We are always so glad to hear our participants’ amazing stories written from their own experiences as an au pair. Our latest story is from au pair Amelia from South Africa and her experience with her host family, the Dewar family in California!
What is it about your host family that makes them an amazing host family?
My host family is the ultimate host family without a doubt. I knew that I would care about my host family, but never did I thought that I would love them so much! They have exceeded all the expectations I had of how the ultimate host family would be like. They make me feel welcomed and I feel like I have found a second family! "Family isn't always about the people in your life who are blood relations. It's about the people who supports you and no matter what, are there for you. It's people that accepts you and makes you happy. It's people you can depend on. " - unknown
My host mom and dad are the best! You can imagine coming to a different country can scare you in a way. But my host family have supported and helped me in every possible way. Here are some reasons why the Dewar family deserves to be the host family of the year. The host dad drew a map, so that I can find my way around easier. In South Africa, we drive on the other side of the road. So yes, driving here was something else. They helped me with patience while I was getting used to the driving here. One the day when I got my driver’s license, they got me cookies and a congratulations balloon. I'm learning so much from my host parents not only just about American culture, but also the love and care they have for their kids. They always go above and beyond for their kids and show up for every class party and every game and their kids sure know that they can count on them.
How have you and your host family shared your culture with each other?
My host dad and mom went to South Africa on their honeymoon! I was SO excited hearing that they have been to my home country. It makes me feel really nice talking about home because they know what I'm talking about. The kids can say some Afrikaans words, and my host child knows that I become so happy when she speaks Afrikaans, so whenever I would say ‘no’ to something, she says "Asseblief, asseblief, asseblief." (which means ‘please’) which obviously makes it harder for me to say no.
My host family's home is the BEST! For every holiday the house is decorated. On Christmas, we had stockings (we don't have it back home, so this is a new tradition for me). On Valentine’s day there were hearts and love letters and on Easter, there were a lot of eggs and bunnies! You can imagine how festive it feels! The family teaches me all about holidays and the history behind them. And of course, they taught me ALL ABOUT FOOTBALL.
What does the au pair program mean to you?
I would say this is an AMAZING program and it means a great big deal to me! I mean, who would not like to be a part of a second family, 1000 of drawings and 10,000 hugs from little kids, experience life in a way different perspective, meet people from all over the world and seeing places you only dreamed of seeing.
I have learned so much during the program starting from day one at the training academy in New York. And not just about taking care of children but about life as well. This is an excellent program and I would recommend it for EVERYONE.
Thanks for sharing this amazing essay Amelia!