It’s a testament to Shelly’s character that she didn’t throw in the towel just seconds after moving from 35-degree Durban to four-degree Shropshire.
But the seasoned traveller is made of sturdier stuff. After all, having worked in America, Canada, Israel and Georgia, it takes more than a slump in temperature to steer her off course.
“I definitely layered up when I arrived,” laughs the 26-year-old. “In fairness, I just returned from working in Canada so I hadn’t felt the sun for a while but the biggest adjustment from home is the weather.
“Having said that, until you’ve experience a winter in the Republic of Georgia you don’t know what cold is! At one stage all the pipes were frozen and I couldn’t shower for a week.”
Despite her career variety – everything from teaching English as a foreign language to working on an amusement park – her love of dairy farming has brought her to Sansaw.
“I worked on a dairy unit in Israel which incredibly hi-tech,” she explains. “In fact, it’s quite an industry out there although the cost of milk is being heavily subsidised by the Government at the moment.
“Previously I was in charge of the calves so I’m looking forward to getting involved in the coming weeks when all the girls start calving. The preparation here is superb and I’m already getting stuck in.”
Although she didn’t know it at the time of applying, she’s already enjoying having another South African in the team.
“I had no idea Bruce was from South Africa when I went for the job but although we’ve only spent a couple of days together so far it’s nice having someone with similar roots.”
Like Bruce, Shelly has ancestral roots in the UK.
“My grandparents are from England and while they moved to South Africa some years ago it’s nice to come here and retrace their steps,” she explains.
“I’ve got quite a lot of family in Surrey and in Wales so I’m going to enjoy catching up with long-lost cousins.”
As her CV proves, travel is something of an obsession.
“Travel is a real passion of mine and I really enjoy meeting new people and immersing myself in the culture.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity and everyone is really easy to get along with. Some of the accents are a bit tricky but mine can be too sometimes! It’s such a great team.”
Shelly’s also looking forward to forging a career.
“Everything I’ve done so far has been seasonal because I’ve wanted to explore different parts of the world,” she admits. “But this is long term. There are a lot of opportunities here and it will be a really good foundation.
“The main thing I’m focused on is the health of the cows and ensuring procedures are followed.
“Its great to see the girls outdoors. The previous dairy I worked at was zero grazing – cows in enclosures and fed dry matter – so it’s incredible that we’re utilising the land as it should be.”