It’s hard to describe this crazy experience in less than 550 word but I’ll start with introducing my self, my name is Valeria, I’m 21 years old and I’m from Mexico. So far I’ve been with my host family for 7 months and I can say this has been the greatest year of my life. I’ve had so much fun, I’ve been traveling a little, and really enjoying my time living in a different culture I also love getting to know my host family and all the stories they have to tell. I believe a major part on me having a amazing year so far is the great relationship I have with my host family, I am very happy to be living with them and they really make me feel at home. Here I take care of the cutest little baby, and watching him grow up has been an amazing thing, when I first got here he was a little 5 month old baby, now he is soon to turn 1 year old, I’ve seen him start eating solid food, I was there when he started crawling and also when his little teeth started coming out, I love this baby so much and enjoy spending every day with him, together we listen to music, from songs on the radio to kids songs in Spanish I play for him, that way I get to relive my childhood and I think he also likes them haha, hopefully he will be speaking Spanish soon as well, we also eat together (now he its almost everything I do), we walk to the park and make other baby friends at the playground, we also read books and even do some arts and craft!
I get to spend time with my host family during the week, and one thing that has amazed me since I arrived here, is how multicultural the U.S. is, here I’ve tried food from countries I never imagined and that I don’t have access to in Mexico (sad thing for when I go back), actually when I arrived, my host family took me to a Brazilian restaurant, 1st time trying Brazilian food for me and I really enjoyed it. A fun fact about this cultural exchange is that when I got here I brought some Mexican candy for my host parents to try, they liked the candy so much they even went online, searched for it, found a place and ordered more!!
Aside from having great times with my host family I’ve also had an amazing time meeting other people, since the moment I arrived in the training I met girls from places I couldn’t even locate in a map, now I have friends all over the world!
I can also say I have a great schedule that works with the family because I have my weekends off as most au pairs do, which is awesome, on the weekends I go out with my friends, I’ve already done so many fun things here I couldn’t have done back in my home country, from things like camel riding to celebrities spotting on the street, some times I feel like my life is not real.
I’ve also gotten to travel to a few places. For my first week of vacations I went to LA fro the opening of Harry Potter World Hollywood, and I was lucky enough my family was able to meet me there, I had a lot of fun and I was so happy to see them again sooner than I thought before 1 year.
There is also always a sad part when you go away from home, for me it was spending the holidays without my family, but my host family made sure I had a nice time, and even Santa stopped by!
Getting used to not eating the food I was used to was also hard for me, but here I get to try a lot of new things which compensates it a little, another thing I had to get used to was missing my friends, that really me feel homesick a lot of times but luckily we live in a time where we are able to text all day, call each other on the phone and make Skype calls so I don’t miss out on our weekly meetings even when I’m so far away.
By being an au pair I’ve had the opportunity to better my English, study in classes I don’t have back home (for me it was fashion sketching), try new things every day, make friends from all over the world, and even practice and learn a little of other languages through the people I’ve met. And the most important thing, I now have a 2nd family.
It has been a great journey so far, and I can’t wait to make more memories.