Washington, DC – April 18th & 19th

As apart of the Go Au Pair program, an au pair must complete 72 hours of 6 credit unites over the course of their 12 month placement. With this in mind I signed up for the CULTURAL HIGHWAYS education program which includes 3 classroom sessions at Pierce College, (1x Saturday and 2x Sundays) as well as a tour of Washington, DC. The Washington, DC tour was this weekend (April 18th & 19th) and I absolutely had the time of my life and 100% recommend it to everyone!

Ron Dingman was our tour manager and I hope you are lucky enough to have this wonderful man on your tour! He is so funny and nice and will help you with any question no matter how dumb it may be! (I certainly gave him a run for his money on how many dumb questions he could handle in one weekend).

Our tour bus was departing Philadelphia (30th street station) at 10.10am sharp and I wanted to be on time so I caught the 7:45am train from Colmar statio which was expected to arrive at 30th street station at 8:49am. I only needed a 1 way train ticket which was $7.00.

Upon arrival at 30th street station I met some of the other girls on this trip. They brought snacks and drinks for the long bus ride however as I am extremely poor at the moment I chose the cheaper option which was to go IMG_6010[1]without. In the end I did by 1x 500ml bottle of coke zero which cost me $2.69 at ‘Au Bon Pain’.

We got on the bus and the journey began. There were already other au pairs on the bus who were picked up from places such as New York and New Jersey. We were on the bus for an hour before making our first rest stop At this rest stop I brought my lunch which was ‘Pop Eye Chicken’, I ordered a 3x piece chicken combo which included fries, this cost me, $7.89. After this 30 minute rest break we were back on the road and didn’t stop until 2.00pm for our 2nd and final rest stop at Union Station- I did not purchase anything here as I was not hungry from such a huge lunch!

We left here at 2:35pm to set off to our first landmark which was THE WHITE HOUSE! This was definitely my favourite site of the DC trip! After that we left and went to the LINCOLN MEMORIAL & THE REFLECTION POOL. Both of these were absolutely outstanding! From there we went to the NATIONAL MALL and there we saw the World war 1 and 2 memorial as well as the JFK memorial.

So once we’d seen this we headed to the hotel to check in (We stayed at the Hilton Arlington). The Hotel was absolutely magnificent! Stunning design, gorgeous, furniture, friendly staff and comfortable beds, it was abslolutley perfect!

Essentially I walked in and walked out because a friend I made on the tour wanted to go see a band that was playing called ‘Oh Honey’. The band was playing at the Rock and Roll Hotel and public transport was going to take an hour to get there and so we used ‘Uber’ instead of a taxi/ cab as it was cheaper. The Uber ride was roughly 25 minutes and cost us $20 which is certainly cheaper than any taxi! (Especially as it only ended up being $10 each).IMG_6011[1]

Tickets for the show cost $15 so we purchased those and then went inside, only to find out ‘Oh Honey’ wasn’t playing until 10pm. As we weren’t interested in the opening act we decided to get dinner. We ended up at Impala (just across the road from the Rock and Roll hotel) which was a nice little Mexican restaurant. I ordered a steak with fries and vegetables, with a coke. The meal was fantastic and only cost me $17.90. (Something I will definitely miss when I leave the U.S is free refills!)

We headed to the concert at 9.00pm and listened to the opening act ‘Public’ and then obviously the main act ‘Oh Honey’. I had never seen this band before however I had a really good night and I could not recommend them enough !!

We left at midnight after a meet and greet with the band and caught an ‘Uber’ ride back to the hotel. As it was later in the night and rides were in highIMG_5680[1]er demand the total price ended up being $30, and so the two of us split it, spending $15.00 each. The rest of the night I spent with my room mates.

The next morning we got u

p at 8am as the bus was leaving at 9:15am. I got ready as quickly as possible however did not have time for breakfast which was totally disapointing as I was really looking forward to having something from Ihop for the first time.

We departed with our luggage loaded on the bus at 9:15pm and our first stop was the AIR FORCE MEMORIAL. We spent 20 minutes there before being dropped at the National Mall and being given 3 hours of free time. I chose to see the WASHINGTON MONUMENT as well as the HOLOCAUST MUSEUM- both attractions were free.

