20 mar 2011

Host Family Application Essay

Categoria: Au Pair is...


Achei a carta da minha segunda Host Family e vou colocar algumas partes aqui (já que ela, inteira, tem 5 páginas). Por pedido deles, deixei apenas as iniciais dos nomes dos host parents e das kids.  Mesmo cortando algumas partes, dá pra ter uma ideia de como é a família e o que eles esperam de uma Au Pair.

E aqui vai:

My husband(K) and I met eighteen years ago at university, and immediately could talk about anything.  But we didn’t marry until eleven years ago. Even in college we both lived and worked with people from other countries, and even then we talked about adopting children.

When our son C was born seven years ago,  K was working fulltime and I was working half time.  K worked four ten-hour days so he could stay home on Wednesdays and I could work all day.  He also worked from home one morning and one afternoon a week and I took the baby to work one morning and one afternoon a week.  As you can see, family life is very important to us. I have concluded, however, that I will have more energy and quality time for my children if I have an au pair who can help drive them places and make their lunches and be with one or two children while I have quality time with the other(s).  I also have a neck and shoulder injury and need to schedule therapy appointments about three times a week.  So I will need an au pair at those times. Occasionally, my neck and shoulder are unpredictably worse and I need help driving the kids and lifting the youngest one.  So if the au pair can be flexible about her hours and perhaps open to working more one day and less another day that week, that would be great.  K also has some flexibility in his work schedule, so we would not expect the au pair to miss class or anything if my shoulder is bad.   K travels every couple of months for about a week, but this gives him some flexibility when he is at home.

I also will be volunteering with Boy Scouts and taking one evening class each quarter.  I also think K and I need to spend more time together.  Perhaps the au pair could spend one evening a week and one early afternoon lunch period watching the children while this happens.

In general we are thinking that the au pair would work from 7-9 am, getting the kids ready for school, serving breakfast and cleaning up the breakfast dishes, driving the older two kids to school.  Also a couple of hours in the afternoon helping drive the kids to Kindermusik and activities, a couple of evenings a week, and the rest of the 40 hours could be flexible—I can schedule my physical therapy appointments around your class schedule, and you can do the kids’ laundry whenever it fits your schedule, etc.

We adopted our daughter M from Korea when she was almost a year old.  We had a wonderful experience of the country and people in Korea.  She had been very well cared for.  Our daughter R came to us from Korea  when she was eight months old.

As a family, we enjoy reading, camping, walking in the woods near our home, attending church events, visiting Seattle attractions such as the science museum, aquarium, zoo, children’s museum, waterfront, etc. The children enjoy doing arts and crafts and baking with me, and gardening and woodworking with their dad.   We hope the au pair will enjoy doing some of these things with us and being involved as part of the family, although we know we will each need our own space sometimes.

We live in Bellevue, just across Lake Washington from Seattle.  There is a good community college very close to our home and other universities in Seattle.  Usually Seattle is a 15-20 minute drive, but during the morning and evening business commute hours or when a professional sports event is happening, the traffic on the bridge can take an hour.  We are in a suburban neighborhood with good neighbors.  The au pair will have her own bedroom and bathroom downstairs.  The major living areas and our bedrooms are upstairs, so the au pair would have privacy in the entire downstairs floor in the evenings.  (There is a recreation room downstairs which the kids may use in the daytime for computer, table tennis, etc. but in the evenings the au pair could have privacy there to watch television, etc.)

I think the qualities important to our au pair/ host family relationship are: that the au pair truly care about the children and ther development, that she try to read and talk to them and do activities with them, not just have them watch TV. At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s not always fun to constantly supervise three active children and clean up after them.  (It’s important for the host family to be appreciative also—and we will be!).  The au pair must be responsible, vigilant, and have common sense. She needs to befriend the children without letting the desire for them to be pleased with her to cloud her judgment.   It’s important to be honest and willing to talk about annoyances and concerns before they become major problems. Both parties need to be understanding during the initial adjustment period.

We also need an au pair who is flexible, willing to have her schedule change sometimes according to kids’ activity schedules (although we will do our best to honor her need for advance knowledge and we can work around her class time).  We need someone who is an excellent driver.

We are also looking for an au pair who would be willing to forego wearing perfume and use fragrance-free versions of products such as hairspray, soaps, lotions, etc. (We are quite willing to buy these.) I realize a change in personal care products can be a sacrifice, but because of allergies I cannot have perfume in the house or the smell of perfume left in the car, etc.  This also applies for smoking—we cannot tolerate cigarette smoke at all, even on clothes, so we need an au pair who does not smoke.

For qualities on the host family’s part, we are very interested in other cultures, experienced with the little misunderstandings that can arise, and flexible.  (In fact, we are so easygoing and flexible that if you are an extremely neat and organized person we may prove frustrating for you.)  We truly would respect an au pair and insist our children respect her also.  We are good listeners and problem solvers.   We care about making the au pair’s experience a good one.


3 set 2010

Ta arrependida? Tire proveito!

