11 months ago, I was packing my suitcase. On July 30th I threw a goodbye party. I said goodbye to my friends and family. And two days later, Monday, august 1st, early in the morning,… More
NO, I’M NOT
okay, that has been said. And now stop texting me Iris Rietberg.
Remember my blog on January 1st, where I said that I don’t really miss “home”? Well, I start to miss a lot of things in The Netherlands. Like, my friends, family, vaulting and foooood. In that blog it seemed like I was going to extend. And it’s true: when I wrote that, I was more feeling like extending. But I also didn’t think about it carefully. And I wrote it down several tips and came to this conclusion. That I want to go home in August and start the next chapter of my life.
After that blog, a lot of people contacted me to give me advice. Thank you all, I appreciate it!
No one said: “come home”. No one said: “stay there”. What my friends and family told me was:
- “follow your heart”,
- “you’re young, enjoy your life”,
- “there’s enough time to go to University”,
- “any decision is right”,
- “make sure you won’t regret your choice”
- “think about it carefully”
- “It’s your decision”
- “I’m fine with anything, as long as you’re happy”
You were all super nice and you’re right. It’s my decision, I’m the only person who can make this choice. But, everyone who knows me knows that I’m not so good in making choices…………And how do I know what my hearts want? Or how do I make sure I won’t regret it?
I can’t imagaine how hard it’s going to be to leave this place.. This family, my family. I’m sure I’ll get homesick to here anyway. But I’ll keep in touch and I’m sure I’ll go to visit them as often as I can.
But I thought and talked about it a lot and I’m sure. I want to go home and I want to start University. I want to start a life. Not that I don’t have a life here, but yeah, it’s hard to explain. Au pairs would probably understand this. It’s like I’m standing still. It doesn’t feel like I’m learning a lot (like I did in school) and the new and exciting thing about it is kind of gone. I’m still having fun and I still do cool things, but a year is enough for me. This experience is amazing and I’ve learned so much. But it’s enough after one year. A second year isn’t going to bring me that much more. I want to do something different now.
I’m super ready and excited for university. I’m excited to see my friends and family again. I’m excited to do vaulting again. To ride a bike. To talk in Dutch. To see my Dutch babysit family again (who are expecting their fourth kid in July Yayy).
I’m looking forward to going home. But, home? Where is home? I’m going to study in Wageningen, what is in the same province as Lichtenvoorde (mom’s house & friends) and Doetinchem (dad’s house). But the public transport (what is free as a student) is terrible in my area. So it would take me two hours from Lichtenvoorde and 1,5 hours from Doetinchem to get to school. I haven’t decided yet where I’m gonna live. Eventually I’d like to find a room in Wageningen, but not for the first weeks. I think I’ll be with my mom during the weekend and during the week with my dad. We’ll see.
I also need to decide what I’m going to do in my travel month. My year as an au pair ends July 31st, but I can stay in the US for one more month. I get the change to travel through the States. But I’m not sure yet if and where I want to go. I kind of want to save money for studying and august is not the cheapest month to travel in. And I also would
like to be home for a few weeks
before university starts… But on the other hand, now I get the chance to see something I wouldn’t see when I’m in the Netherlands. As in, I wouldn’t travel all the way to Alaska from The Netherlands, because it’s really far.
The places in the US that are on top of my list are New Orleans and Austin, but both of those places are super-hot in August. And they’re not that far from the Netherlands, so I could go there in a school break.
Maybe California… I’ll see. Any advice, someone?
Soooooooooo, if you have any questions or anyting to see, post a comment below, email me, text me, facebook messenger me or find another way to contact me.
And if you’re a future au pair, or you know someone who is in the whole matching process: I know an amazing hostfamily and they are looking for a new au pair. If you’re interested, contact me!
Byeeebyeeee, thank you for reading this!
It’s been almost three months since my last blog… I’d like to tell you about everything that happened in the last months.
(scroll down to the end for a summary)
I’m in the United States for almost 8 months now.. and almost six months in this awesome family.
Only four months left… or 10 or 13? I’ll tell you in my next blog what I decided. Yep, I made the decision.
In the end of 2016 my mom and stepdad came here to visit me. They stayed at my home for the first two days. Together we went to New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia and to Lancaster (where the Amish live). I showed them where I live in Connecticut and they met my host family.
On Christmas day, we went to New York City. We walked through Central Park, saw the tree at Rockefeller Centre and we had a good dinner at Brasserie 8 1/2.
In Washington DC we got a tour in Dutch along the memorials, given by Petra. She’s a Dutch woman who got married and moved to the USA. She has her own blog (in Dutch) where you can read about her life. > http://nederlandseamerikaan.blogspot.com/
We’ve also visited the Pentagon. You’ve probably heard of the pentagon before, but if not: The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. It’s one of the largest office buildings in the world, with about 6,500,000 sq. ft. (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq. ft. (340,000 m2) are used as offices. 23000 people are working in The Pentagon, but there is place for 40000.
The construction of The Pentagon started on September 11, 1941. Sixty years later, September 11, 2001, shortly after terrorists flew hijacked commercial airliners into New York City’s World Trade Center, another hijacked plane struck the Pentagon, killing 189 people and damaging roughly one-third of the building.
