It is crazy to think that I have only been here a week. Honestly, it feels like so much longer. I have already experienced so much and I cannot wait for everything more to come. To sum up, this first week has been super exciting, super hectic and super amazing!
I arrived on a Friday after 12 hours of traveling. You would think you would be too tired to do anything at this point but there is so much adrenaline going through you that you only feel excitement and get a new wave of energy. Even if you are nervous don’t forget to take in all the amazing things that are happening. My host family live close to the airport so we were home fairly soon after getting my luggage from the belt. They ordered really nice Indian food (which is one of my favorite cuisines) and we just spent the first night getting to know each other better and talking about everyday things. I stayed up until 10:30/ 11:00 pm; I was up for almost 24 hours. BUT… this helped me not have jet lag. I was in my new rhythm straight away.
The first weekend my host parents organized a lot of activities, some with just us and some with other families. Saturday morning I joined my host mom and the kids (obviously) to go to the pool. The children were really excited to show me the ‘bucket pool’ and the ‘mushroom pool’, I think you can kind of imagine what that looks like. It was so much fun, and the weather was so nice! Even though it was earlyish in the morning, it was already so warm and the sun was shining so bright. Something I am not used to 😅. We also visited a farm to feed the animals, I will be taking one of my kids on a pony ride there soon (queue the excitement)! On Sunday, they went to the pool again, I spent that time unpacking my clothes into my new wardrobe as I did not want to be rummaging through suitcases anymore.
The work day
My alarm was set for 6:15, and after a 5 week summer holiday that was a bit earlier than I was used to, but I pushed through it. I got myself ready and went down to meet the nanny they had while they were waiting for me to come. She helped me the first couple days to get into the morning and afternoon routine. We got some milk ready and then we woke up the kids, got them dressed, changed diapers/ toilet time and then back downstairs for breakfast. Once they are done, they go to daycare and then when we’re back we clean up from breakfast and get some things ready for the afternoon; which includes bath time, playing and dinner. In short this is my routine every week day, and in the weekend I help on Saturday morning; sometimes with an activity.
My free time
I have been able to explore a few places around my new home in the first week. Obviously a lot is closed or you need a reservation due to covid. But I would say I have still managed to get out a decent amount. A walk around the neighbourhood is nice to get acquainted with everything here. Also helped me get my bearings a little.
I am obsessed with food. And I don’t necessarily mean eating it, I just love to look and see different types of food. So, the grocery shop was one of my first outings, for me this is a big deal. Coming from the netherlands the stores are tiny… and I mean tiny. Just going through all the aisles, and seeing what there is to offer is an activity for me. I didn’t buy a lot, just some things that I needed for the week, or that my host family needed. Oh, and I went to 2 different stores because, you know, more food. I live near a shopping center, so while I was out I also visited Michaels which is a craft store and Office, because I wanted to see if they had some classroom items I could send to my friends.
Continuing on with the food theme, I don’t think I have much else to write about this week 🤪. I have been to some nearby restaurants to get some food, for take out. I got a falafel wrap, which I was really excited about because it just sounds amazing. I forgot that Americans put pickles on literally EVERYTHING! It is not my thing, it is one of the very few items I will not eat. I just do not understand this obsession and I don’t think I ever will. When I took the pickles out, it was a really nice wrap. Also starbucks, because I am also a bit of a coffee addict. And a pizza place, I think I have had more pizza this week than I have had this entire year. But I don’t mind, pizza is delicious.
I also met two other au pairs that live close by (literally 5 mins away). We went and got some lunch and one of them showed me round as she has been here a lot longer. She showed me which shops there are close by and some of her favorites. Then she showed me her house and her au pair family. I’m so glad that I already met someone her that lives so close, and I was able to get along really well with her.
I don’t think that many au pairs can say that they had a birthday party the week they arrive. My youngest host kid turned 2! So we celebrated her birthday on her actual birthday with just the 5 of us. We had ice cream cake and it was really good, my other host kid has already asked for an ice cream cake for his birthday in October.
Saturday Sunday, we celebrated her birthday with neighborhood friends, obviously it was a frozen party because that is still every young child’s obsession. It was supposed to be on Saturday but due to looming storms we had to postpone. I made her a cake, which let me tell you was not as easy as I imagined. It was my first time making anything in that kitchen so I had to find everything. Also, every single cabinet has child locks which I kept forgetting. And, it is so much warmer here so I may have had a bit of a buttercream melt down along the way. But, all in all, I think it worked out pretty well.
I have had a really good first week, and I have to thank my host family for that, they have made me feel so welcome in such a small amount of time. The children are amazing to take care of, I love their hugs! Looking forward to many more weeks with this family, and many more experiences.
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