans’ duties include about anything that has to be done on the farm in order for the work to get done.
“It’s nice to have somebody with basic knowledge and understanding,” Brekhus said. “We were looking to get more help on the farm and it’s getting harder to find locals full time.”
For Swanepoel, he considers himself and the others who made it to Kenmare, lucky to be able to leave
“There are a lot of friends of mine who work in the
He added, however, that a number of people he knows, are still here from working winter seasons in the south and aren’t able to get back to
Swanepoel, who has also worked in Iraq in the past, said he wasn’t sure about coming to the United States two years ago when one of his friends, working for the Melins, called and asked him to come to North Dakota.
“He called and asked,” Swanepoel said. “Maybe I’ll try it. Turns out it’s the best job ever,” he said of the golf course position.
Swanepoel said he loves it here, and coming to