The Pentagon and everything we saw in Washington DC, were interesting and I liked it a lot. I would love to go back there. And if you’re planning on visiting the Unites States, I’d recommend Washington DC! (and if you’re Dutch, do the tour with Petra)
Then we went to Philadelphia and from there we drove to Lancaster for a day. We learned about the Amish people and their culture. This was one of my favorite days. It’s super interesting to see how they live. We did a tour through the area in a van. That felt a little weird. It was like we were looking at monkeys in the zoo. Not that the people look like monkeys, but it was just weird that we were looking and where they live like they come from another planet.
The Amish don’t use electricity. So they don’t have cars, a heating system, a wash machine, a dishwasher or the newest IPhone. Instead of a car, they use a buggy pulled by a horse.
We also saw the inside of a school and a house. These were fake, though. They have small school with one classroom. There’s one teacher who teaches all eight grades. So, the kids are all together in one classroom. Usually the teacher is a girl of my age, like 18 or 19.
The kids use scooters to go to school. They think that a bicycle is too worldly.
Anyway, there’s much more to tell about the Amish and I’d love to tell you, but there’s more I want to tell. If you do want to know more about the Amish, I’d say: go there and see it yourself. Or look it up on Google.
On the last day of 2016, we were back in New York. In the night, we did a boat tour where we had drinks, food and an amazing view over the NYC skyline. At midnight, there was a lot of firework and it was beautiful. (and I think I lost the pictures)
They day after I went back to Weston, while my mom and Hennie stayed in NYC until Thursday.
Tuesday night I took the train to NYC, to go to The Phantom of The Opera on Broadway. With my mom and hennie of course. The show was awesome. But afterwards it was time to say goodbye. On Times Square. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye, but we have had a good time.
And then it was 2017. In the first weeks of January, nothing much happened. It snowed, I guess. It was cold and yeah nothing special.
In the last weekend of January, my dad and stepmom Pauline were visiting me. Yayy. And that was also awesome. They stayed at my home, from Friday till Monday. On Saturday and Sunday, we went to New York and we saw a lot. Oh and we did a boat tour, and that was windy, but cool. On Monday, we went to a Diner for breakfast: typical American. And then in the afternoon they left :(. They got back home on Tuesday and got back to work on Wednesday. How awesome is that. “weekendje weg naar New York”.
We also, accidently, ended up in a demonstration. Thousands of people were marching through the city, while yelling “no hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here”
So, I try to think what I did in the last months, but there’s not that much to tell. I started my classes. I’ve had class about Montreal. That was boring, too long and not really interesting. But hey, that’s done now and I’m super excited for the trip to Montreal (May 5-7).
I’m also taking yoga classes on Saturday, for credits. Yay. I was supposed to start another class last Monday: World travel geography. But that class got cancelled. So, I had to find a new class and I’m going to do a weekend class in April. The class is about “the mysteries of Human behavior”, what sounds interesting to me. It’s in New Rochelle, close to where I used to live. It’ll be two long days, but I’m going to see a friend of mine who lives there and I’ll sleep there. So, I’m excited to see her again.
I think that’s kind of it. A summary of the last few months:
It snowed a lot and it was, it still is, cold.
The kids had a lot of snow days.
I worked, went to the gym, hung out with friends and started my classes.
My parents visited me.
My youngest host kid had her birthday and is 10 years old now.
My host mom also had her birthday.
And it was Valentines days. Two months ago.
We still have eight cats and I’m going to miss them when I’m going back to The Netherlands.
The cats are peeing everywhere. In purses, in the sink, on beds. Even in the toaster.
There were elections in The Netherlands and the “Dutch Trump’s “party didn’t become the biggest. Yay. (my mom voted for me, for D66)
That was it, byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Thank you for reading this 😊
Prepare yourself for a loooong blog. Get a cup of tea and maybe something to eat. And you might need a break halfway.
It’s January 1st, 2017. I can’t realize yet 2016 is over. IT went so fast.. In 2016 I got my HAVO diploma, broke my ankle, went to Curacao to visit my sister and of course I went to The US. I moved to another host family, met amazing people from all over the world, and saw amazing cities: Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Boston as Washington DC
I have no idea what 2017 will bring me yet.. On July 1st 2017 is my 20th birthday. Bye bye teenage life (my 20th bday is on 1-7 in 2017, haha, got it? 20-1-7, 😀 okay, nevermind )
My dad and stepmom are going to visit me by the end of this month! My brother will maybe visit me in April aaaand I’d like to do more trips. To New Orleans, Austin, Seatle, the Caribien, California…
I’m going to do something what’s really scary, but I’ll tell you more about that later.
I’ll start with my classes at a college and I have to make an important decision: staying or leaving.
1,5 week ago my mom and her boyfriend arrived in the US to visit me. Since they’re here I realize how much I do not miss home. Don’t get me wrong: I love that my mom and Hennie are here and of course, there are some things and people in the Netherlands I miss, but overall: no I don’t miss ‘home’. And I write home between the quotation marks, because my home in the Netherlands doesn’t feel like my only home anymore. I got a second home. A home in Weston, a small town in Connecticut. My home is in a beautiful house with an amazing family and the eight cats.
