Family Thanks Au Pair Gina for Opening Her Arms and Heart

Congratulation to our outstanding Au Pair from Colombia Gina on completion the first Au Pair year and best wishes on Gina’s extension with her amazing host family!

Gina came into our lives on April 21st, 2019. The initial process of finding an au pair was nerve-wracking and tiring. The thought of having a stranger in our and our children’s lives was not an easy adjustment for our family. My husband I, two daughters and my Mother-in-law live in a small three-bedroom house. We are vegetarians and are of Indian descent living in the US for the last 15 years. Although we have learned and adopted different cultures we are still a very “Indian Family.” Adjusting to and finding an au pair from a different country was going to add a whole new dimension to our family dynamics.

This was the reason we were wary about the decision. We had one strict requirement of having an au pair who is ok to be vegetarian in the house.

After a series of interviews over several months with different candidates, we met Gina for the first time over skype. Right after our first interview both me and my husband felt we had hit the jackpot after several nights of gambling.  Her positive attitude was striking when she answered our question if she had a problem in being vegetarian at home. She immediately answered that she is ok with it as it would be a healthier lifestyle for her. Our first impression of her was that shes a bold, independent, and smart girl. She was working in human resources in Columbia and had a stable job but she had made this conscious decision to try the au pair program and get out of her comfort zone. This set a good impression to me as I do believe that life is precious and every person should take chances and open new doors.

As I stated earlier the jackpot prize changed our lives. Gina was the same person I had imagined her to be during our interview. Bold, independent, ready to take up challenges but at the same time being flexible. She merged into our family like she had always been here. Not only did she turn into a vegetarian she was flexible enough to eat spicy Indian food for each and every meal. Well, today she goes to a restaurant and asks for the spicy dishes, whereas a few months ago she had never put her tongue on fire.Childcare for her has been a breeze too.

My children loved her from day one. She took my infant in her arms when she was one month old and she put her to sleep right away. For all the caregivers out there you will know that’s a tough job as infants can feel the energy right off you and are not easy too sooth. Even though she had minimum experience with childcare which mainly involved her nephew we did not feel a pinch as she was open to learning and adapting. Her calm and patient nature was all that was needed to keep my children happy. Now my infant is 9-month-old and she has become a Gina addict.

Sometimes I fail in putting her to sleep where Gina succeeds. My 6-year-old daughter and Gina are an awesome duo, they treat each other like best friends and it took them maybe a few hours to build that relationship. The constant jumping around, giggling and wrestling with Gina or going for long runs with her during Ginas personal time or constantly being in her room, there are no barriers set for my 6 year old daughter.

I thank and appreciate Gina for opening her arms and heart to my children.

Both I and my husband are working and sometimes are days are long. I am also part of a dance troupe and have been performing several times over the last few months. I would have not been able to follow my passion if it was not for Gina and her help. Being a mother of an infant It was so easy to go back to work knowing that I can fully trust the person who is taking care of my child.

Gina has also been following her goal to learn English while she lives with an Indian family who is mainly talking in “Hindi (Indian language)” around the house.  She has been very patient with us as we keep switching between languages. She has been going to free classes in the library and trying very hard to improve over the last months. This is one thing I love about her. She is focused on her goals and is hard working. Her intention to explore new cultures and learn the language has not changed. I appreciate this attitude of hers and feel good about having such a person in our family. I feel happy that after years we will be able to give her an example to our kids.

She is curious about every aspect of Indian culture and is open to our craziness. She has probably heard our stories from India and our experiences from across the globe repeated several times in several versions from me, my daughter and my mother in law. To date, she shows the same interest in our stories with the same enthusiasm.

To us, having Gina in our house and part of our family has helped us to grow to be better human beings.

Over the last year, we have realized how our initial apprehensive feeling of having a stranger living in our house was pointless. Gina made life simple for us. I have also found a friend in Gina. We have spent hours talking about life, food, travel, plants, boys, kids and so on. As a working mother with two kids I feel I do find some sanity in those long conversations and I am glad that I have a friend (to boss around ) living with us.