Before leaving the girls and I got lunch and sat on the grass to eat it. I got McDonalds from a pop up stand as there was nothing else around and this cost me $5.70.

We departed Washington, DC at 2.55pm exactly only making one stop on the way home where I did not purchase anything as I was well and truely broke and wasn’t hungry anyway.

We arrived at 30th street station at 6:40pm and I waited until 7:11pm for my train home to Colmar station where I drove home from.

This trip is well recommended to all au pairs! The cost of the classes and trip in total is $369 which is coverIMG_6004[1]ed by your host family. You make so many friends, irreplaceable memories and have so much fun! Could not recommend it enough!

St Patrick’s Day Parade

As we all know it was just St Patrick’s day and in the past I’ve never been a celebrator for St Patrick’s day its more just bIMG_0829een an excuse to get drunk which is pretty much an Australian tradition no matter the holiday, but this year being in America and everything I thought I’d get into the spirit and attend my first ever St Patrick’s Day parade.

Never the less on Sunday the 15th of March I headed to Philadelphia to watch the parade! Now to paint a little picture for you all, lately the weather has been warming up, and I was staying at a friends on the Saturday night so I didn’t pack my coat because I wanted to pack light. And so on this faithful Sunday morning with a temperature of below 5 degrees Celsius, all I was wearing was leggings, a t-shirt and a denim jacket. I feel safe in my heart in saying, I have never been so cold in my entire life! It was by far the moIMG_0784st painfully, freezing cold I have every experienced!

So anyways, the day was completely amazing! I love meeting new au pairs, there all as crazy as me which is amazing and have the same nerves and fears as me which calms me down and helps me a lot to know that I’m not the only one!   IMG_0729

Brenda, our new Mexican Au Pair

Brenda arrived at her host family in Chester County on the same date as Oksana, about 4 weeks ago. She’s 19 years old and replaced Valeria. Her buddy Jenny will and already did help her during the first time as an au pair.
I decided to work as an Au Pair because I love kids and I think it is a good way to learn more about the culture and language of the country.
Brenda (2)
In my free time I enjoy swimming – my city is very hot – so I love to practice a lot, I like to paint in oil, and I like to cook and read.
The best event before my arrival was the “coloreate” a 5km run, I went there with my friends and we had a lot of fun.
Brenda (3)
Funny, honest, loyal – that’s how she characterizes herself.
It think that it would be travel around the world.
Brenda
I love to spend time with my parents, we like to go out for dinner, or go to the movies,  also I like to go out with my friends, we like go to dancing, or organize meetings in a friend’s home.

I think God has a plan for all of us, and that is the reason things happen, always remember that He never will face us with a challenge we cannot overcome.

Brenda (4)
 Before I came to the US, I was studying international trade, but I interrupted it to come her as an au pair – I had really a good notes, so I think I am very good at it, and in making crafts.
Brenda hopes to have a second family, to love and respect them as well as improving her English and to make new friends.
Welcome again to our cluster, Brenda! We’re looking forward to meet you soon! As you’ve been to the US before – Eagle Pass, Laredo, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and South Padre Island (all Texas) – maybe not everything is totally new to you. But I guess beeing an au pair is totally different than beeing here as a tourist. So enjoy your adventure as an au pair in the Unites States!

Ling, one of our new Chinese Au Pairs

Ling joined our cluster already two months ago. She’s 24 years old, lives in Bucks County and replaced Adriana. Another Chinese au pair, Hui, offered to be her buddy and to help her during her first weeks in the US.

I’d like to share my life with other au pairs. It’s a honor to be an au pair. I hope I can make more friends and learn more about the American culture.

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One of my favourite things I do in my free time is swimming, doing paper-cut, drawing or cook Chinese food.
Three words to describe herself: confident, positive and brave.
Ling yuuki (2)I want to travel as much as possible during my time as an au pair and see as much places as possible in the US.
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At weekends, she likes to spend her time with reading, swimming, shopping or just meeting some of her friends.
I hope to have a good relationship with my host family and that I can be a responsible and careful au pair for the kids.
Ling yuuki
Ling already met a lot of our au pairs during our meeting in August and she went with me and a few other au pairs to the ColorFestival, Philadelphia. Welcome again to our cluster! I am sure you can achieve your goal to improve your English and that you will have a great time here in the US.