I see a lot of au pairs leaving, with all different reasons. Some have to leave, some are (home) sick and for some of them is the year over. I tried to imagine how it’ll feel to be back in The Netherlands. And now ow I see my mom, it makes me realize where I was thinking off: I don’t miss home. I talk to au pairs who are counting the days until they can go home, who are thinking of going home earlier and who are even looking at flight tickets. And yeah, I understand them, but it makes me realizing how happy I am here and how much I don’t miss my home in The Netherlands. And even my family is awesome, I don’t miss them that much (love you guys).
My mom notices all those differences between the US and The Netherlands. Small and big differences, cultural differences, people who behave different or just simple things which are different. I’m used to this now and totally forgot about that some things are different in The Netherlands Some examples:
- Enthusiastic Americans. American people can be really hyper and glib about something they like. Dutch people are more like: doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg. Literally translated: just act normal, that’s already crazy enough. Dutch people are more straightforward and will tell you when they like something or when they don’t. And it’s not that Americans act like they like everything. It’s more that when they like something they can be super
- Free plastic bags . Since 2016 you have to pay for every plastic bag in the Netherlands. Sometimes you’ll pay 1 cent, sometimes you have to pay 30 cents. But it can’t be free.
- Drive-thru’s. Everywhere. Not just a MacDrive, but a pharmacy drive thru, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks Drive thru’s and even the bank has a drive-thru.
- Everything is big cars, road, houses, food, people
- Houses made out of wood
- Bad Roads
- So. Many. Stop signs.
- Little disposable cups in the bathroom (nor sure of those are typical American, though.. since they aren’t easy to find in a store)
And of course, there are many more differences. And as I said, I’m used to these things. I’m used to the American culture and I like it. Actually, before I came here I didn’t expect it to be that different. I thought the culture was the same, the food was the same and people would be the same. Now is America a big country, every state is really different and I only lived in two of them. But it took me a few months to get used to the American life. And I’m still wondered sometimes.
The most important reason I love it here so much is my host family. The kids, the parents and the cats, they’re all great. I can’t imagine to ever leave them and go back to my life in The Netherlands. But, at some point, I have to. And that’s what on my mind a lot. Do I want to go back in August 2017? Do I want to go back after a year in the US, 10 months in this amazing family? I can start my study, Nutrition and communication in Wageningen in September. I’ll be 20 years old then, and hopefully 24 years old when I finish. I need to move to Wageningen, live in my own room in a house full of other students. I’ll need to find a boring job at a grocery store, go to school, do an internship and live the normal student life. When I say it like this, it sounds like something I really don’t want to do. But I do. I’m looking forward to that chapter of my life. I’m just not sure if I want to, if I’ll be ready to, close this chapter of my life in 7 months. What if I stay 6 or 9 months longer? Then I’ll have my travel month in February or May, what is a lot better than traveling the US in August. Then I’ll be back in The Netherlands for at least a few months, before University starts. So I can get used to The Netherlands again, have time to see all my friends and family and I have enough time to find a place to live in Wageningen. I would even have time to make a trip somewhere. Travelling is one of my favorites things to do and there’s so much I still want to see. But, on the other hand. There are things and people I miss in The Netherlands. And if I start university a year later, I’ll be done a year later, so I’ll be 25 when I get my Bachelor. And I might want to study further to get my Master.
Fortunately, I have enough time to think about this. I think I have to make the decision around May/ June. I have the option to extend my year with 6, 9 or 12 months, in the same family or in another family. I would definitely stay in this family. I don’t think there’s any family more perfect (for me) than this one, so I would never take that risk. And I would extend for 6 or 9 months. (And I’ll never tell you what I decide, so I can surprise everyone when I’m back). 12 months wouldn’t make sense to me, because I’m afraid that coming back in the end of August, and starting University in September to quick is. And if I extend with 6 or 9 months, I’ll have enough time to get ready for the life of a student 🙂
But I’ll see.. Maybe in a few months I’m really homesick oooor I don’t like working anymore. I don’t .. We’ll see.
Oh, and I made a trip with my mom and Hennie. We went to Washington DC, Philadelphia, Lancaster and New York City. But I’ll tell you about that in other blogs. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading this and feel free to ask me anything or give me advise.
You made it to the end of this blog! Thankyou! And happy new year!
1,5 week ago I went to Chicago with my hostfamily. We stayed there for a few days and came back on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
We flew on Saturday and we arrived late afternoon at the house where we stayed. The house was amazing. It was huge, clean and at a good location. I got a big bedroom with my own bathroom.
That evening we had a really good dinner at a Thais restaurant next door. I ate Chicken Satay (loooove it), Chicken and beef with sweet and sour sauce and drank a Green Tea Bubble Tea.
Sunday was my day off, so I decided to do some sightseeing. My hostparents gave me tips about what to do. I rented a bike. Even though it was really cold, I enjoyed every second of it. I hadn’t ride a real bike since I’m in the US, and I kind of missed it. First I went to Michigan Avenue. It’s the main street of Chicago with a lot of shops. There is also 360 Chicago observation deck. At floor 94 (1000 feet/ 343 meters) I had an amazing view over Chicago. At one side I saw Lake Michigan and on the other side I saw the city.
