One great benefit of having a live-in au pair is having someone who speaks a foreign language become a part of your family! By having a foreign language speaker in the home, your children’s daily practices and thoughts are enriched in culturally diverse ways. Below you’ll hear from one host family in Wisconsin having a great time with their Colombian au pair Isa sharing their languages and cultures together. Check out how host mom Carolyn was pleasantly surprised when her son spoke Spanish!
Ana Isabel, who goes by Isa, has been part of our family since the moment we saw her. She and my daughter were holding hands, giggling, and telling secrets like best friends within hours of meeting. She and my son have bonded in their own special way as she plays superheroes with him around the house and teaches him cute songs in Spanish. Isa has jumped into the mix with a huge heart and an open mind and is up for any adventure our family is excited to take her on! She goes above and beyond and takes ownership over so much to help support our family so that our children are happy, healthy and thriving. Knowing our kids have her as an example, of being flexible and upbeat, goes such a long way for us as parents!
She has equally been as eager to show us her culture and take on us a journey with stories from back home in Colombia from her upbringing, sharing photos and videos of her culture as well as sharing her own holiday traditions and customs. That was one of the biggest reasons we wanted an au pair - for this cultural exchange and this aspect of our relationship has exceeded our expectations as a result of Isa's enthusiasm around sharing with us.
How has your au pair shared their language and culture with your family?
Isa has been teaching our children Spanish since she arrived and enjoys sharing food and music from Colombia. Our son had a long phase of requesting a song called "Baca Lola" about a funny cow named Lola. He caught me off guard in the first month she was here when he said "Ariba" to be me as he was laying on his diaper changing table with his arms outstretched. From the beginning, she has been eager to learn as well as generously teaching which we are so appreciative of. She continues to go the extra mile in all she does and our whole family feels like we hit the jackpot!
Isa has done a great job teaching us about Colombian food and has made us lots of delicious meals. Our favorite is the traditional ‘Arepas’ which the kids have helped her make. One of my favorite memories from Christmas was at her ‘host grandparents’ home when she and my Mom were in the kitchen and Isa was showing her how to make "Bunelos". It was a multi-step adventure finding all the necessary ingredients and such a treat for her to be able to share that with our extended family. It was the perfect contribution around to our holiday and a little piece of her home in Wisconsin.
Isa is everything we could have hoped for in an au pair and we are grateful to have found one another on the journey. We just extended her for another year to be part of our family, but ultimately, she will always be family no matter where she lives or where she calls home. She has stolen our hearts from day one!