Many of my friends tell me. “You make parenting look so easy.” Well, I always tell them I have a magic wand. I ask for help and Gina the Genie appears. Wooooooooshhhh!!!!!!

Au Pair advice for the coronavirus

Novel Corona Virus affects the Au Pair program worldwide. It is already clear that it will have a major impact on international travel, cultural exchange programmes in general and of course our au pair programmes.

The Novel Coronavirus dominates all conversations these day. The Au Pairs, who are far away from home, have a lot of worries, concerns and fear. These feelings are normal emotions to experience during the event like pandemic. Please accept that, stay informed with accurate facts, and remember that we’re all in this together. Strong bonds are formed during times like these that probably wouldn’t have formed under normal circumstances. Check in on your au pair friends and spend some times together online.

 Stay flexible with your changing schedule and duties and talk to your host family if you need anything. You should work up to 10 hours per day and up to 45 hours per week, but your schedule will likely change more often. However, some Au Pairs like that they do not need wake up early because the schools are closed.

Go outside with the children in this beautiful weather, but keep space from others (experts recommend at least 10 feet. Keeping distant from other people is how we can slow/avoid virus infection. It’s one of the greatest acts of kindness we each can do for others. If one person in the home is not respecting social distancing, it lessens the safety for the others.

Take some alone relaxation time – go for a walk, skype with family back home and friends daily. Stay active. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest, stay hydrated and eat healthy foods when possible.

Stay safe and try do not worry much. In case you will need a medical help, we have been informed by Caremed insurance that treatment and testing for COVID-19 are covered as any other illness under your health insurance policy. 

Good news- you can now complete your education requirement by taking classes online from the best college for free using many online courses, for example https://www.coursera.org/ If you decided to complete online education for your educational requirement please contact Go Au Pair at educoord@goaupair.com for written approval of this exception.

2020 Au Pair meetings

Hello 2020! Here’s to another year full of joy, laughter, and unforgettable memories with unforgettable friends!

We are ready for you- a new Au Pair meetings schedule for Au Pairs with Go Au Pair in the Philadelphia and Bucks County cluster set and it helps make even more memories in 2020.

The Au Pair meetings give the Au Pairs an opportunity to meet new Au Pairs from around the word and form friendships. The cluster meetings also create a sense of unity and belonging to the group of Au Pairs.

The cluster meeting give Au Pair a chance to talk to a Local Area Representative if there are any concerns or questions and prevent many issues.

Go Au Pair requires all Au Pairs to attend at least 4 meetings for each 12-month program year. We will have two meetings every quarter of 2020, eight meetings during the year. Be sure to mark your calendar ahead.

On February 15, 2020, we will join AFRICAN CULTURES CELEBRATION at Penn Museum, 3260 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Au Pairs welcome to attend a class on  filing 2019 tax return and the Library tour,  Parkway Central Library in March 2020.

The Department of State requires that host families attend at least one activity each year. Every April Host families join a Family Day Conference at The Lansdale International Spring Festival, North Penn High School, Lansdale, PA 19446. Host family welcome to join us at any of our Au Pair activities.

The Au Pair meetings promote cultural awareness and help gain a new experience and make new friends. I hope you will enjoy our upcoming meetings!  

Home is where Family is.

Priscila, Au Pair from Brazil, joined Go Au Pair cluster in Philadelphia in May, 2019. For a few months, Priscila accomplished a lot: she is studying in Penn State university, volunteering in History of Science museum, and exploring many new places -last week Priscila returned from her trip to Canada.

Priscila made a lot of friends and found a new family far away from home where she feels like at home now. Thank you, Priscila, for sharing your story.

It’s hard to choose a moment to write. Feeling that I belong here is a process that evolves each day. It’s building trust and showing that you care in multiple ways. It’s more than just words, it is also the way that we act. Since I was in Brazil, 3 months ago, I feel like Stephanie and the girls would be part of my family the same way that I would be part of theirs.

As time goes by, we moved to a comfortable place of jokes and plays. Every day I walk outside my room and Penelope runs to me waving and saying a cheerful “Hi!”. She hugs my legs and looks at me like she’s feeling safe with me around. Her sister is always behind her smiling and saying good morning in her cheerful way as well. It’s such a good way to start my days.

