On Saturday, June 16th, hundreds of au pairs from all over the world met up in 12 different U.S. cities to perform in a flashmob. The idea came from Annika Jung, a Cultural Care au pair from Germany living with a family on Long Island, NY, just weeks after she arrived in the U.S.
She was looking for an adventure and searched for “special adventures in the USA” online and came up with the idea for a flashmob. She says:
It was a chilly day in the city of Preston, Washington, when a group of international au pairs came together to warm the hearts of their new community. They arrived to their local Area Director Ashley’s home for brunch to fuel a morning of volunteering their time for the Eastside Baby Corner. The group of 17 au pairs hailing from Germany, Czech Republic, Mexico, Poland, France, Thailand, Colombia, Brazil, Belgium and South Africa got to know each other during their brunch, as many had newly arrived to the Seattle area.
With the sun shining bright, over 2,500 local residents in California’s North Bay Area took full advantage of the hot weather and enjoyed Marin’s annual Hayday event. The old-fashioned county fair is held in a local pasture, and the funds raised support the Belvedere-Tiburon Library’s children and teen programs and services. A little heat didn’t discourage a group of au pairs from joining in the festivities, meeting local residents and volunteering at a number of stations during the event.
Belton, Texas, au pair Scarlett Palomoone recently volunteered at a local high school to assist students in their Spanish lll class. Scarlett is from El Salvador and since the class was beginning a project on Central America they were excited about the the opportunity to learn about her country first-hand. The students asked Scarlett a variety of questions about her home country including what type of music was considered "traditional", if uniforms were required at school, and even a few questions about the politics of El Salvador.
Au Pairs from Bucks and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania donated their time and energy at the 2016 Special Olympic Games - an experience they benefited from tremendously.
America loves baseball, and to kick off the 2016 season a group of au pairs in the San Francisco Bay Area enjoyed the sights and sounds of this favorite pastime! It was a warm and sunny Sunday in March when a group of over 25 au pairs attended a University of California Berkeley baseball game. The group showed up ready and excited, many dressed in Blue and Gold to cheer on the hometown Cal Berkeley Bears. They were eager to show their pride but also equally enthusiastic about learning the rules of the American sport.
Au Pair Julie from France recently spent an educational day in Georgia, learning about the American political process. Her time with a local political party in Hall County, Georgia, gave her firsthand experience on how the United States’ representative government works.
Six international au pairs from Brazil, Columbia, Spain and South Africa currently staying with host families in Larchmont, New York, volunteered to help feed those in need the Monday before Thanksgiving by dedicating their hands and hearts to the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force.
This summer, a group of au pairs in Columbus, Ohio learned about the history of their temporary home in the United States by visiting the Olentangy Indian Caverns. Au pairs from Poland, Denmark, South Africa, Germany and Brazil enjoyed a guided tour where they wandered through caves formed millions of years ago by an underground river cutting through solid limestone rock.
“The Columbus Au Pairs really enjoyed the tour and were amazed to learn how old the Caverns were” said Area Director Monika Jakesova:
Au Pairs who hail from all over the globe to care for children for a year or two find the cultural exchange goes more than two ways. And often, the au pair exchange will move more than just the au pair herself and her host family - other people in the U.S. host community benefit as well.
Xi Zhou came from China to the U.S. hoping to understand more about American culture and receive more education along with a greater understanding of the English language. What she got after she arrived was a new family and other close friendships.