Tania, another new South African Au Pair

Tania arrived at her host family in Philadelphia about two weeks ago. Tania works as an EduCareAuPair and takes care of three kids, one baby and two older girls. She just turned 21 last Friday – happy birthday again! One of our other South African au pairs, Cherry, kindly offered to be Tania’s buddy.

I’ve already met so many other au pairs living in Philadelphia and its wonderful being able to hear where everyone is from and learning about their families and cultures. I am definitely looking forward to getting to know everyone better and meet more au pairs!

Tania (3)

I like to collect books, especially Stephen King books, and I try to read as much as possible! I studied graphic and web design back in South Africa, so that is another interest of mine and I do photography as a hobby too. Hopefully later in my year I can add traveling to my list of interests.

tania (4)

She characterizes herself as creative, funny and ambitious.

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Places I would like to visits are Maine – because Stephen King lives here – New Orleans, New Mexico, Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and California, Miami, Grand Canyon (Arizona), Las Vegas and Nevada, Washington D.C., and Chicago. 

tania (5)

Two thing I consider to be good at..making pasta and taking photographs.

Tania

My favourite part about being an au pair is spending time with the children and being able to teach them new things, especially about South Africa. I also enjoy watching the children grow and see how their personalities develop. Also just being a part of a new family, learning their ways and seeing how they do things and also learning how to live a healthier lifestyle. I love it.

Tania (2)

I had already the chance to meet Tania at her birthday party last Friday and for a baseball game on Sunday – we had a great time with a few other au pairs! Welcome again Tania to the US and our cluster. I hope you will have a great time here and that you can see as much places as possible. I looking forward to a great time with you and the others!

Our new Au Pair Ling “Julie” from China

As I wrote in my last post, we have a busy summer and a lot of new au pairs for our cluster. I was on vacation the last 2.5 weeks, so I will have a few interviews to publish during the next time.

The one I will start with is our new Chinese au pair Ling. She’s 25 years old and lives in Center City of Philadelphia. Thanks Monica for offering to be a buddy for Ling. Although her American name is “Julie” she prefers to be called Ling.

I’d like to learn more different education methods and expericence a different culture.

ling julie (3)

I like singing, playing Chinese chess, doing yoga,go shopping or just go for a walk.

Before she came to the US about three weeks ago she celebrated her birthday in advance with her friends, which was one of her best moments during the last weeks.

If I had to characterize myself I would say I’m honest, responsible and kind.

ling julie (5)

I wish I could go travel around the world without any other concerns.

During her year, Ling would like to visit funny and beautiful places, also museums and Universities.

Things I am very good at are singing and sprinting I would say.
As an au pair Ling wants to experience the American culture and to find out more about herself.

This is my first time in the US, so I am glad to have the chance to meet a lot of new people and make a lot of new friends.

Ling julie (2)

Welcome to our cluster! I already met you and you fit really great into our group. Have a great year!

Natalia Caro, our new Au Pair from Colombia

Even if I posted the last interview only a few days ago, we have way more to publish. July and August are our busy months. After Ana Maria we got another Au Pair from Colombia. Natalia arrived at her host family in Philadelphia this month. Our au pair Karla kindly offered to be her buddy and help Natalia with the first steps as a new member of our cluster. Thanks Karla!

I’m from Bogota, Colombia and 21 years old. I want to share a little bit of my life with you and hope to meet you girls soon.

Natialia

I came to US as an au pair, because I love to work with kids and I want to learn more about other cultures.

In my free time I like to go swimming, watching movies and baking.

Get to know Ariana, my host child, was one of the best things in the last few weeks.

natalia

Natalia characterizes herself as responsible, grateful and friendly.

Her wish is to be able to speak as many languages as possible.

Natalia 2

Places I want to visit are Los Angeles, CA, Miami,FL and Alaska.

Besides my other hobbies I like to travel, shopping and to study.

During my year as an au pair I hope to learn a lot about kids, American culture and to improving my English.

Given that she’s totally new to this area, I hope she can meet a lot of new people here and have a great year in the US! Welcome to our cluster and see you soon!

