We love celebrating our au pairs here at AuPairCare. Every year we hold an Ultimate Au Pair Contest that celebrates participants who embody the spirit of the au pair cultural change program. Our au pairs however aren't the only ones who make this program great " this year we had a contest to find the Ultimate Host Family!
Our second place winner, Elani from South Africa, submitted a great entry about her family that shared her experience with love, family and cultural exchange. Read her entry on behalf of the Dubovoy family from Lindenhurst, New York!
What is it about your host family that makes them the Ultimate Host Family?
My family is the ultimate host family because they are so loving and caring. When I left my life and family behind to come here they accepted me as a part of their family and made me feel so loved and welcome. they treat me as one of them. When I'm sad they make me feel better and when I'm happy they're happy with me. When I achieved something, they celebrate with me. They always include me in their activities and they never make me feel alone or left out. They truly feel like my real family and I'm so happy to a part of theirs. They're notjust the ultimate host family but also the ultimate family.
What have you learned from your host family about American culture?
My host family has taught me so much about American culture and they always look for an opportunity to teach me more. I've learned so much about the English language and my English has also improved with their help. They've taught me about American literature and now I also loving reading classic American books. I've learned about the American education system which is so much different from my country's system and I now also understand it better. I've learned so much about the American holidays and traditions that go with it and I've had so much fun experiencing it with my host family, like dressing up for Halloween and going to tree lighting ceremonies with my host kids. And I've learned how important it is to honor those who once served this beautiful country. And i loved being thankful for the amazing host family that I have on Thanksgiving Day. I've also learned a lot about American sports and I've enjoyed going to the ball park to watch 4-hour long baseball games and eating pigs in a blanket while watching the commercials in between the football games.
What does the au pair program mean to you?
Being an au pair, for me means being a part of someone else's family. Learning about new cultures and traditions. Being a big sister and shoulder to cry on. Being someone the kids can count on and rely on always being there. Being a role model and someone they can look up to and aspire to be like. Being an au pair is being someone that loves unconditionally and treats with respect. Being an au pair means much more than just providing childcare. It's being a part of their lives on a daily basis and being proud with them when they achieve something and cheering them up when they feel sad. It's someone that's always there when they need a hand.
What are your favorite memories with your host family so far?
I've had so many wonderful memories with my host family. I've had memories of going to the daily show with my host dad and running in a blizzard with my host mom looking for a place to eat dinner. I've had wonderful memories with my host kids taking them to the zoo and aquarium in the summer and listening to our favorite songs on the radio in the car and having dance parties as a family in the living room. I've had wonderful memories with my whole family swimming together in Mexico's ocean on a family vacation.
Tell us about a funny moment you've had with your host family.
If I would have to choose one funny moment it would be - one night at our lake house we played Just Dance on the Xbox and the family chose a song for me to dance to, Hips Don't Lie. I was an absolutely awful dancer and my hips definitely lied, we all laughed so much that night at how bad I was but I didn't feel embarrassed or humiliated that they were laughing, I was on the floor laughing just as hard. I felt loved and a part of the family. And I shall now forever be remembered as the au pair whose hips lied. We still constantly make jokes about that night.