Looking back

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, I said goodbye to my house, to my town and to my country.
I had left, I was doing it, I was in the airplane, on my way to a new adventure. Today, I have a little over a month left and it’s time to look back at the past 11 months.

The first week

My year started off with “orientation days”. After we (Vera, Daphne and me) landed in New York, we were picked up and brought to a hotel close to NYC.  We would stay here for the first couple of days and learn about childcare, traffic rules and about the au pair life. There were around 150 au pairs there and we were split up in two groups: East coast and the rest of America. I was in the East coast group, because I was going to Scarsdale, New York, what was 25 minutes away from the training school.

The days were long and not that interesting, but I got to meet a lot of other au pairs. I still see some of them.

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Daphne, Babette, Vera

On Thursday, I got picked up by my hostmom and that night I slept in my new bed, in my new house. The first two weeks were relaxing, because the kids were still in summercamp. But it wasn’t easy at all. I needed a few weeks to get used to this country, to be speaking English all the time and to live with another family. Several times a week, I’d call my mom and just cried. In the beginning it was because of homesickness, later because of the “problems” with my host family. After two months, I realized that the reason I was so sad, wasn’t because I was homesick. Going home was the last thing I wanted. The reason was my “home”. To make a long story short: it just didn’t work out well between my first host family and me.
So, I decided to do a rematch. The two weeks that I was in rematch I had a lot of mixed feelings.
I was nervous: what if I didn’t find a new and nice host family? I was excited for being in the matching process again and for meeting new families. I was a little annoyed when I had found my new host family, but I still had a week left in my old host family.  But I felt relieved, excited and happy when I matched with my current host family.
And then I moved to Weston, Connecticut. The first months there were great. I worked a lot more and that was what I wanted and needed. (I didn’t work a lot or hard in my first host family).
The whole family was (and still is) so nice, smart and interesting. I’m learning a lot in this family: about America and the culture and things like history and geography. I learn English sayings and words that they don’t teach you in school.  And I learn about parenting and teenagers. I recognize a lot of my own behavior in the kids’ behavior (and realized how tough it has been for my parents to raise me and to live with me).

And then winter arrived. After my mom and Hennie in December and my dad and Pauline in January visited me I started feeling less happy. I’ve never liked winter: it’s cold, dark and boring. Snow is nice for a day, maybe two. But then it’s enough for me. February and March were really cold and snowy. And I didn’t like it at all. As quick as the first six months passed by, so slow did those two go.  And that’s all I’ll say about it.

In April I went to the Niagara Falls and in May to Montreal. May and June were nice, fun and busy. My host family left on the 17th of June and I was left with the cats. I really enjoy having some time off. I get to sleep more, can do whatever and whenever I want (as long as I take care of the cats of course) and I feel much more energetic.
But I miss the family and I’m excited for the last month here. I won’t have to get up at 6 anymore (YAY), since the kids are not in school anymore.  The idea that I have only one month left is so weird… It makes me sad and nervous. But I’m also looking forward to seeing my friends and family again, to be in The Netherlands and to go back to school.  But it’ll be hard to say goodbye…

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So, a reflection of my year as an au pair: it was fun, instructive, difficult, exhausting, interesting, surprising, courageous and amazing! It was a great year and I’d recommend to everyone.
Leaving your home for a year really does something with you. You have to start over from zero. You have to settle in, make friends, get used to another culture etc. You’ll learn so much about other people, another country and about yourself.
I definitely changed. I grew up, I became independent. I found more out about myself and what I want. What kind of person I am and want to be.

In the 11 months that I’ve been here I’ve seen New York City, , New Hampshire, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Amish County, Montreal, Toronto & the Niagara Falls. There are so many other places I’d love to visit in the United States: Miami, New Orleans, Texas, Alaska and many more. But hey, I’m 19 years old (yes, almost 20) and I’m sure I’ll have enough time to see those places.  I’ll spend my money on studying now and I’ll wait a few years (till I’m 21 hehe) to see go visit the other places.

And what about my blog? My life as au pair is going to be over in a month and that was the main reason for starting this blog.
The answer is: I’m not sure yet. I want to keep it, but I want to start writing in Dutch. I can continue writing about my life. I still love cooking, so I’d love to focus more on recipes and informative articles about nutrition. But first I’m gonna enjoy every second of the last weeks here and the first weeks back in the Netherlands.

