The International Spring Festival 2017

It was a rainy, but nice day – perfect for attending the International Spring Festival! When I got to the gymnasium astonished! Not because it was enormous, but there was a lot of tables from different cultures – it was amazing! 

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Our au pair team made balloons and painted faces. I was one of the au pairs, who painted the faces. It was a great experience. There was a little boy, who wanted me to draw an explosion on his face, little girls mostly wanted to be cats, butterflies, but some of the kids asked for owls, sharks, tigers, rainbows on their faces. I was very exhausted by the time we finished, but I learnt a lot of things as well.18191168_10203135276180008_994789000_n

Polina (our LAR) posted on Facebook about the event, so I would like to quote from her:

“I found that Au pairs are very talented face painters. Many kids patiently waited in line for their turn. Many kids came back with their friends asking to make the same face painting for their friends and siblings. After we were done and put all stuff away, the kids continued coming and bringing their friends.”

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I would like to say thank you for Polina again, that she made arrangements so we could go there volunteer and participate – make little children and their parents very happy! I believe, that everybody had fun there! If you did not have the chance to attend the festival, make sure you will have time for that next year! It is worth it! ♥

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Volunteer! Feel good!

Our cluster is going to volunteer at the International Spring Festival in two weeks. I believe, that most of us will go and help – it is going to be fun! Now, I would like to write about volunteering and about my own experiences.

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Wikipedia  says, that volunteering is “an activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial gain, to benefit another person, group or organization”. Which is totally true! Just do it, because then others and of course you will feel awesome too! Psychologically, it is definitely better, when you do it in a group.

In my country everybody needs to volunteer 50 hours in order to get a diploma after high school.  I volunteered to work at a handicapped children’s home (children and grown-ups lived there, who were disabled to take care of themselves and their parents had taken them there for different reasons). I chose that place, because my mom has worked there before.

After my 50 hours were done, I stayed there for 3 months (of course still for free), as I was really enjoying the time with them and loved the little children who I worked with. I learnt a lots of things there, especially how to love and return love.volunteer

I believe, that everybody could say stories about volunteering. If not, that is not a problem either: you can volunteer simply when you help a friend, your parents, an elderly woman… Little things count!

I will be there at the Festival! Hope you will join us too! If not, then do not forget to read my post after the Festival to see what happened there! ♥

Food and people, do you need more?

We had a meeting at our LAR’s house this weekend. Our cluster has two chefs , so we had chance to cook and try some new food and gather memories! 

It was an unexpectedly warm Sunday, that is why, it was fantastic to get in the car and drive! Polina (our LAR) gave us her whole heart. I do appreciate it. 15073324_10202441105426173_6670490034020431339_n

We cooked three dishes together. Everybody had a chance to make his/her own sushi. Polina cooked us an Ukrainian dish called Plov (rice with chicken) and we made Patacón with Hogao (Mexican dish). I liked everything. I was really curious to try those food!

We also celebrated farewells, lucky arrivings and birthdays!

Polina made us cupcakes and we had a competition to decorate them. It was a creative activity. After eating, we played games.We ate a lot, had fun, laughed a lot. You could see many glad face around you…I think, you do not need more!

 

See them next month – it is going to be our last special meeting this year. I can not wait! ♥

Summer and fall festivals in Hungary

This is the last part of my blog series about the Hungarian festivals from May to October. You can read the previous ones about the upcoming and spring festivals.

  • 1st May, our Labor Day: We celebrate it as a national holiday, with open-air festivities and fairs all over the country. There are carnivals with many-many funny games (e.g.: roller coaster) and food like cotton candy, popcorn..
    • Also men set up a kind of Maypole (we call it May-tree). It is the symbol of the nature’s rebirth in Europe. In Hungary, when a girl get a tree in front of her house, that means, that a man loves her and wants to date her.Sometimes they still do this tradition (when my mom was a girl, she got a tree as well).

       

  • the 1st Sunday of MayMother’s Day
  • 50 days after EasterPentecoste: The descending of the Holy Spirit. (No school or work)
  • 20th August: Our National Day in memoriam of our first king Saint Stephen (Szent István). We can watch fireworks and have a kind of carnival.
  • 23rd October: The memorial day of the Revolution (Uprising) in 1956 against  the government of the Hungarian People’s Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies.

     

    As you could see, Hungary has an enormous, dark past and history. I would share more information with you about that…Maybe in an other post…♥

Spring festivals in Hungary

Last week, you could read the first part about many upcoming Hungarian festivals. This is the time, to write you more about the festivals from February to April.