While I was walking there with all my friends ~
alone~ a girl came to me and asked me where I came from. So I told her that I’m from The Netherlands and she told me that she came from Germany. Actually, she thought I was someone else and that’s why she asked me. But the funny thing is: she’s also an au pair, she also lives in Connecticut and we arrived at the same date, with the same agency. We were on orientation’s together. She was there with an au pair travel class (where I wrote about in my last blog). We talked for a while and then they left. I made a couple of photo’s and then I left as well. I walked further on Michigan Avenue and really quickly I walked into the H&M and bought some clothes..
After that I cyled to Millenium Park. I cycled along the Navy Pier and through the park. It was beautiful. I parked my bicycle and walked to the Cloud Gate. I took some photo’s, drank a coffee and continued my bicycle adventure After a while I had no idea where I was, so I cycled back to Michigan Avenue. Went to the Protein Bar to get a smoothie and went back to the house.
In the evening we went out for dinner with friends of my hostparens. We went to an Ethiopian Restaurant. For me, it was the first time to eat Ethipian food. I didn’t know what Ethiopian food exactly was. What they eat is kind of sourdough flatbread, what looks like pancake: injera. Theytop it with meat, usually a thick stew and side dishes, as a salad. You use pieces of injera to pick up the food. It tasted really good.
On Monday was the big day for my host mom, the reason why we were in Chicago. She had a talk at the University of Chicago. So, that day she was preparing for her talk and me and my host dad took care of the kids. I went to the Zoo with the oldest boy and his girlfriend, while my hostdad took the other kids to a play café. (a place where you can play with birds and some other animals). I liked to be out, but I didn’t really like the zoo. There were tigers and lion’s, who are cool to see of course, but their cages were so small. And basically all the cages were too small, in my opinion.
After the zoo, we had lunch together and we went back to the house. We (the kids and me) didn’t do anything special in the evening and ordered food (at the Thai place) for dinner.
My hostmom’s talk at the University went really goood.
On Tuesday I went with my hostparents, Serafina and Aidan (the 9-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy) to the University of Chicago. The week before I went with a group of au pairs to Yale University in New Haven. Both universities are really similar, but cool and pretty.
That night we ordered food at the Thai place, again. We packed our suitcases, watched a tv show and went to bed.
Wednesday we flew back and when we got home, the rest of the family was there (grandparents and uncle). They were busy with making pies for Thanksgiving.
And then it was Thursday, Thanksgiving! My first Thanksgiving ever. We had an amazing dinner with Turkey (of course),stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and a salad. And the Pumpkin Pie, Apple pie, cookies and whipped cream for dessert. It was delicious and we had a great time.
Thankyou for reading this blog!
Yes! I’m still alive! It took me a while to write this blog, but here it is! I’m six weeks in a new host family now and I’m really excited to tell you about it.
As you know, I moved from New York to Connecticut. From Scarsdale to Weston. Weston is just a little bit smaller than Scarsdale, but they’re different. Weston has a lot of big houses and great backyards. Scarsdale has that too, but there are normal and smaller houses as well. I haven’t find normal houses in Weston yet.. The nature is beautiful, especially now in the Fall.
Weston has about 10.000 inhabitants. What is almost the same as the village I come from (Lichtenvoorde has 13.000 inhabitants). South of Weston are Westport and Norwalk, what are bigger city’s with more stores and stuff to do.
In my first week here, I was working with the old au pair, Ilk
a. She showed me the routine and told me everything I needed to know. The week went fast and we had a lot of fun. Ilka stayed until the next Thursday and then she went back to Germany 😦 In 1,5 week we became good friends and it was weird to be alone after that.
I’m 5 weeks in this family now, and it went so fast. The kids are really nice, smart and polite and my host parents are great. Everyone helps me with learning the language and the country.
My day usually starts at 6. That’s when I wake up and I start working at 6.30. I eat breakfast with the kids, clean the kitchen after that and do some laundry. The kids are going to three different schools. The youngest girl goes to Intermediate school and the youngest boy goes to High school. The schools are in Weston and are all in the same place, but they start and end at different times.
The other two kids are going to a private school in Stamford. I bring them there basically every day. In the morning it takes an hour to get there, because there is a lot of traffic. After that I’m off and then I usually go to the gym.
Around 2 I start working again. I do the laundry and pick up the kids from school. Sometimes one of the parents get some of the kids from school and sometimes I pick all of them up.
If the kids don’t need to go to a doctor, dentist, orthodontist or whatever, we’re home and they do their homework, are watching videos or we do something.
I prepare dinner from Monday till Thursday. On Friday night we have a bigger dinner what my hostdad makes .
Usually on Saturday I work for a few hours, usually around dinner hours. Then I’ll eat dinner with the kids and we watch a movie or we do something fun.
When I was in Scarsdale I never stayed at home in the evening when I was off. Now I stay home more often. Because I work more now (what I really like), what’s exhausting of course. But also because I love it to be home here. Sometimes we watch a show all together, and if we don’t I also like it to be alone and watch Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden (a dutch tv show) , watch something on Netflix, read a book or go to bed early.