I admire Stephanie so much. She is a strong and confident woman and she built a house full of color and laughing by herself, the type of house that I wish I’ll able to offer to my own kids once I have them someday.

But searching among those happy moments to describe it here, I could definitely point our first trip together.

We went to Margate at the 4th of July, and we stayed at Stephanie’s dad beach house. Both him and his wife Lynn, Stephanie’s stepmom, treated me so well, making me feel welcome and dear. We went to see the fireworks, and everything was amazing. One day we were walking to the beach, was a beautiful sunny day, just as they’re supposed to be in July, and I called Stephanie and Eden to take a picture. Between all the bags and stuff, we manage to get close to each other and smile. As soon as we took the picture I said: first family trip!

Eden turned to her mom, a question popping at her head and showing all over her face (she is a very expressive kid) and asked: but mom, I’m pretty sure we’ve been here before…

Her mom smiled and answered: but, sweetie, that’s Priscila’s first time here, remember?

Eden turned to me and said, again showing so much her emotions, and as she smiled, she said to me: Oh, right! Because you are family too, now.

I never said that, thinking that she might answer me that way and being honest, it fills me with joy that she did. That was the moment that I realized that no matter what, I would be okay and safe with them.

It’s not always easy, especially at the very beginning when the girls still didn’t trust me. Seems a lifetime ago, now. Today Eden yelled at the kitchen while I was making her some pie: “I love you, Priscila.” I stopped for a little and said back: “I’m glad that you do, because I love you too.”

Although it’s funny to think about that… Finding a family when you’re so far from home. But my mom always said to me: home is where family is. Indeed she was right, feels like home now.

Goodbyes are never easy!

Having a lot of Au Pairs and friends in the Philadelphia, Bucks County and NJ cluster of Go Au Pair is great –the difficult part is that we have to say goodbye a lot. In addition, the fact that we have many outstanding Au Pairs in our cluster, makes saying goodbye even more difficult.

We just said goodbye to three amazing Au Pairs who recently finished the program and who were nominated by their host families for Love My Au Pair Contest 2019. Thank you Maria Bilous from Ukraine

the best au pair of the year award maria

Mindy Araujo from El Salvador

the best au pair of the year award mindy

Yue Lu from China

the best au pair og the year award

for being outstanding Au Pairs and great friends and making your host families very happy!

Mariia , Mindy and Yue had been the cluster au pairs during two years and got great experience with their amazing host families in addition to traveling and exploring new places, attending American universities, making many international friends and  having a lot of fun with them in the US.

This month, we should say goodbye to three great Au Pairs: Au Pairs Pamela and Jaquelinne from Brazil and Au Pair Carin from South Africa.

Pamela and Jaquelinne spent two years and Carin one year, with their host families, got a second family away from home, and immersed into American life. They had the opportunity to learn about American culture and traditions, improve their English skills and gain valuable international work experience. They met new people, made new friends, and became more independent and mature.

I would like to thank the host families for joining the Au Pair Program and Go Au Pair cluster in the Philadelphia and Bucks County area, opening their homes and hearts and helping the young international people get amazing experience. Without your support and encouragement, it wouldn’t have been possible.

The Au Pair program was designed for only one or two years. Unfortunately, there is a time for every au pair to say goodbye for her/his host family and friends and goodbyes are never easy.2019 Au Pairs meeting in Philadelphia library

Thank you so much for being great Au Pairs, working hard, taking a great care of the kids, and being wonderful role models and friends to them!

Congrats to local Au Pair Mariia who is a runner-up of Love My Au Pair Contest!

