As an Au Pair, I have one week’s vacation during Thanksgiving.
My friends in Houston invited me to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. The Peters is a big family with four kids. I knew them in China. This family is very nice, they helped me adapted my Au Pair life in Philadelphia a lot.
This was my first Thanksgiving. I was so excited about it. We had a very big meal. First time I saw how turkey was cooked.
Just pies, we had five!
During the dinner, we talked a lot. They asked me a lot interesting questions about my Au Pair life and Chinese culture.
Also, I went to entertainment places with kids.
I love these four kids so much, they bring endless happiness to my life.
We played pool, bowling, mini golf together. We went biking and exploring a wetland too.
They youngest one is so cute, he always said,” I love you, Ophelia. Would you like to sleep with me tonight?” He is just three years old!
Can you imagine that I met a Chinese friend in Houston who is also an Au Pair. We used to go to the same college and the same church. We were so glad to meet each other. Even though we just had a very short time to get together, we really appreciated it.
There were so many people I need to thank during this special holiday.
Thank the Peters family who invited me to Houston; thank Go Au Pair and my host family help me have a great life experience in the US; thank my family in China suppose me being an Au Pair. Of course, I should never forget thank God who gives me this wonderful life!
However, the most interesting part of my life is playing with my host baby Theo.
Theo is a small child with a big smile! His big smile always keeps me away from bore and sadness. With Theo, anyone will be happy all the time.
Grandma loves Theo so much. She wants to see Theo’s big smile every day. But she lives in Alaska. Then we skype with grandma everyday. Both Theo and I love skyping with grandma very much. We feel that she is with us all the time. This Sunday grandma is coming to visit us, we are so excited about her visit!
I am sure that Theo will show his biggest smile to grandma when he sees her in person.
Please enjoy the post written by an Au Pair from Go Au Pair, from the Philadelphia cluster, Adriana Zhang. Thank you for sharing with us, Adriana.
Hi everyone. I’m Adriana, and I came from China. This is my first time to write on the blog about my au pair life. I think this is my fourth au pairs meeting. But this time it was really different than others. Because this time host families joined us. So I met other au pairs’ host families.
Their kids were so cute. They played together, and had fun. We are really a big group. And also we have 6 au pairs from China. And we were happy to meet each other. We talked about our work, our school, and also we took pictures together. We wanted to keep the memory for this special time.
We met each other at Rat’s restaurant of Grounds for Sculpture Park. Our Local Area Representative—Polina was really nice, she prepared some gifts for everyone. Thank her so much.
That’s really a beautiful park. There were so many different sculptures, and we took pictures. Also, the park had a special music event and had some people who wore special clothes and sang in the park. That song was beautiful.
And then we had the lunch together. I had fun with au pairs’ family. They are really nice and enthusiastic. It is an opportunity to share the experience and get to know each other better, gain cultural and social experience and make new friends from a different culture. And I also met some new friends.
On November 17, 2013 many Au Pairs from the Philadelphia and NJ area and I are going to volunteer for the Philadelphia Marathon for the American Cancer Society and raise funds to create a world with more birthdays and less cancer!
I hope to see them again at November’s Marathon. Come join us. See you there.
I have a lot of good Au Pair friends in Philadelphia. In the meantime, I am trying to make more friends besides Au Pairs. Indeed, I already made some nice friends in the church. And my church friends invited me to the Christian music concert, I was so excited. This made my Au Pair life even more colorful!
This was my first time to attend such a big and awesome music festival. Over 27,000 people attended this Harvest America Crusade at Wells Fargo’s center in Philadelphia. I always love worship songs a lot. Finally, I got this chance to the music concert.
As in China, the public religion activities are forbidden. If I am not an Au Pair in here, I am afraid I can never get a chance like this to feel the religion culture here.
In China, only small home church is acceptable by the government. So I only attended an International church for one time in my home country. We have no Chinese church at all. But now, I can go to Chinese church often on Sunday. Truly, I felt the cultural difference. And this is the meaning of Cultural Exchange.Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary.
Adjusting to a new culture and new life can be difficult for many Au Pairs. A new Au Pair from Colombia, Monica adjusted to Au Pair life in the USA very quickly. Recently Monica shared on Go Au Pair blog her experience of preparing for her Au Pair journey.
Monica, who is the Au Pair in Philadelphia, said that it is very important to research the area and find a lot of interesting places to visit. Monica also watched many of the Au Pair Experiences videos before her arrival to the US.