Thank you for reading this! Have a wonderful day 😊

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Winter

Hi,17505829_1336454209777453_98172576_n

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.
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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)IMG_20161227_145549.jpg

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)17467590_1336453896444151_1865521659_n
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”17474922_1336454026444138_1942449954_n

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)

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That was it, byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Thank you for reading this 😊

 

 

Chicagoooooooo

Hiii

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. img_0549

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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.

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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 sawimg_0572 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..

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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.

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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.snapchat-19646243422
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.

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University of Chicago

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.

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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.

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Thankyou for reading this blog! 

Byeeeeeeeeee

I moved!

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. knipsel

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!

Weekend in Boston

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.

14330013_1146484312107778_5282846062827301876_nDaphne 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.img_8559

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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.14322738_10205287968199004_5323057780753792979_n

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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/

Week 3: Pizza, New Hampshire& NYC

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.

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The rest of the week was really fun.
We went to the Seaside Science Centerwe 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!

 

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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.

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Next time I’ll say my name is Kim.. 

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.dino
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.

 

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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…14114081_1124521017637441_1520582033_o

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.

 

In my next blog I’ll tell you about week 4&5: my first real work weeks! 

Byeebyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Week 2: Meeting new people

It’s already Sunday! This week went veeery fast. I’ll tell you about it in this short blog 🙂
The kids and dad are still at summercamp and my hostmom had to work this week. So I had a lot of free time. My hostmom showed me some places every night.

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Today I’ve met Rike. Rike is 18 years old German girl. She actually lived pretty close to where I lived in the Netherlands.
Rike is in the same cluster as I am.. A cluster is the group girls who live close to each other. We have one counselor: Paula. I haven’t met Paula yet, but I’ve heard from other au pairs and my host family that she’s amazing.
Rike’s host family is moving, so the whole family will live for a couple of weeks at the parents of her host parents. They live in Manhattan! After the move they will live in Scarsdale again. Actually, they went yesterday on a vacation for three weeks.
Buuut, the day was really nice! She picked me up at my home and we went to the centre of Scarsdale. We bought some food and a drink and just chilled and talked. Later we bought ice cream, went to the park and eventually she dropped me off at my home. It was really cozy, our conversations were funny and Rike is very nice.

 

Tuesday
Tuesday I went to Larchmont,  where Stephanie lives. She was my Swedish roommate at orientation. We went to the Starbucks for coffee,  talked a lot and ate a frozen yogurt. And then it was time to go back home.

13912643_1117524621670414_6888915812186453455_n
Stephanie!

It was a great day with Stephanie!

I’m not sure, but I think I went out for diner with my host mom that night. (we went out for diner a couple of times and I don’t remember which days exactly)

 

 
Wednesday
This day I’ve met Rike again. The plan was to go to the Walmart in White Plains and maybe to some other shops.  Buuuut Rike texted me in the morning that she had a little problem with her car. Sooo, she picked me up and we went to the car garage. The bumper of the car was broken or something.  Rike had to go back the next day to get it fixed. There was a really nice guy there who helped us.. Maybe I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks that Rike’s has a new boyfriend

After 2/3 hours we could finally leave and we still had 3 hours before Rike had to pick up her kid. So we went to the Walmart,  a couple of hours later than planned. Walmart is a shop where they have everything and it’s really cheap.  We bought some stuff (I don’t remember what exactly😂).  Wait,  I know what I bought: a sim card! I got a phone from my host parents with which I can call and text.  I used my own phone for internet and WhatsApp, but I could only use those when I was connected to the WiFi. So I bought a simcard with a plan and now I can use internet wherever I am.

13902627_1117539955002214_689636216027154475_nWe spent a lot of time in the Walmart and after that we didn’t want to any other shops.  So we rode to Hartsdale, where we ate a Frozen yogurt and then she brought me back home.

That night was the same as the others,  I think.. Next week I’ll  write down everything I’m doing, so in the next blog I can tell you what I’ve done 😀

Thursday
Another day,  another meeting. This day I’ve met with Barbara from Germany. She was also at the orientation days,  but I didn’t spoke to her so much then. We both want to set up a plan at a fitness center,  so we went to a fitness center here in Scarsdale.  She also lives in Scarsdale btw. My host mom told me about a cheap fitness centre (10$ a month) so we went there.  The guy there gave us a tour and told us about the plans. They have the 10$ and a 20$ plan. For 20$ a month,  you can sport at every location,  you can use the massage chairs and you can tan for free. I think those are the most important differences.
Barbara didn’t like the gym and I think she is going to look for another gym. I liked this gym,  but I also like the Planet Fitness gym in White plains,  so I’m going for the 20$ a month plan. I think that’s still very cheap. In the Netherlands I paid €30 a month.