Some people asked me when I’ll start school. I came in Weston in the second week of
October, right after the Fall Semester started. I have no idea yet what I’ll do, but I’ll probably start school in January. I’m thinking of doing one normal course at Fairfield University or Norwalk Community College. And then I would like to do one weekend class ( a weekend full of classes where I get half of the credits I need) or a travel class. For a travel class you meet three Saturdays or Sundays to learn about the place where you going to. (I can choose Washington DC, Boston, The Niagara Falls, New Orleans, Lancaster or Montreal). After the classes you’re going to the city or place for a weekend. If I’m doing a travel class I’ll probably do New Orleans or Montreal.
These 6 weeks flew away, thanks to this amazing family and the other au pairs here. I went to Yale University in New Haven, I went to NYC, saw some amazing sights of Connecticut and had fun with other au pairs. The fall here is sooo beautiful.
I get the feeling that I’m welcome now. My host family is interested in me and in The Netherlands and that means a lot for me. I really appreciate what my hostfamily does for me and I feel so lucky that I found them.
My mom and Hennie will come here to visit me at December 23th. That’s in five weeks! They’ll stay here at my home for the first two nights. On Christmas day I’ll go with them to New York City and we’ll sleep there, because the next day we’ll go to Washington DC by train. We’re going to stay there for a few days, then we go to Philadelphia for 2 days. On December 31st we’ll be back in NYC and in the evening we’re going to do boat tour through the Hudson River. My mom and Hennie will stay until January 4th. We’re also going to do a Gospel Tour and we’re going to The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I’m really excited to see them again!
Thank you all for your sweet messages and for reading this blog.
My next blog is going to be really cool. While I’m writing this I’m in CHICAGOOO! I’ll stay here with my hostfamily until Wednesday. Aaaand Thursday is Thanksgiving!
Yesterday I moved from New York to Connecticut.
And why? Because I did a rematch. Rematch? Yes rematch. It means that I had to find a new to host family and my host family another au pair.
My friends and family know the reason for the rematch. Overall because I wasn’t happy in my family and I didn’t want to stay there for 10 more months.
I told my host family about the rematch two weeks ago. From then I had two weeks to find a new family. Or well actually, I couldn’t look for myself. A counselor of Aupairinamerica (my agency) made a profile for me. This profile is sent to all the counselors in the US. They checked my profile and then they looked if they have a family who was in rematch and would fit with me. If they had one, they contacted me or they gave the host family my email. Then I could talk and Skype with them and see if it’s really a good fit.
I was really afraid to go in rematch. I thought two weeks would be really short and what if I couldn’t find a good family? If I hadn’t found a new family after two weeks I had to go home. And that’s the last thing I want to do now.
In the first days I got 4 interested families. I talked with two of them. Two of them were living in New York, one in the Texas and the other family in Connecticut. From the beginning I had a really good feeling about the family in Connecticut. First I called with the mom and she was so sweet. I’ve Skyped with the current Au pair, I emailed with the host mom and on Friday we talked on Skype and I “met” the whole family. The good thing about being already in the US: I was able to go there and meet them in real. So, last Sunday I went there by train. I was pretty nervous. I was so enthusiastic about this family and if they didn’t want me, I wasn’t sure if there would be another family who was as good as this family.
But everything went well. I had a really good day there and I was really happy when they asked me if I wanted to match with them.
The last two weeks weren’t easy. In the first week I was so stressed about finding a new host family. And I still had to work in my old host family, which was hard sometimes. In the second week I wasn’t stressed for finding a new family anymore, but I was really excited to go there.
But yesterday I finally moved. I’m happy to be here and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the next 10 months.
Yes 10 more months.. I’m here for 2 months already! Even though I wasn’t always happy, the time flew by so fast. I did so many cool things: went several times to NYC, I went to Boston, ate way too much Frozen Yogurt, learned about other cultures and religions and met amazing people. I’ve made some really good friends. Even though I live further away from them now, I could see them in the weekends.
In my new family I’m going to take care off two girls who are 9 and 11 years old and two boys who are 13 and 15 years old.
I’m really excited and I’ll keep you updated!
From September 16th till 18th I was in Boston to visit my Dutch friend, Daphne. The first time I met her in real life was on August 1st, at the airport. We started the same adventure, at the same time. We said goodbye to our families and walked into our new life’s together. We were sitting in the airplane next to each other and talked a lot. At the orientation days we met new girls, but we were still together a lot.
At August 4th, we said goodbye: she went to Boston and I stayed in NY. A couple of weeks later we planned my visit. Friday September 16th I took the bus to Boston.
After a 5 hour trip from NYC I arrived in Boston, around 11.30 pm.
Then I called Daphne. She was waiting for me at the station, but I couldn’t find her. Half an hour later she finally found me.We gave each other a hug and I was very happy to see her again. We went to her home where I met her host dad. He was really nice, we talked for a while and got in bed around 2.
Daphne is taking care of a 4 months old little boy. On Saturday morning we walked with him to the river where we had an amazing view of Boston. When we were back home we ate a delicious breakfast. Her host parents made French toast of really tasty cinnamon bread.