  • 14th FebruaryValentine’s Day: I do not need to explain this. I used to give little a chocolate to my friends too on Valentine’s Day.
  • 8th March, Women’s Day: This is a special day for little girls, teens, women and ladies. Men give flowers, chocolate or nice greetings to women.I used to have a classmate. Each year on this day, he used to give all of the girls in my class a beautiful yellow rose. I loved it!
  • 15th March: In 1848 a war of independence and revolution breaks out in Hungary, lasts until 1849. This is one of the most significant festivals in my country. Later I will write a post about it…1848-marc-15
  • mainly in March, sometimes in April, Easter: The bunny comes and hides chocolate bunnys and sometimes other presents for the kids.
    • Easter Monday is the day when boys and men visit young girls at their houses. They used to come with a huge (or two) pail full with water, asked for the girl to come out and poured the water on her in return for painted eggs. This is an old folk habit. Nowadays, this habit is about to die out (unfortunately)..Men and boys come only with smelly cologne and parfume…
  • 1st AprilFool’s Day

 

Next time, I am going to finish this blog series, so you will be able to read the last part! I hope, you will enjoy it! ♥

Upcoming festivals in Hungary

As you knew,  I am from Hungary. I promised you, that I will share more information about my country and me. Now, I am going to share with you five upcoming festivals in Hungary. 

  • Here in America, people have Halloween today. What we have at home is All Soul’s Day(1st November) People go to the graveyards with flowers or stay at home and light candles there in memoriam of their loved ones, who passed away. izuizu
  • 6th December:  Saint Nicholas comes and leaves chocolate, mandarins and peanuts in the children’s boots.
  • 24th December, Christmas: little Jesus or the Angels come with ringing bells and leave presents under the Christmas tree. You spend this day with your close family. 25th and 26th of December are for the distant family (cousins ect..) I am going to write more about that around Christmas.
  • 31st DecemberNew Year’s Eve: people go out with friends and family to celebrate this day. At midnight people sing our National Anthem and watch the fireworks all over the country.
  • 1st January: after getting up in the afternoon and recovering from the party you had the day before, you should eat lentil, eggs, pork to be rich and to maintain your luck for the new year!

I hope you enjoyed my post! Next time, I will write about the other festivals we have during the first part of the year! ♥

 

Meet new cultures, meet new people, meet the new YOU

Two weeks ago, I had my first au pair event. It was a picnic near the Liberty Bell. The weather was perfect for us and so everything. 

There were a lot of new au pairs. Miguel came with his Host Family. It was really interesting to meet them there.

We had fun together, ate delicious dishes from different cultures… The two of us: Valentine and me had baked something (I would share the recipe with you, but it is a secret family recipe.) We also had muffins, chicken, etc.

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We also played a game to know each other better. I learnt new information so far.

Something important: you have to experience yourself by getting know others better to meet the new you. Hard, but it is worth it!

Our next meeting will be at (the awesome) Polina’s house. We will make sushi and something else, as we have two chefs in the cluster! I am looking forward to meeting these guys again! See you there! ♥

Is an Au Pair Superior for Your Family than a Regular Nanny?

Today we have another guest blogger, Rachel Thomas.  The decision of who will care for the children is not an easy one. Rachel explains her view on some differences between a nanny and an au pair.

The main difference between an Au Pair and a regular nanny is that the au pair is usually a foreign individual who exchanges childcare and possibly minor house cleaning for room and board. In essence, it’s like a foreign exchange program for the workforce. While there are similarities between a nanny and an au pair, there may be some differences that can change the way you view one over the other.Fan
1. Different Requirements – Generally, au pairs are foreign women under the age of 30 and must be authorized to care for children by the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. At least, that is what is required for being an au pair in the United States. Each country is different with their qualifications. Basically, anyone can be a nanny depending on the requirements of the agency or those who hire a person privately. However, most nanny agencies will require a background in child development and a form of medical expertise.2014

2. Family or Not? – Au pairs are usually treated as an extended family member as they accompany you on outings and other family functions. A nanny can be treated the same way as well, but don’t require the invitation in order to do their job. From this aspect, the nannies presence is more of a professional one as he or she is paid to do a job rather than accompany the family.

3. Longevity – Although the requirements differ with each host country, an au pair is only able to stay with the family for a certain amount of time. This could be as little as 12 months at a time. A nanny can remain employed by a family for as long as the help is needed or until the nanny resigns. In either case, emotional bonds can develop between the family and the caregiver. However, it may be harder to give up an au pair over the nanny for the au pair’s purpose is to become a part of the family whereas the nanny is performing a job as an employee.au-pair Bucks Conty 1

4. Linguistics – In some cases, a language barrier may be present when including an au pair into the family. Although they may have a basic working knowledge of the native tongue, the language differences could still pose as a wall that needs to be broken down. Nannies will nearly always speak fluently as they are usually hired on as local employees.