When she was in Colombia, Monica asked her Host Family to send her a lot of pictures of their family, their home and the area. When Monica arrived to the US, she said that she already felt at home.
I also invited Monica to join Go Au Pair Philadelphia closed cluster group on Facebook before her arrival. Monica made many friends with the Au Pairs from the Philadelphia and NJ cluster, Janine Au Pair Sis on Facebook even before she came.
Monica also was able to read the information inAu Pair library and see the cluster activities on this blog. She learned from the other Au Pairs in the area, and she knew what to expect.
When she came to the US, Monica spent several days at the Go Au Pair Introductory Workshop in NY and met Janine Au Pair Sis and other Au Pairs. She met her family and her Facebook friends.
Monica adjusted to life in the USA fast. It was much easier because Monica prepared herself for her journey.
Let kids cook healthy food with Au Pairs. Au Pairs may help in teaching host families’ kids to cook healthy food and much more. They will teach kids healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime!
As a new project, Au Pairs may plan healthy meals together with host kids and host parents, and find new recipes. Healthy meals prepared from scratch usually contain more nutrients and fewer calories. Au Pairs may take kids shopping for the vegetables or maybe even use veggies from a vegetable garden.
It is important to keep the recipe simple. Au Pairs will teach kids to follow the directions and measure the ingredients. Kids not only are being entertained while cooking , they will also learn a lot – reading, counting, fractions, budgeting, weighing, measuring, problem-solving, sharing, fine motor skills and much more – eating fresh healthy food. Kids will be far more likely to eat vegetables if they helped cook them.
We all know that we can acquire bad habits very quickly, but is is not easy to get rid of them. Bad habits are acquired rapidly, whereas for the good habits it will take time.
Scientists have conducted studies and have proved that the acquisition of good habits should be a few months. As an example of this: in order to run in the morning with pleasure, you will need three months.
A special experiment was carried out. Volunteers, who took part in it, had to drink every morning fresh juice, and then make a run. Some volunteers drank the juice, but did not run. Others have continued with the whole experiment even though running daily was very hard. However, three months after they got used to it, they could not imagine a single day without jogging.
Habits, resulting in the rapid increase of the hormone of pleasure are very difficult to get rid of. For example, eating junk food.
Many of my host parents complain that their kids don’t eat vegetables and ask how to encourage kids to eat more vegetables.
If you have a space in your back yard, why not start a vegetable garden with an Au Pair?
The new project makes children spend quality time growing vegetables with an Au Pair. They will spend time in the fresh air and learn firsthand about how to grow veggies and even some fruits, for example strawberries.
There are many other benefits to this project:
educate children about how vegetables are grown,
give kids the experience of growing a garden,
help develop new skills and responsibility,
bring a sense of accomplishment and contribution to the home,
see the magic of watching something grow,
promote healthy eating habits and nutritional food,
cook and eat the vegetables they harvest.
Kids usually are very attached to the products of their own efforts. They will eat almost any vegetable that they have grown or harvested themselves.
A host mom from Go Au Pair, who is a doctor and has three small kids, posted a very interesting post about encouraging kids to eat more vegetables. She said that, “Maybe, buying bowls and dishes with vegetable pictures on it will help vegetable consumption at home.” Please read more at Getting Kids to Eat More Vegetables.
New host families often ask me what they may provide to their Au Pairs in addition to board and stipend. They want to know if there is anything else they may offer to their Au Pair as an appreciation for her/his hard work.
Some host families may choose to provide to the Au Pair a computer and Internet access, a cell phone and use of a car for her/his spare time. Some families may consider providing a personal computer and TV in the Au Pair room, a membership to a sport club and a chance to travel with the family for free. It depends on the family’s resources and on what the Au Pair is interested in.
I asked Au Pairs from Go Au Pair cluster from the Philadelphia and NJ area to name material things they can’t live without (doesn’t include family, friends, etc.)
Dear Au Pair, What’s on your list?
What are you glad you have in your life or you really need to have as an Au Pair? I believe your host family will be glad to know that. Here is a long list of “an Au Pairs life necessities” I wrote collectively with Au Pairs from my cluster.
If you are looking for a high quality care provider consider Go Au Pair. I will help your family have a flexible, live-in childcare for less than the cost of a nanny that will also expose your children to new cultures.