Free Winter Holiday Festival plus $1000 off discount for FRUA adoptive families.

Au Pairs from Go Au Pair and I love volunteering for the Pennsylvania Chapter for Families of Russian and Ukrainian Adoption (FRUA).  We volunteered  for FRUA families who have adopted children from Eastern Europe and Central Asia before. Au Pairs met many nice families, played with very special children and brought smiles to  kids faces. We became friends with FRUA and  are looking forward to helping FRUA with their Winter Holiday Festival.

FRUA  supports adoptive families and helps families celebrate their child’s native heritage. This year FRUA invites Adoptive Families to the FRUA PA annual Winter Holiday Festival on February 12, 2012 from 1:00-4:00 pm. FRUA will have a FREE Russian catered luncheon and professional performances from Father Frost and Granddaughter, as well as Russian vocalists.  There will be plenty of activities for the children hosted by the sponsor of this event, Go Au Pair agency.

Au Pairs from Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery County and part of NJ cluster will provide many activities for the children, games, face paintings, story readings, and helping with crafts. Several of the Au Pairs in the cluster are from Russia and Ukraine  and they will answer questions about Russian heritage and culture.

Go Au Pair agency is gladly providing FRUA with a huge cake, prizes, sweets and free subscription of  Highlights, the educational magazine for children. Go Au Pair also will give $1000 off discount to any adoptive families who will be there.

The annual Winter Holiday Festival is free and in addition, Go Au Pair offers any family in attendance a $1000 discount off of the program fees. If you are a family with adopted children from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, please come join us. The party will be located at at JCC Klein Brunch Community Center, 10100 Jamison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116 .

The best host family in Go Au Pair Philadelphia

Who would have thought living with a family you’ve only met within 5 months would be so much fun?……well, I had that thought before I joined Go Au Pair.
When I started the program, I always hoped to be matched with a loving and caring family. I’m sure that everyone that joins the Au Pair program also wishes for the same thing. To be honest, for a first time traveller like me, leaving South Africa wasn’t easy.

Especially knowing that I’m going to a place that I’ve never been, committing myself to staying 365days with people I’ve never met before, not knowing what the other side of the world has got for me could be very scary.
 
But arriving in Philadelphia on the 4-08-2011 and receiving a warm welcome from my host family immediately made the scary go away. The first 5 minutes that I arrived at home, my two kids Olivia & Hannah gave me a grand tour of the house, showing me the drawings they’ve made for me. I realized there and then that I’ve entered a whole new year with a remarkable, mostly unforgettable memory of a life time.
A week after my arrival my family threw me a welcome party which was a great success. I got to meet and make friends. For the whole 5  months that I’ve been with my Host family i have never heard a complaint about how I do my work nor have I had any complaints. Also living in a neighborhood that has such wonderful people just puts the icing on top of my sweet life.
 
The Faux/Griffith family are the best. I would have never asked for a better family because they’re everything I hoped for. I will be forever grateful to them not only for welcoming me in their family, but also for making me feel part the family.

For you that is still on the matching process I wish you all the best. Who knows?….you might find a family that is just like mine.

South African takes the world with help from GO AU PAIR

My name is Phila Sozombile from South Africa, I’m an Au Pair from Go Au Pair in Philadelphia.
 
At one stage I thought I would never survive the feeling of being thousands of miles away from home. For 21years I have lived with my close knit family and the thought of being away from them scared the death out of me. But being passionate about travelling, meeting new people and learning other cultures made me see the world in a whole different perspective.
I always thought that the only family I have are those related to me, people at home. Until I realized that I am a child of the universe, therefore the world is my home. I have been to places that I never thought I would be. In all of those places I’ve met wonderful people, people that make me feel at home.
 