5. Paycheck – When determining pay, au pairs are usually more inexpensive to bring into the home than a nanny. Depending on the agency or the private contract, a nanny can be paid from $12 per hour and up for a 12 hour shift per day. While this amount is estimated due to the cost of living in any given area, au pairs are given the means to live comfortably and a weekly allowance for their own uses. Even if the  additional person to your budget raises the costs within the home, the au pair is still usually far more inexpensive to maintain than a nanny.aupair and kids

What it truly boils down to is how you personally want to conduct your family. An au pair can bring cultural diversity and could easily bond with the family on an emotional level. The nanny can grow to “family member status” over time, but is purposely hired on as nothing more than an employee. Do you save money by bringing someone into your home to help with the children, or do you treat the situation as a job?

Author Bio:

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for babysitting. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.

 

How the Au Pair Can Enlighten a Family About Culture Exchanges

Today I host the blog guest, freelance writer Sara, who will share with us her thought about culture exchanges.Sara

As an Au Pair, you are in a prime position to encourage growth on an intellectual level without putting much effort into the experience. Diversity and tolerance for other cultures begins with knowledge and learning. By influencing your hosts with your own culture, you can help open the world to possibilities for the children and the parents alike. Although you don’t want to push your own beliefs and methods onto your host, you should schedule moments where you can introduce your temporary family to your part of the world.

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1. Edibles from Your Country – When it comes to cultural diversity, no other topic is more embraced than that of food. Periodically, you can introduce your host family to the delicacies of your homeland. In order to further the experience, you could add a bit of history to each dish so that the children can learn why it is important to your culture. Too many people in the United States consume various foods oblivious to why they are important or why they came to be.

2. The Holidays – Celebrating holidays of your homeland is another way to allow your Au Pair family to experience a cultural exchange. In fact, there are many holidays that have been adapted by other cultures that originated elsewhere. Without sounding like a teacher or arts professor, engage the children in an exchange of holidays and enlighten them about where these holidays originated and why they’re important. While some of these days are wrapped around religious beliefs, it could be quite a sticky situation if you get caught in a religious war in the home. It is best to tread lightly by not offending the family. However, you can have open room for sharing knowledge of belief systems as long as either party is open to discussion and not looking for a chance to belittle another person’s belief structure.Go Au Pair at the picnic

3. The Clothing – Clothing can be another form of cultural experience, although many clothing types are the same today. However, it may be fun to play dress-up with the children or something similar for the family using articles from your country of origin. Perhaps a brief explanation to why the garment is important and what it may signify in your culture could help the family understand further. Although jeans and other particular styles are quite common, every culture has a garment that was originally worn prior to the expansion of capitalism and trend.

4. Sharing Knowledge – As your host family may be willing to learn more of your culture, you should be open to learning as well. Although it may be easier for you to learn life in the new location as you are submitted to it, allow the family to partake in sharing the information with you. This could be bond forming and could greatly improve relationships between yourself and those who have accepted you into their home.hands_community

Exchanging cultural differences can improve the way of life for many people. It is the misunderstanding of these differences that can cause so many ripples within the world. If people were to take time and share information about themselves and why their people do things a certain way, more tolerance can be derived from the experience. Although we may not agree with the way each culture handles itself, at least we’ll have understanding as to why the do these things.

Author Bio

Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/.  Learn more about Sara .

What does the Au Pair program teach the kids?

The Au Pair  program promotes cultural exchange and make a difference in the lives of children. Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries. Right now there are Brazilian Au PairsChinese Au PairsColombian Au PairsSalvadorian Au PairsEcuadorian Au PairsPanamanian Au PairsSouth African Au PairsMexican Au Pairs, Cameroonian Au Pair  in the Philadelphia , NJ cluster.

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The Au Pair offers an opportunity to learn a new language, culture and make friends all over the world.  Here are even  more benefits that the Au Pair program gives to the kids.

The Au Pairs program teaches kids to respect cultural diversity. Many Au Pairs follow a different set of norms and behaviors.  Kids learn to respect their differences,  welcome them and be flexible.

The Au Pairs program teaches kids to accept the differences. Au Pairs help them to learn about  different  customs and traditions and appreciate those differences.

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The Au Pair program teaches kids the tolerance and mutual understanding. Kids will be more likely to embrace differences and see the value in others.

 The Au Pairs program teaches the kids many things that help their personal growth and becoming a responsible citizen of the world.

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