When Matthew and I agreed to stay an extra two months on the property, the deal was that Yollana would continue looking for new managers during those months. On three seperate occasions we entertained prospective managers and showed them around the property. Our first couple was here just over 48 hours and we saw them a total of five minutes. We politely gave our feedback to Yollana and waited for the next prospective couple to arrive.
Vaness and Aaron showed up at our hostel doorstep around 6 o'clock one evening. We only spoke with them for about five minutes but instantly all three of us liked them. They seemed eager and friendly plus they mentioned they had a dog with them.
At 10am the following morning Matthew and I gave them the grand tour of the property while Maggie tended to the cafe. We toured them around together and then split up; Vanessa and I talked marketing while Matthew and Aaron talked plumbing and maintenance. Talking to Vanessa was very easy. We had similar ideas about what the place needed and she had an impressive background in restaurants and hospitality, something that I thought perfect for the job. I asked if her and Aaron would be here long term and she said they already planned to move to the island. They were looking for something like this to get them out of the city and into a slower pace of life. I told her she had come to the right place.
I led Vanessa into the cafe and showed her the bar. We spent fifteen minutes talking about the arrangement behind the bar and how something as simple as that could increase sales. We also discussed the natural flow of ordering and eating. Her and I agreed that everything would flow much nicer if the kitchen were behind the bar instead of in a totally separate building. We talked about the marketability of wifi and how it could increase sales as well. We also talked about events and the profit margin on liquor. Her and I were on the same page with everything so far.
At one point we went into the cafe kitchen and looked at the menu. I told her my ideas for fresh, local, organic options and she agreed whole-heartedly. She even took off with my ideas and came up with even better ones. She had dozens of simple but brilliant recipes for how to construct an entire menu based on fresh, local options. Maggie joined in with her own ideas in between customers. Together they could have designed a really beautiful menu in less than an hour.
Eventually the guys joined back up with us and together we all four threw around some ideas. Matthew looked at Vanessa and then looked at me and said he felt like he had de ja vu watching us. Everything Vanessa was saying was stuff I had been ranting about for months. He and Aaron agreed that they didn't understand the industry that well but they knew Vanessa and I had the right ideas.
If I were Yollana I would have hired them on the spot. They were perfect. We loved them so much that Matthew invited them over for dinner. What would we feed them? I wondered out loud.
“Snags and potatoes, of course!” was Matthew's answer. That seemed to be the typical dinner party meal from our experiences. It was perfect. I offered to do the mashed potatoes and Matthew said he'd do the snags and veggies. We decided we could probably sweet talk Maggie into making some kind of delicious side salad as well.
When we went inside to the office we found Maggie stressing over her freelance work. She fretted before asking us if it would be okay for her to stay an extra two days.
Before the words left her mouth Matthew and I both interrupted her with a resounding “Yes.” She asked if we were sure and we again echoed “yes!” She then agreed to make our salad before we gave her big obnoxious hugs.
After closing the shop it was still warm and sunny out. We hadn't had a nice day like this in a while so Matthew and I took the opportunity to play with the kickball. We pegged each other with it and then threw it as high in the air as we could. We would occasionally stop and feel guilty for not helping Maggie clean up but she assured us we had worked our fair of the shift today and said she didn't mind doing the clean-up.
When the sun went down we put on MTV and drank goon while we cooked dinner. Maggie showed us some of her magnificent dance moves and I laughed and watched with pleasure. Matthew popped us both with his towel and together we had great fun.
Around 6:45 Vanessa and Aaron showed up. The guys drank beer in the kitchen while us girls talked in the lounge room. We discussed Gogglebox, the Aussie TV show we all watched the week before and when we heard the guys talking about guns we discussed our view on that as well. I learned that Aussies can own guns they just have to be registered and per strict requirements such as land owning and what not.
Vanessa said her and Aaron wanted to purchase some 140 acres on the north coast near Emu Bay. They'd like to work here and own land there; eventually starting a business or something up north as well.
The two of them had been traveling since the first of March and were ready to start working sometime in the next few months. I couldn't imagine Americans doing anything like that. Aussies were definitely big on travel and caravans. Aaron and Vanessa had bought a 4-wheel drive land-rover and were driving across the country staying in free camp sites or caravan parks. They had visited both families and were all over the south region.
They had been living in a town near Albany. Port Campbell, I believe. I thought it was interesting that they mentioned Albany because just this morning I had messaged a girl about volunteering in June and she said she was currently in Albany. I knew she couldn't mean New York so I had to google the place to find out where it was. It was just off the south coast of Australia—west of KI. The place looked cool and hearing Vanessa talk about it made me really want to go. In fact I thought it would be amazing to buy Maggie's car and drive from Adelaide to Perth by Albany and the south coast. Only time would tell..