Today I went to celebrate Chinese new year in China town Philadelphia with my friends (Au pairs) from China, Brazil, Germany, France, El Salvador, Panama,Columbia and of course “ME” from South Africa. There is still more, we’re like the Rainbow Nation.
If I had to count them all it would take me hours. We had lots of fun, as we always do when we are together.
Here we are learning a Chinese New Year Song.
The point is, being away from your relatives doesn’t mean you are away from home/family. It is always home when there’s love. We are all sisters and our LAR Polina is like a mother to us. She has the best interest in our comfort and happiness.
We are family. We are living young, wild and free!!!
Now you tell me, what could possibly top that??? #wink#
Phila

Teaching Portuguese to Host Children.

So, for the past week or two I found myself home with a two year-old and a restless six year-old, Who was home because of the teachers strike. What to do now???

Joey and Olivia had been very excited a few weeks before while I was skyping with my mom in Brazil (she’s trying to learn, but for now “Hi” and “Hello” is all she’s got), so I thought why not?

I started teaching them a few words in Portuguese. It was a little difficult in the beginning, but ended up having fun.

I’m sure my friends aupairs from Go Au Pair can do the same with their host kids and they’ll have a blast.

Well, since it’s never too late to learn, here are a few expressions in Portuguese from Brazil:

Oi means Hi.

Tudo bem? means How are you doing?

Obrigada means Thank You.

Por Favor means Please.

Tchau (ciao – like in italian) means Bye.

Whenever we’re reading, I teach Livy some animals names in Portuguese, too. It’s a work in progress, maybe someday I can teach you. ;-)

Au Pair free time.

Au Pairs are mature, enthusiastic, unique individuals who want to accomplish so much.  In their young years Au Pairs leave behind the familiarity of their homeland, their parents, siblings and close friends for many reasons.

One of the reasons why they came to the USA is that they are looking for new challenges such as facing real life abroad without parent’s help and assistance, test their English skills and learn American English from everyday life.

While experiencing everyday life with an American family,  Au Pairs provide 45 hours of childcare and also continue their education. They also travel a lot, attend Go Au Pair’s meetings, and spend quality time with their new friends and host family. They are busy with many things.

Recently one of my Au Pair said that she is sometimes bored when she has a day off during the week. There are so many things you can do in your free time. For example, volunteering.

Volunteering brings many positive benefits for Au Pairs, such as

  • Face new challenges and gain experience.
  • Improve your English skills.
  • Become a part of the community, meet a new people & make friends.
  • Develop new talents and learn a variety of new skills.
  • Learn American life through volunteering.
  • Get a certificate with your accomplishment.
  • Obtain personal satisfaction.

If you think about volunteering in your free time, you can simply stop at your local library or ask at your kids school if they need volunteers. They usually welcome people who want to help.

Here is the Volunteer Match web site where you can find a lot of different opportunities volunteering near where you live. You should enjoy your volunteer experience, so before you sign up for any position make sure that you fully understand the commitment.

Remember your childcare duties always come first! Volunteer schedules can not conflict with your job as an Au Pair.

We are going to volunteer again for adoptive families at the FRUA Holiday party next month.


Share Your Time. Change the World!

Au Pairs’ Chinese New Year celebration

Au Pairs from Go Au Pair agency are going to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Chinatown in Philadelphia, which is the nation’s fourth largest Chinatown.

The Chinese New Year is the oldest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4710 begins on Jan. 23, 2012. Read more:

We will observe the Year of the Dragon with delicious foods, music and fun. We are going to learn Chinese heritage, traditions and culture. I may finally learn  how to use chopsticks :-).

The Au Pair program helps Au Pairs to learn the American culture. Au Pairs have many activities in historical and cultural places where they get together, get to know each other better, make friends and have fun.

But here is much more. This amazing program helps Au Pairs also learn about other cultures and celebrate holidays that are unique to Au Pairs countries. For example, an Asian au-pair can bring  the unique Asian culture and host family get to experience the world without leaving their house. :-).

Right now there are Au Pairs from 9 different countries: China, Brazil, Ukraine, Panama, France, Colombia, El Salvador, South Africa, Russia in Go Au Pair’s cluster in Philadelphia, Bucks County and part of NJ. We will  use the opportunity to celebrate many holidays, make up the events and learn more about different countries.

