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Ultimate Au Pair 2018 Finalist: Thais from Brazil

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Thais is an Au Pair superstar. Over the past year, she affected our family dramatically and helped create a true exchange of cultures. Since moving from Brazil to our home in Rhode Island, Thais quickly became part of our family. As a single mother on a limited income, raising a special needs child, I soon found that hiring Thais was among the best and most effective decisions I made in my lifetime.Through thick and thin, Thais has been by my side helping to raise my son.

The consummate au pair, Thais proved to be a talented and dynamic care taker for my son, Kyle. She quickly learned how to care for a child with special needs. Kyle is on a limited ingredient diet due to a range of food allergies, accompanying eczema, and a need to always have emergency medication on hand. Thais learned how to prepare nutritious meals that Kyle can safely consume and truly enjoy. We incorporated many of her native Brazilian food suggestions into his diet to add variety and interest to his palate. Items such as traditional Brazilian beans and rice with roasted chicken are among Kyle's favorite meals now. Preferring this meal even at breakfast time, Kyle is often found adorably chattering in Portuguese, uttering phrases such as "Bom Dia" (Good Morning) and "Agua" (Water).

Thais also an uncanny ability to stay calm, composed, and professional in the face of the most extraordinary circumstances. Four months after her arrival in the United States, our family relocated to Miami, Florida, for work reasons. The move was a challenge due to the logistics of packing and unpacking, moving into a new home, and learning a new town. The vast cultural changes in our new environment presented one of the greatest difficulties.

Our whole family experienced a culture shock as we moved from a small coastal town in Rhode Island to the hot, humid climate of Miami where many speak Spanish as a first language. Thais contributed immensely in helping Kyle transition to his new surroundings. Beyond Kyle's needs, Thais also had to find ways to assimilate to the new environment. Although we all struggled at first, Thais adapted and remained resilient through the changes.

Just a few months after our move, Hurricane Irma hit South Florida. There were no flights available, most gas stations were completely sold out of fuel, and we were unable to find any hotels with vacancy. Our family evacuated by car and drove 850 miles to stay with relatives in North Carolina. It was during this life-threatening event that Thais' true professionalism and resilience shined through. We were all concerned for our own personal safety, however, Thais continued to care for Kyle through thick and thin. She sprang into action and helped to pack his essential items to include books and toys for the road, his food, and medication. We left at night and Thais went into his room and pulled him from his crib as he slept.

She never hesitated even once to do what was necessary to take care of Kyle. When the pressure was on, Thais continued to excel and embrace the true spirit of childcare. She has been a true joy to our family and I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have found her!

 

The Campise Family

Doral, FL

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