The wonderful Megan Bisschoff will be leaving the Retreat Manager position at the end of February, in order to support the rapid expansion of the Tikologo Permaculture Project. We will all miss her on the main site, but know that she is much needed by Coen to get the Permaculture Design Courses up and running.

Ideally, we try to fill all the vacant positions at the retreat centre with practitioner-volunteers (i.e. people who have a regular meditation practice, and would benefit from time at the Centre, while contributing to the running of the Centre). This helps to keep the costs down for our retreat participants. So… if you feel you can step into Megan’s shoes, here is all the information you might need to make the decision:

Retreat Manager Role
The tasks have been divided in four stages:

  • Prior retreat (usually activities that need to be undertaken on Wednesday and Thursday since most retreats start on Friday, however in case the retreat starts on Thursday these activities shift a day and have to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday)
  • Start retreat (the first day of the retreat, most of the times Fridays)
  • During retreat (the second and following days of the retreat, most of the times Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Post retreat (the day after the final day of the retreat)

Now let’s get started!

Prior retreat:

– Work with the office admin staff to plan for each retreat and or casual bookings (this includes a accommodation plan, guest list including contact numbers and diet requirements)
– Supervision of catering and needed shopping
– The staff is aware of the events and a system of staff coverage will be in place
– A catering plan will be in place which can be followed by the catering staff. This plan is drawn up with staff in conjunction where needed with a volunteer catering manager/centre manager for retreats and between retreat times
– A proposed menu will be in place on the day before shopping trips to Zeerust, retreat menu day before shopping (take into account gluten free diets (no gluten free bread is available in Zeerust, vegan diets and any other dietary requests)
– Double check accommodation after housekeeping has taken place
– Light sprinkling of the rented out accommodation because of all the dust

Start retreat:

– At the first evening meal gathering a welcome and introductory talk must be held
– Needed accommodation and public areas are prepared for events
– At the Octagon the mediation cushions are laid out for the appropriate amount of participants (and teacher)

During retreat:

– Supervising catering staff
– Attend to any reported maintenance issues in the rooms
– Make sure the beverage and snack station is well stocked
– Heat a prepared soup for the guests at night and clear up afterwards
– Write the lunch on the menu board
– Switch on the lights in the communal area at night and arrange for a participant to switch them off at around nine o’clock
– On the last day of the retreat empty the dana cash boxes, so no cash is left lying around. Dana and tips will be distributed to the appropriate people (this may involve changing SA Rand to any foreign currency for people from abroad)

Post retreat:

– Supervision of all the accommodation and public areas to be used
– Organising housekeeping and catering staff
– Check accommodation houses for maintenance issues such as leaking tabs etc. James is responsible for fixing this
– Sort out leftover food of the prepared dishes (freezer, use for lunch or throw out when necessary). Kitchen staff usually does this by themselves
– When visitors have left, food and electronic catering equipment will be stored in the kitchen area and all accommodation will be locked up with the lights, electricity and gas switched off
– Clean out all rented accommodation by housekeeping (wash bedding, replace bar of soap if necessary)

Current staff:
James : maintenance
Trish : kitchen
Mainini : kitchen
Kerileng : housekeeping
Temp : if necessary

TRC would like to thank Megan so much for the incredible work she has done. We look forward to seeing the growth at the Tikologo site, and are very happy that she is still part of the TRC family.

For more information about volunteering at TRC:
To apply for the position, please email