Our next meeting will be the Brazilian Festival with a costume party, Brazilian food cooking class, costume  and dance competition, Brazilian music and much more. Then we are going to volunteer for children adopted from Russia and learn all about Russian culture, tradition and heritage.

Chinese people say that a celebration of  Chinese New Year attracts prosperity, abundance, success and good fortune  into our life.  Come join us if you need good luck in the New Year!

The Host Family and Au Pair calendar.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate” -Oprah Winfrey

Holidays are over, but we can always find something to cheer to. Every day is a day to be celebrated!

The Au Pair program is a cultural and educational exchange program. Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries. Go Au Pair offers a priceless cultural experience for host family, for the children, for an Au Pair, and for a life time. The cultural exchange component of the program can be educational, enriching and rewarding for the whole family.

In every culture, there are special times to celebrate some holidays. An Au Pair can share information of her country’s holidays, educate about customs and traditions, teach the children songs and dances.

An Au Pair celebrates holidays that are either unique to her country, or are unique in how they are celebrated. Parents give the Au Pair the opportunity to experience our holidays and they also can use the opportunity to celebrate new holidays and learn more about her country.

For the most part, holidays are set by someone else. You may find interesting to celebrate your family events and accomplishments.

If you are  ready to create your own holidays,  here is a calendar page for January 2012.  I want to share your fun excuses to celebrate every day in January.

The lines are open! Make your own family’s calendar and celebrate the holidays, events and accomplishments together with the Au Pairs.

An amazing Christmas and New Year with my Host Family!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Oh, how I love Christmas… too bad it goes by so fast and we’re left only with the memories, the presents, the pictures and-unfortunately-the dozens of wrapping paper and cardboard boxes to clean.

But it is a magical time and I had an amazing Christmas with my Host Family. We sang Happy Birthday to baby Jesus and to Allison’s father, I ate a gingerbread house for the first time and waited for Santa in my snowmen pajama.

On the morning of the 25th, we were all up early to see what Mr. Claus had brought us for being good and, oh boy, we must have done a pretty good job ‘cause the kids are still opening some of the gifts.

We’re all truly blessed.

Then came New Year’s Eve and I heard some of my friends from Go Au Pair celebrated with Lady Gaga at Times Square. Awesome! I wanna know everything.

My celebration was a bit modest. I started the year doing what I do best: eating, watching a Big Bang Theory Marathon and reading my beloved books and I loved it all.

Joey was off school, so we took a trip to the Pocono Mountains and stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge, an indoors water park.

We all had an incredible time and I felt like a kid again, playing basketball with Joey and frolicking around with Olivia.

Looks like the beginning of a great year…

New year, New Host Mom and New Au Pair

A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.
- Ludwig Erhard (1897 – 1977)

One of the keys to a successful year for a host family and an Au Pair is good communication.

When new Au Pair come to Host families she will  need a lot of supervising at the beginning. The amount of time and training in the first month directly affects the type of relationship Host family has the entire year.

Here are some tips that will help the year with your au pair go smoothly.

  • Be welcoming, that means being warm, friendly, and reasonably attentive.
  • Model, model, model…set the example in our house of how you want to see your au pair fit into your family
  • Spend the first weekend reviewing Host family handbook for an au pair  together with your au pair.
  • Teach them to operate all appliances to make sure they know how to do it.
  • Show them how to cook basic things for your children
  • Teach your au pair what to do in case of power failure, tornado warning, etc.
  • Be sure to give your au pair a written schedule for the first week and every week thereafter.
  • Help them to get their Social Security card and bank account right away
  • Try to get them out driving as soon as possible (during the first week is best)
  • Bond with your au pair, as you want them to bond with your children
  • It is never acceptable to yell at your au pair, talk to them as an adult with respect.
  • Show appreciation. Say “thank you” all the time even if they do not.
  • Keep having regular chats and be willing to listen to your Au Pair.

Good communication is the key to a great year.

Having weekly meetings helps to prevent small problems from becoming big problems.

Good Luck!

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