Our warmest congratulations to Ukrainian Au Pair Mariia Belous and her Host Family- the Gerzon family! They became the runner up of 2018 Love My Au Pair contest with Go Au Pair and won Amazon gift cards, ❤

Mariia, Au Pair from Ukraine, is a local Au Pair who lives in Bucks County.  She came to the US 20 months ago and became a part of the Gerzon family –  single mom with two adorable girls. Alla, the host mom said “Mariia has made our lives richer, easier and more fun and this is why she deserves to get the best au pair award! As the 2nd year of Mariia being with us draws to a close, I’m saddened to think about how my girls will miss her when she leaves.Maria Au Pair from Bucks County We have formed an incredible bond with Mariia that will stay with us for a lifetime.My children, although they are adorable, are not the easiest to take care of because they are so close in age and often “team up against you”. Maria from UkraineMariella is such a picky eater, and Mariia has the patience to make sure Mariella eats a proper meal with enough variety. With Mariia’s help, Mariella grew so much since her arrival because Mariia insists on proper nutrition. I really have to thank Mariia for that because Mariella has always been the smallest in her class, but now she is catching up to the other kids.Au Pair Bucks County PA

 

Mariia also keeps my kids entertained without depending on the TV for entertainment. Some of the things she does to entertain the kids are dance parties, karaoke concerts, and dress up games! She will make up imaginary games and stories. She also does arts and crafts with them, and makes sure they create artwork to give as gifts to me and our relatives. She has organized playdates with local kids and visited a local police station to meet a policeman! Maria au pair from Ukraine

However, it is not all fun and games with Mariia, as she also helps my daughter do homework as well as her Kumon work. With Mariia’s help, Mariella learned to read and does math problems like a pro (for a 1st grader). She taught my kids responsibility like cleaning up after themselves after dinner and an important life lessons like “eat your food before having dessert”, or “homework/work before playtime”.Au Pair from Ukraine

I love to travel, and with Maria by my side, I have been able to take my family on vacations without too much stress for me. Some of my favorite memories with Mariia and my girls was when we went on family vacations together. We have travelled a lot including going to Florida, Mexico and Baltimore/ Washington. Normally I would be the one watching my kids, but this time with Mariia, I got to relax and actually enjoy the vacation. I would never dream of taking vacations as a single parent without help because, it is just too hard to watch two when you are only one. Now with Mariia we can team up and watch the girls with no problem.”love my Au Pairs contest

Congratulations, Mariia, on being nominated for Love my Au Pair contest for the second time and becoming a runner up of Love My Au Pair contest  this year! We wish you the every success.

 

Love My Au Pair Contest 2019

Every year many Host Families from Go Au Pair participate in Love My Au Pair Contest and love to share their experience with their truly amazing Au Pairs.

The winners is determined by an essay nomination provided by Host Families and they all get recognition and prizes. In addition, top 3 eligible Au Pairs will be entered to win the worldwide Au Pair of the Year Award and FREE trip to Luxembourg! The International Au Pair Association (IAPA) will present the Au Pair of the Year Award to one outstanding Au Pair in March 2019 during Work Exchange Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference.

This year five Go Au Pair Host Families from the Philadelphia and Bucks County area  nominated their outstanding Au Pairs for the 2019 Love My Au Pair Contest.

They all feel that their Au Pairs are “the world’s best au pairs and they deserve to win the IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award!” That recognition makes each Au Pair a winner already!

Thank you for nominating extraordinary, exceptional Au Pairs

Maria Bilous from Ukraine

the best au pair of the year award mariaMindy Araujo from El Salvadorthe best au pair of the year award mindy

Yue Lu from China

the best au pair og the year award

Lore Nichele from Argentina

the best au pair of the year award lore

Luz Adriana Sierra from Colombia

the best au pair of the year award luz

I am very proud that we have many outstanding Au Pairs in the cluster and want to thank you the host families for sharing their inspiring stories about their amazing experience with their Au Pairs and the Au Pair Program!

 

The Au Pair program – a life changing experience!

The Smolarski family has been with Go Au Pair for 15 years and has a great experience with 10 Au Pairs! It’s really a joy to see how the Smolarski family bonds with their Au Pairs and develops long-term friendships through this program. You may think that there are a lot of responsibilities to take care for many kids and the little triplets and it is hard to find an Au Pair.  Not really- many Au Pairs extended with the Smolarsky family for the second year and said that it was a life changing experience!