In the afternoon we had a cluster meeting (a meeting for au pairs/host families in the area). Actually, Daphne and her host family had a cluster meeting, but I could join them. The meeting was at a place where you could pick apples. First we drank something, ate some donuts and talked with other Au pairs and their families. I met a couple of really nice girls, but unfortunately they all live in Massachusetts. Later we (Daphne, her host parents, the little baby and me) went to the apple trees to fill our bag. We got a looot of apples. I took some of the apples home and Daphne and her hostparents made an apple cake.
In the evening we went to Quincy Market: a place with a lot of shops and restaurants. We ate dinner at Cheers. After dinner we wanted to get Frozen yogurt, but the Frozen Yogurt places were already closed 😦 So we went back home, talked for a while and went to bed.
The next day we left the house at 9am. We walked to the train and in the train we realized that we were a little bit too late. We booked a ducktour at 9.40. So, we got out of the train and walked really fast / ran to the place where the tour started. I also had to carry all my stuff I brought for the weekend, because we wouldn’t go back to her house. So it was pretty heavy with my backpack and handbag, buuuut we got there on time! We made a photo with the bus/boat and then our 80 minutes trip began.
The tour showed us a lot of Boston, first from the road and later we made the splash into the water. It was a nice tour, definitely something you have to do when you’re in Boston.
After the tour we walked into a kind-of-foodfestival. There were a lot of different stands and almost everywhere we could try some food. There was bread, chocolate, milk, maple syrup, salads, cheese and much more.
Unfortunately we didn’t have much time left after that because my bus departed at 3. So we walked around, I bought some food and drinks for in the bus and we took the metro to the station. I said goodbye to Daphne, got into the bus and late in the evening I came home.
It was a great weekend and I’m very glad to have seen and talked to Daphne again.
Daphne, Thankyouu! And thanks again to your host family !
ps: Daphne is a great photographer and also has her own blog: https://daphneverstijnen.wordpress.com/
I forgot something really important in my last blog! During my 4th week there were two special days: the 26th and 27th of August. Those were the days were the reason why I wasn’t sure about leaving on the 1st.
The birthday of my best friend, Lisa, was on August 26th. I knew that I would go to the US for 12 months, so of course: I would miss at least one birthday. But maybe this birthday was more special than other ones. It was a really hard year, and Lisa fought so hard, stayed positive, graduated and became so much older in one year. It felt weird for both of us to be so far away on this special day.
I sent Lisa a balloon of a cow on her birthday with a personal card. And Iris and I gave her a clock with a photo with the three of us.
On the same day in the evening started the National Championships of Vaulting. And my team and me qualified for the Championships this year. So they were there, and I was here.
To be honest, I was already a little bit used to be somewhere else while my team had a competition. I broke my ankle last April, during our second competition of the year. So during the 3rd competition, which was one day later, I was watching from the tribune. The 4th competition (7 weeks later), my ankle was healed, but I had to work on that day. So while I was at work, they went to the competition. And during the 5th competition I was on a holiday in the Caribbean.. But yeah, those were normal competitions. This was a really special one. A month before I left, I told my team that I had contact with a nice family, but if I matched with them I would miss the championships. They didn’t like that of course hahaha. They were counting on me and when I made the decision to go, they had to change the freestyle for the championships.
Eventually they ended at the 4th place at the Championships, which isn’t bad, but I know that they are better than the first, second and third team 😀
Back to my life in the US.
The 6th week here started with Labor day. Don’t ask me what it is, I don’t know exactly, something with for workers. I know that American people like free days, so if they can find a reason to be off, they will. Sooo, they came with Labor Day.
okay, I just found on Wikepdia what Labor Day is: It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country.
I didn’t do a lot on Labor Day. Actually, I had to work for a couple of hours, but my host parents were both at home, so they came to the conclusion that they didn’t really need me. So I went to the park with some other au pairs. Oh, and there was a camp counselor sleeping with us again. Will, from England. The next day, I dropped him off at the train station, and he would spent the day in New York and flew back in the evening.
Tuesday was the first day of school. The kids had to wake up at 7 and we left the house at 7.45. The boy wasn’t feeling so well in the morning. Eventually, when I came home from dropping them off, I got a text of my host mom that he has thrown up at school. So I went back to school to get him and he spent the rest of the day in bed.
The next day he felt good and went to school. I went to the gym with friends on both days. When I came home at Wednesday in the evening, there were two girls in the living room. Again! Camp counselors! And this time there were two of them.. and it were girls! And I didn’t tell you the best thing yet…..
One of the girls was Dutch and would stay with us for a couple of days. I already met her when I came to summer camp. Her name is Lisa and she’s from Oss. The other girl, Sophie, was from England and she spent one night at the house
The next day I already left the house before they woke up. So, unfortunately, I didn’t speak a lot to Sophie.
The rest of the week I spent a lot of time with friends. We went to the park, to the gym and to Peachwave (where you can get Frozen Yogurt). The 6th week was really busy and I didn’t speak to my family and friends a lot. So, in my 7th week I planned to plan less 😀 And it helped, I finally got time to skype with my friends and family, to clean my room and to watch GTST (Dutch serie).