After our gym tour we went to White Plains, where we went to Target. This shop is the same as Walmart: you have everything and it’s cheap.  I bought a simple black top and a scissors there. (and possibly some other things what I don’t remember)
Later we went back to Scarsdale to have lunch and then I took Barbara home.

In the evening my host mom and I went to Brazen Fox,  where we had diner. I ate a really good chicken wrap and we watched parts of the Olympics there. The USA is doing very well at the Olympics. They have 26 gold, 21 silver and 22 bronze medals.  It’s a lot more than the Netherlands, they have 4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals..  But the USA is a lot bigger ofcourse..
After diner we went to a supermarket for foood shopping and we bought some tasty food.

14034874_1117539878335555_2166759571820957363_nFriday
Friday was pretty boring. Well, the evening wasn’t. I’ve stayed at home during the day #Netflix #Olympics.  In the evening I’ve met a Dutch girl, Benthe. We’ve met each other in White Plains, went to Starbucks and we’ve just talked the whole night (IN DUTCH YAY). And she is amazing! =D

My lovely mom has sent me a package with “forgot things what I really need”.  For example: I took my electric toothbrush with me, but not the charger.
I took the charger of my watch (with steps counter) with me, but not the watch itself..
Buuut, my great mom sent me these and some other things and hopefully it will arrive soon 🙂


Saturday
I’ve spent the whole day in White Plains with Stephanie. Oh btw, I’m realizing now that I’ve said a couple of times that I went to White Plains, but I didn’t tell you what or where White Plains is.
White Plains is a city just 10 minutes driving from my home. It has 57866 inhabitants, which is similar to Doetinchem (where my father lives, in the Netherlands). White Plains isn’t very big, but it has a lot of shops, bars and restaurants. It’s crowded, but not so crowded as New York City. I like it.
We went to a shopping mall, where they had a H&M, Forever 21, Victoria Secret and many other shops. I’ve lost Stephanie a couple of times in the mall..

Eventually I’ve bought 2 simple tops, a vest and a sweater (for those who know me: that yellow sweater I wear so often: I’ve bought the same in light pink)
And then we got hungry, sooo we went to The Cheesecake Factory. For me, it was the first time there and it was sooo good! I had these soft taco’s filled with chicken, avocado, tomato and sour cream. After this, there was no room in my tummy anymore for Cheesecake, but I definitely going to buy one some day.Naamloos

Stephanie bought some beautiful make up. She loves make up hahaha. And I don’t have any sense of make up haha. But Stephanie does, and it was fun to see her watching all that make up. She is collecting Mac lipsticks (right Stephanie?) I have no idea why they are so special, but she want to buy 10? or 12? of them this year, and she bought her 7th one, I think, last Saturday.
It was a very nice and cozy day with Stephanie. In the evening I didn’t do anything special.

Sunday
And then we had Sunday, the last day of this week. And it’s a special day: my host dad and kids were coming home!
At noon I went to White Plains to have lunch with two Dutch girls, Benthe who I’ve met on Friday, and a friend of her, Richella. It was very nice with them and it’s so cool to talk Dutch haha.

lunch
Salad with chicken, pecans, strawberry’s, mandarin, pineapple and poppy seed & half of a turkey sandwich

Around 3.30 pm I went back home. Andrew, the boy, was already home when I got back. An hour later, Jon (host dad) and Melissa came home. They also took another camp counselor with them, who is going to sleep here tonight.
We ordered Chinese food for diner and my host mom had to do a lot of laundry and I helped her a little bit. We are going on a little trip to New Hampshire this Tuesday, so the laundry has to be done before we’re leaving.

Soooooo, this was my week! I hope you enjoyed reading this. I have no idea if this is really interesting or not. Let me know in the comments!

Next week I’ll tell you about my first cluster meeting, the trip to New Hampshire aaand maybe more.

Goodbye Holland & Hello America

Helloooo from Scarsdale, New York

It is Friday,  August 5th,  and yesterday I’ve arrived at my host family’s house.  I’ll tell you about my first days: the flight and the orientation days in NYC.

13680456_1091858214232481_3160106582658724134_oLast Monday at 4 am,   we went on the road to the airport. With me were my mom, her boyfriend and my  brother. My dad was also going to the airport. My best friend came to my house that morning at 3.30 am.  She was going on vacation that day. So she came with her mom  very early to my house to say goodbye. It was very hard to say goodbye to her. I hope she will have the opportunity to come over here.

