In some ways, my plan worked.
When I wrote the scholarship proposal for my trip here, I included visits to local professionals as part of my agenda. It’s much easier to say to someone, “I want to come in and learn about what you do,” than “I want to come in and talk to you about you hiring me.” So far, I’ve visited about half a dozen companies of varying size and profession, including landscaping, architecture, and GIS/mapping. When I asked about potentially working there, all but one of them gently said no.
One of the visits I made was to a nursery, and the owner mentioned that he knew someone at a landscaping company who could probably use some help. About a month ago I called and visited. The owner told me a little about what he needs done, and I’ve been going to some of the sites to learn about what’s being done. He’s agreed to hire me part time, so after I get back from Barbados and Guadeloupe I’ll apply for a work visa and then get started.
I am excited! I’m still a little anxious about getting the work visa, but I’m feeling much happier and less stressed now that some things are falling into place.