Last Sunday I went to a game of the Yankees with Lisa (the camp counselor). My alarm didn’t work.. so Lisa woke me up at 7.30, I showered really quickly, ate something and we left the house at 8. We went to Grand Central by train and to Lisa’s hostel with the subway. There we dropped off Lisa’s baggage ( a big bag pack, a smaller bag pack, two suitcases and a handbag) at the hostel. Her fight was on Tuesday, and she wanted to spent her last 2 nights in the city. From there we went to the Yankees Stadium. We went to the Memorial and to the Museum before the game started. Those were really impressive. After that we bought a popcorn, a big drink and we went to our seats. It was 9/11, so before the game started, they had a special ceremony. There was a big orchestra with bagpipes, drums and other instruments. They also had a big flag of America spread over the field, while someone was singing the National Anthe.
It was beautiful.
Eventually the Yankees lost.
After the game we went to the city. We didn’t know what we wanted to do, and actually it was already pretty late. So we walked through Central park and got dinner at Chickpea. I ate a wrap filled with hummus, falafel, chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and maybe something else. I don’t know haha. I didn’t made a picture of it. Every time when I’m eating something special, I realize to late: hey maybe I could have made a picture of this for my blog. But yeah, usually I’m to hungry to think about that.
After our dinner I said goodbye to Lisa and went to Grand Central to get the train to home. My hostdad picked me up at the train station. His daughter had a party in Long Island, so we drove there to get here. From Long Island you had a good view of Manhattan (not in this picture) and we saw the two blue lights for 9/11. These lights were on the place of the Twintowers. We weren’t really close, so you can’t see it really good on the picture.
So yeah, that was the Sunday. The 7th week I spent more time at home to relax. And I went to the gym almost every day with Rike and Barbara. We also met a nice new girl, Anna and she’s also from Germany.
And now I’m in Boston! Daphne, a friend of mine, is an au pair here. We flew together and were at the same orientation days. It’s really nice to see her again, and of course: I’ll tell you everything about my weekend in the next blog!
My 7th week has start today! As you can see in the title, this blog is about my 4th and 5th week. I’m sorry for this late blog. I was really busy and I didn’t have a lot of time to write. Oh, and when I had time my laptop wasn’t working… I really need to buy a new one..
Week 4& 5 s were the last weeks of the summer break. After 7 weeks of summer camp and one week vacation, the kids stayed at home for two weeks. I worked from 9.30 till 5.30 Monday till Friday. On Saturday I worked for 5 hours and I was off on both Sundays.
In the morning I’ve made breakfast for the kids (for the boy actually, the girls doesn’t really eat breakfast). I’ve made their beds and cleaned the dishes. Every day I’ve to do one chore: the laundry, vacuüm the bedrooms, the playroom or the tv room and clean the kitchen. I’m usually done with that before I’m making their lunch.
The kids are turning 13 in October, so they have a Bar Mitzvah Party at the end of September. It’s going to be my first Bar Mitzvah in my life and I’m really excited! They had to practice rhymes for the Bar Mitzvah and they went to the temple twice.
Both of them had to read a book before school starts. The rest of the time they were watching tv, we played a game or he was gaming on his Xbox/Nintendo. She had a couple of sleep-overs with friends.
In the evening I usually go somewhere with other au pairs. In this two weeks I’ve ate a lot of Frozen Yogurt, but I compensate that with going to the gym! I didn’t went a lot, but 2/3 times a week. Hopefully I can go 4/5 times a week when school starts.. if I have enough time.
I went to The Cheesecake Factory with Barbara and Stephanie, where we shared a piece of chocolate cheesecake as dessert.
In the 5th week I went to Benthe. Her host family went on a holiday, Benthe stayed at home and her mom came to visit her for a week.She invited me and some other girls for a dinner at her place. We ate wraps which we filled with chicken, vegetables, guacomole and more. As dessert we ate ice cream, whipped cream and poffertjes !! We had a really great and fun night and her mom is great!
In this 2 weeks I’ve also met Valeria from Mexico, Adrienne from Switzerland, Laura from Austria, Melanie from Germany, Kristy and Josette from the Netherlans. And I hang out with the girls who I already talked about in previous blogs: Rike, Stephanie, Benthe and Richella
Last Sunday I went to NYC with Barbara. We left early in the morning, so we’re in the city around 9 and walked from Grand Central to Times Square. There we met Barbara’s old match teacher, who was in the city. She’s been a couple times in New York and to other cities in America. She told us a lot about the city’s: what we have to do and good tips. Together we walked to Central Park. We walked through the park for a couple hours and it was great. Central Park is really amazing. It’s weird to realize you’re in such a big city when you’re walking there. There are a lot of people in the park, but it’s still quiet in some way..
After that we walked back in the direction of Times Square. A couple of blocks farther was The Brazilian Day. There was a lot of food, there was music and a lot of (Brazilian) people. There was a great ethos. It was amazing and special to be there.
After the Brazilian thing and a quick-lunch, we took the subway downtown to South Ferry. There we went on the free ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. We didn’t come really close, so I’ll definitely go back there to go on another boat.
We went to Wall Street, ate (way too expensive) ice cream and walked around. In the end of the day we’re very tired and decided to go home.