Categoria: Dicas


ReOQAAAD_qcD24MdtkrmQXo84d_Go1nCECpZvR_1aoTbJQnTXKPwbDAr2_EovzD_iy4mhI7NCw3y4U-hJa_8pOUmOQu5EAm1T1UD6OrPh0Gsz0C66xVg5WIp71wWknnovar para o segundo ano e uma tarefa dificil. Muitas vezez a decisao eh tomada na duvida e no medo de se arrepender nao ter ficado mais. Outras porque tem certeza que preferem dois anos a um.
Meu caso e mais um daqueles em que renovar para o segundo ano pode ter sido um erro. Renovei com a mesma familia. Nao tenho absolutamente nada que reclamar deles. Porem pensar que eu poderia agora estar com minha familia e recomecar minha vida no Brasil me da uma dor no coracao.
Eu penso que deveria ter pensado mais e extendido por apenas seis meses. A decisao esta tomada, papeis assinados e palavra dada.
A questao eh: O que fazer quando voce se arrepende do segundo ano?
Voce levanta a cabeca e continua a vida. Ha varios motivos pra isso.
Se sua host family eh boa e voce deu sua palavra, nao vai querer deixa-los na mao.
O arrependimento vem sim, mas quem esta na chuva eh pra se molhar. Nao deixe isso abater seu ano. Se voce tem que ficar tire proveito! saia, divirta-se e viva cada momento! Nao sinta-se derrotado pelo arrependimento! Use-o a seu favor! Pense que ja que esta aqui o jeito eh curtir! Tenho certeza que com positividade e forca tudo fica melhor. No final um ano passa rapido (lembra como o primeiro voou?) e voce sentira falta de ser au pair!!


8 ago 2010

Dê boas vindas a nova au pair!

Categoria: Au Pair is..., Dicas, Fotos



Essa pode ser uma transição bem difícil para as crianças, então sempre é bom dar uma forcinha pros pais! Diga que será divertido ter uma outra au pair, de outro país, novas histórias pra ouvir e etc. Um dia eupedi pras meninas fazerem um cartaz “Hi Bee”,  Bee era o nome da proxima au pair, da Tailandia. Fotografei e enviei por e-mail, assim ja’ iria criar uma ponte entre as partes… rs.

1 comment

6 jun 2010

Porque resolvi ficar mais 1 ano

Categoria: Au Pair is..., Cultura, Dicas, Fotos, Medo


Eu já tinha na cabeça a ideia de ficar 2 anos como au pair, mas só durante o ano é que decidi pra valer. Eu tive uma experência boa com a minha primeira host family, não tinha o que reclamar deles, mesmo q as kids fossem pestinhas, só que eu queria morar em outro lugar, conhecer outras pessoas e de preferência ir pro outro lado do país. Assim, meu intercâmbio seria completo, teria conhecido as duas costas dos States, culturas diferentes (sim, Massachussets e California são BEM diferentes, em todos os aspectos) e pensava “por que não ficar mais 1 ano fora do Brasil?” Eu gostava bastante de lá. Renovei! Minha host family ficou meio chateada, porque não fiquei com eles, mas fizeram uma festa bem legal de despedida! Toda a vizinhança foi no churrasco que preparamos e pude convidar todos os meus amigos. Diferente da minha festa de aniversário, dessa vez acho q tinha mais de 30 pessoas!! Valeu muito a pena ficar por mais 1 ano.


A foto da esquerda sou eu com as kids da rua e a da direita com as amigas au pairs. COmo vcs podem reparar me fizeram usar um colar havaiano pra chamar a tal atenção… rs.


6 jun 2010

Renovar o visto?

Categoria: Au Pair is..., Dicas, Medo


Para muitas esse período do mês de junho é de decisão! Como o ano letivo nos Estados Unidos começa em agosto, muitas au pairs são contratadas no fim de julho, comecinho de agosto (eu fui pra lá no dia 14 de agosto). Mas o q isso tem haver com decisões? Aproximadamente 3 meses antes de terminar o seu contrato, a Au Pair in America vai mandar um envelope com muitos papéis, só pra variar, explicando o processo de renovação de visto e se vc quer continuar com a mesma familia ou não. Primeiro vc tem q ver se quer ser au pair por mais 1 ano, 9 meses ou 6 meses. Se disser que NÃO, vá direto pras informações de voos para retornar ao Brasil. Caso sua resposta seja SIM continue a ler os papéis. Depois vc tem que decidir se quer ficar com a mesma familia ou trocar de familia. Eu resolvi trocar de familia e arriscar California. O processo pra troca de familia é quase o mesmo de quando estamos no Brasil procurando pela nossa host family ideal. A diferença é que temos menos tempo e se não encontrar nada, temos q voltar pro Brasil. Sem chances de renovar com mesma host familia na última hora.

O processo de enviar papelada, procurar e achar familia dura em média 2 meses. Dei sorte. Achei uma família californiana que morava numa cidade litorânea, no sul do estado!

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