Nita, our new Au Pair from South Africa

It’s a busy summer for us! Many of our au pairs are leaving and we get new ones!
Two weeks ago a new au pair joined our cluster. Nita comes from South Africa and replaced Stephanie, who went home after finishing her year. It’s the second time that I am allowed to be a buddy for a new au pair! I’m excited to help Nita getting to know the new environment and meeting new people. My first buddy “job” was for Rikie from South Africa and it’s great to help new au pairs. We already did a lot together – for example we spent a weekend in D.C. with Monica and Annie, sad that she’s going back home.
But now back to Nita, she answered my question, which I provide every new au pair in our cluster.

 I love being around my friends, without them my life would be quiet and boring. They absolutely fulfill my life with their laughter and crazyniss.

nita (5)

We are always up to something fun and different. I’m from a farm, so love being outside and love being on adventures as well. Where it’s green I want to be.

nita (3)

 

But just like I love the farm life I love shopping and walking in the malls, go for a movie or just a cup of tee. The people never believe me when I tell them im from a farm. They say im too girly. But a girl needs do doll up right??

nita

I love children, so I see beeing an au pair as a great oppurtunity to work with children.

In my free time I love being with my friends, do horseback riding and riding my bike with friends – doing all kind of trips and races.

nita (4) nita (6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She descirbes herself as loving , caring and funny.

If she had one wish, it would be to bring back her neffew – she lost him two months ago.

Places she would love to visit are New York City, Vegas, Ireland, Texas. And there are way more she would like to see.

nita (2)

I believe everything happens for a reason, because God has your life all planned out, but there is stuff you can prevent from happening.

I’m good at being myself and doing sports.

I’ve never been to America – this will be a new thing for me. Getting thrown in the deep side, but I am very excited indeed!

I already had the chance to meet Nita – and what should I say. She’s just herself, a sprightly, happy young woman.
Nita, you will have a great year with us! We’re happy to welcome you again in our cluster.

And have fun at your first trip to NYC with the other girls – after the weekend you can tick NYC off your list of places you want to see! 😉

Ana Maria, our transition Au Pair from Colombia

It’s time for a new interview!

Ana Maria has already been in the US for 10 months, but she just joined our cluster a few weeks ago as a transition au pair like Yoselin. For her first months she lived in Washington State, now she’s at home in New Jersey. Ana answered my questions to introduced herself to our cluster – like Jenny, Yoselin and Nicole did before.

I decided to come to the US as an au pair, because I think it’s the best way to get in touch with the culture and language of another country.

ana maria_2

She discribes herself as a person with inner strength, patience and loyalty.

In my free time I like to travel, play soccer, exercise or just listen to music. I also enjoy to be together with my family and friends and share the time during a movie, festivals or a nice evening.

One of her biggest wishes is peace for her country.

ana maria

A place, I would love to visit is Paris, France.

I think everything happens for a reason,  YES, because you have to learn something or teach someone, help or being helped. Life is perfect!

 

Thanks Ana for answering the questions! I had already the chance to meet you and it was a pleasure. I think we’ll have a great time together here in the US. Enjoy your au pair adventure!

Yoselin, our transition Au Pair from El Salvador

Now my Au Pair mission goes on with a new interview.
Around six weeks ago a new Au Pair joined our cluster. Her name is Yoselin and she’s a transition Au Pair, who moved from the New Jersey cluster. Like all new Au Pairs in our cluster, she answered me some questions about herself and her life as an Au Pair in the States.

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I decided to be an Au Pair to have an international experience. Since that makes you grow as an individual. You can enjoy the time with the kids paricipating their activities and still explore a lot in the US.

She loves singing, reading, shopping, doing sports like swimming and going to the gym. Additionally she likes to spend time with friends.

My best experience during the last months was my move to my new host family in Pennsylvania.

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Yoselin characterizes herself as patient, friendly and tolerant.

A big wish of her is getting a degree in Canada.

In my free time I like to travel. Some places, I want to go are some other states in the US, e.g. Washington and California. I’ve already been to Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

yoselin

Things, I think I’m really good at are singing and languages.

From the time as an Au Pair here in the United States, I expect to have a lot of fun, make good memories and study. Furthermore I would like to  make new friends and to visit more unknown places – especially now in my new cluster around Philadelphia.

Yoselin, I wish you a great time at your new family and say again: Welcome to our cluster in Philadelphia! Have a great time!

 

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