“Not even in my best expectations for this program I could possibly imagine how much love could be involved between me and these three kids”,- says Nadia, the second year Au Pair with the Smolarski family.

 

Au Pair Brazil

“I’m already suffering just for thinking about the day I’ll say for the last time as their Au Pair, “good morning guys”, “Julia, you’re my bruxa”, “Ellie girl, you’re my peanut”, “Drew, you’re Nádia’s boy”, “I’ll be your friend forever guys”… And I mean it if they let me, I’ll be there to be anything they need me to, forever!

I know I have a second family for life and it’s good to know that I’ll be welcome to visit my host family in the future. I’ll always be grateful because I’m a better human because of what I’m living here and because of these little human being!”

Thank you to Smolarski family and many host families for welcoming Au Pairs to your home and making them part of your family.

 

Make the Musical Instruments with the Au Pairs.

Join the International Spring Festival this Saturday, April 21, 2018 and the Au Pairs from Go Au Pair will  teach your kids how to create the musical instruments from around the world. We chose – Maracas, originally from Portuguese,  Harmonica, originally from Europe, and Tambourine, originally from Egypt and Israel. Musical instruments

Maracas are integral to Latin American dance bands, and have become increasingly popular in pop groups, percussion ensembles, as well as primary school music education. The simple design and intuitive process of the maracas have made it a familiar favorite around the world. The instrument has a long history of engaging audiences of all ages and backgrounds.  Maracas are usually played in pairs, with either one in each hand or two held together in one hand.

Harmonica, also known as a French harp or mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used worldwide in many musical genres, notably in bluesAmerican folk musicclassical musicjazzcountry, and rock and roll. There are many types of harmonica, including diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, octave, orchestral, and bass versions. A harmonica is played by using the mouth (lips and tongue) to direct air into or out of one or more holes along a mouthpiece. Popsicle Stick Harmonica is a nice homemade music instrument for the kids to make and enjoy making music with.

Tambourine, small drum is normally played with the bare hands and often has attached to it jingles, pellet bells, or snares.  Tambourines were played in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Rome, especially in religious contexts, and they have long been prominent in Middle Eastern folk and religious use. Kids like tambourines because they make a lot of noise.

Please stop near Go Au Pair table this Saturday, April 21, 2018 and create your own Maracas,  Harmonica or Tambourine.  The address is North Penn High School, 1340 S Valley Forge Rd Lansdale, PA 19446 from 11:00 am till 5:00 pm. We are looking forward to entertaining your kids!

 

My lovely hometown in Ukraine.

Hey, It is Mariia again. I hope you read the Ukrainian Au Pair storyFollow my dreams  and about my awesome host family family in the US. Today, I want to tell you about my lovely hometown in Ukraine. I came from Cherkasy, it is a city in Central Ukraine, that has been known since the 13th century, so it’s quite an old place and still you can see a lot of things from the former USSR. My city played a great role in the history of Ukraine.Au Pair Bucks County 1

What reminds me about my city is it is my home sweet home, it is the place when I’m happy, where are all my family and my lovely friends are, and where my cat is.Au Pair Bucks County 4

One of my favorite place in Cherkasy it’s Castle Hill (Hill of Glory). The memorial complex with a monument “Motherland” is standing at the top of the former Castle Hill.Au Pair Bucks County

The view is unbelievable. You can see the beauty of the main river and our main bridge. My city is situated on the Dnipro River, it is huge and beautiful. It is funny but another favorite place of mine in Ukraine is a night club called Manhattan. We even have the bull that is the main symbol of this party place.Au Pair Bucks County 3

The style of people from Cherkasy are so different. People like to dress nice, put on make up  and go to work with happy faces. Compared with Americans, they spend hours to get ready to go to work. Even if you work on the bus, you need to put your eye shadow and your lipstick on! It is funny!Au Pair Bucks County 2Each time when I’m at home it brings a smile to my face. We have so many different restaurants and cafes. Another famous place in Cherkasy is  New York pizza. The food is so yummy.Au Pair Bucks County 5

I love my city! It’s probably not the best place to go in Ukraine but it is so special for me.

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