I wore my activity-tracker-watch-thing and we made more than 25000 steps that day! The only subway we took was to South Ferry and back to Grand Central. We walked the rest of it and it was totally worth it. NYC is great city to walk through. Believe me, just walk and don’t take the subway for a couple blocks.
Now it’s already Tuesday and my 7th week has already started. The kids went back to school last week and I was really busy.
In my next blog I’ll tell you about the 6th and 7th week!
This time I won’t say I’ll keep my blog short. Last week I did, but eventually that blog was longer than I thought it would be…
Monday was a busy day at home. My host Dad and kids came home from summer camp the day before. They have been away for 7 weeks, what means that they had a lot of stuff with them. Monday we had to wash all the clothes and clean up the stuff. At the same time we had to pack our bags for the little trip to New Hampshire.
Because I’m here for just a few weeks, I didn’t know where I had to leave all the clothes and other stuff. But I’ve tried to help where I could.
In the evening it was time for my first cluster meeting! A cluster is a group of au pairs in the same area. The meeting was at Frank Pete Pizzeria in Yonkers and we got unlimited pizza and soda. I don’t really love pizza, but this pizza was tasty!
Lisa, an other Au pair who I didn’t meet before, picked me up at home, and then we picked Barbara up. When we arrived, we had to sign in and we said Hi to Paula (our counselor). I saw Stephanie, so we went to sit with her at the table. There were already two other au pairs at that table. Another Au pair, Luise from Germany, was also going to sit with us.
It was a really fun and cozy evening! I’ve tried to learn more German phrases. Almost everyone at the table spoke German. I learned them to count in Dutch and some other words and phrases.
The new girls I’ve met, are super nice and we’re definitely going to meet again!
The day after, around 10.30 am, my host family and I left for the little trip. We had to sit in the car for 4/5 hours, so it was pretty long drive. Eventually we arrived in Rye, New Hampshire. After we settled in our room we went out for diner. We ate at ninety-nine, where I had a really normal, boring but delicious diner.
After diner we went back to the hotel and went to bed pretty early.
The rest of the week was really fun.
We went to the Seaside Science Center, we swam in the pool at the hotel, hplayed mini golf and went to the Beach. The coolest thing we did was the Water park where we went two times. They had really cool slides.
It was great to be with the family and it’s super nice that they took me on this trip!
Around 4pm on Saturday we came home. Together with my host dad I did the laundry of the kids. I’ve called with my mom, because I was a little sad, and it made me feel better.
In the evening I went to Richella, a Dutch girl who lives 20 minutes’ drive away from here. On Sunday we had planned to go to NYC, so I’ve slept there.
And than it was Sunday. We wanted to get the train from 8.50 am. Buuuut, we missed the train, because we didn’t know where to park the car. We had to wait an hour for the next train..
Eventually, around 11 am, we were finally at Grand Central in NYC. But we wanted to go to the American Museum of Natural History, so we must continue by metro.
After 15 minutes of looking at the Metro Map, we thought we knew which metro we had to take. Buuuut, when we were in that metro, we found out that it was an Express, and that it wouldn’t stop at 81st Street, where we had to be. So at the first stop, 145th street, we went out of the metro and took another metro back to 81st.
At the museum we bought the tickets and then we finally got into the museum. We started at theBernard Family hall of North American Mammals. The animals looked so real and it was very impressive to see.
In the rest of the museum we’ve seen meteorites, people from different places around the world (Asian, African etc.), dinosaurs and much more. It was really cool and if you ever go to NYC, you definitely have to go there!
Little tip: when you first walk in, you will notice the entrance fees posted. Typically $22 per adult is the “suggested donation”. It’s suggested, not required for entrance into the museum. So, just go stand in the lane and pay whatever you want for your ticket.
Later we had lunch at Cafe Piccolo,which was located atAmsterdam Avenue
. Richella ate a ciabatta with pesto, tomato, arugula and mozzarella (I think?). And I had a toasted ciabatta with grilled chicken, avocado, mustard and mixed greens. It was really tasty, but hard to eat properly…
After lunch, we had wanted to go to 34th , to go to Macy’s (a warehouse). It shouldn’t take a lot of time to get there.. Buuut, meet Rich& Babs: we can take the wrong metro, get out of that metro and then jump in another metro, which is also not the right one.
That’s why it took us an hour or more to get at Macy’s. It was already 5 pm, so we just had a quick look and Rich tried some shoes on.
Meanwhile, it was raining really heavily and we wanted to go to Chipotle for diner, which was one block away. So we ran through the rain and we got there pretty dry. Chipotle is aMexican Grill where you choose what you want to eat. First you choose a wrap, taco’s, bowl or salad, then the beans, the meat and the toppings. Pretty simple, right?
Richella ordered a burrito with chicken, black beans and some other stuff and I ordered a bowl with chicken, pinto beans and some toppings. After diner we’ve been to one more shop, where I bought 3 blouses and a dress and then we went to Grand Central.
Around 10 we arrived in the town where Richella lives. It rained very heavily and we parked the car 1 block away. Buuut, the car wasn’t in the street where we thought it was…..
We’ve found the car quite fast in the street next to it.
I dropped Richella off at her home and I drove back to mine (really slow, because of the heavy rain)
When I came home, I took a shower and went to bed. I immediately fell asleep.