May 7, 2015 – by Lisanne Beijen &samhoud places
Have you ever had to overcome an obstacle, push boundaries, work hard and sometimes even shed a tear on the way to reach your goal? Some of us had to overcome more than others, and some boundaries were bigger than others, but the rewards are always the same for everyone; the feeling of true happiness and pride after overcoming these things. Rodrigo, chief-dishes at &samhoud places, has had some big obstacles in his life to overcome but now is able to look up again and set goals for his future. His attitude is inspiring to all of us who sometimes feel like their goals are so far away and unattainable. This is Rodrigo’s story.
At the age of 18 Rodrigo started to live by himself because his parents emigrated. With no one to take care of him emotionally and financially, Rodrigo ended up living on unemployment pay without roof above his head. He was homeless for no less than seven years and his debts kept getting bigger and bigger. ‘’At that time, I found it very hard to find a job because I had no structure in my life whatsoever.’’ Luckily the Good Hospitality Group chose Rodrigo along with a handful of other youngsters to be educated as a waiter. The Good Hospitality Group is an organization that aims to revolutionize the concept of hospitality by combining authentic and high quality customer services with education and doing good in those locations where there is touristic- and development potential. Rodrigo followed a 3-month internship at the Good Hospitality Group where he was taught the ins and outs of being a waiter at a Michelin-star restaurant. One of his assignments during the internship was at &samhoud places. It felt immediately like home to him. He joined the team as a part-time waiter. As there was no possibility for Rodrigo to work fulltime, he had to consider other options because bills had to be paid. He was offered a fulltime job doing the dishes in the stewarding team at &samhoud places. An offer he couldn’t refuse; not only would it help him financially, but it would give him a chance to learn new things and to keep on developing his skills.
‘’I always try to show my ambition and to work hard. Therefore it didn’t take me long to become chief-dishes. I used to watch the chef bake bread in the oven and I thought, I can do this as well. By simply asking: ‘Hey chef, can I help you out with the bread?’ I got myself this extra task and at the same time was able to relieve tasks for the chef.’’ Rodrigo’s hands- on- mentality made a lot of things work for him. ‘’I wasn’t expected to help out in the kitchen, no one told me to do these things. But I just took initiative and showed I was willing to learn. The chef is giving me the opportunity to work in the kitchen. We help each other out, and in the end that’s beneficial to everyone.’’ Rodrigo really values offering help to one another. This also shines through whenever he trains his colleagues to become dishwashers in the stewarding team.
Because of his fulltime job Rodrigo is now able to pay off some of his debts, but maybe even more important; Rodrigo has structure in his life again. Because of that he is able to look forward and set goals. Becoming a chef is one of them. Sharing what he has learned is important to him. Rodrigo likes to inspire others by telling them that everything is possible, as long as you allow yourself to dream and dare to chase those dreams. ‘’I believe that when you do good, it will come right back at you.’’ Well, Rodrigo is the proof of his own predicate: it does!