My plane was going at 9:15 am. When I arrived at the airport I had enough time to check in my luggage ,  go through the customs and get in the plane.  When I wanted to check in my suitcase,  there was some girl walking to me and she asked me if I was Babette. The girl was Daphne.  I already knew her,   but we only talked on WhatsApp,   I hadn’t seen her in real life. A couple of minutes later we saw the other girl we’ve met on WhatsApp, Vera.

Daphne and I checked in our bags together. We had 23 kg for each suitcase and we had 45,8 kg together.  So that was perfect 😀😀

After we checked in our luggage it was time to say goodbye. This was hard,  but it went well. Then, Daphne and I walked through the gates,  they checked our luggage and we walked to our gate of departure. We had enough time,  so we drank a cup of coffee and we talked a lot.

Then it was time to go in the airplane.  We could take our seats quickly and everything was okay. The flight was 8 hours and it was good and went very fast.

We landed at 11.30 am in the US. After the passport check, we picked up our luggage and then we walked to the exit . In the arrival hall was a woman from AuPair In America waiting for us.  She was very kind,  asked us if the flight went well,  if we were thirsty or hungry and she send us to the taxi. After a ride of 1 hour we arrived at the hotel. The hotel was great. I had beautiful ballrooms and nice rooms.

In the hotel we received a map with important information. That day there was nothing on the schedule, so we could do whatever we want. I just hang out with some other girls and went to bed. We should be sleeping in the hotel room with 3 girls. But when I was going to sleep at 10 pm, my roommates hadn’t arrived yet. In the middle of the night, at 1 am, I woke up and there was my first room-mate. It was Maria from Paris. We had a short talk and I went back to sleep. A couple of hours later I woke up again and there was the other girl. I looked at my mobile and saw that it was 4 am. I’ve had a little talk with the girl, Stephanie from Sweden. Her airplane was delayed, and that was the reason she arrived so late.

13918555_1110445002378376_1753249920_oAt 06.30 am we got our wake up call and between 7 and 7.45 we had to eat breakfast. After breakfast we had meetings, lunch, more meetings and eventually the New York City tour. I’ll definitely go back to NYC, so I’m not going to tell you about that now. This blog is already pretty long.

The rest of the orientation days where almost the same: Breakfast, meetings, lunch, meetings, diner and chilling with the other au pairs.

Thursday in the afternoon at 2pm we finished the orientation. Right after that a lot of au pairs left. Some were going to the airport, some to the train stations and some, like me, would be picked up at the hotel by their host family. My host mom had to work yesterday, so she picked me up at 5.30pm. I saw a lot of girls be picked up by their host mom, dad or the whole family. It was really great and cute to see.

And then after a couple of hours of waiting (and writing this blog) I finally saw my host mom walking into the hotel lobby. I walked to her, said Hi and gave her a hug.  My host mom and I went to a restaurant to eat something. The restaurant was on the Hudson River and had an amazing view. My host mom told me a lot about the kids, her family and other things. Back on the road to my new home, she told me a lot about the places we drove through.
After a short drive we arrived at the house. My host mom showed me my room, my bathroom and the rest of the house. It’s a great house with enough space.

I unpacked my bags and went to bed. Today I had a long sleep, I ate something and now I will finish writing this blog. Later this day I will go out for a walk I think. And tonight I’m going to drive the car with my host mom.

IMG_6471_editedI’ve met a lot people from all over the world. I’ve learned things about other countries and of course about kids and other relevant stuff.  I’ve made friends with who I am definitely going to hang out this year.

 

 

My american life, my adventure, my dream has begun!

Only 12 days left! 

The countdown has started!   In less than 2 weeks I’m walking in New York City.

On August 1st I’ll fly to New York. I’ll be staying in NYC till the 4th and then I’ll be picked up and I’ll go to my host family. The first days I have an orientation program with many other au pairs from all over the world. We have 3 busy days of learning about childcare and everything around it.

Last monday I went to the US Embassy in Amsterdam.  My appointment was at 10.30 am and from my home to Amsterdam is a 2 hours drive. Fortunately my  mom went with me.  We went at 7.30, because I wanted to be sure I got there on time. My mom dropped me at 9.30 close by the US Embassy and she went to a park area to park the car. From where I had been dropped I had to find the right building.  I left my bag,  including my telephone in the car,  because you can’t get your phone into the embassy.

visa
My passport with the visa

Eventually I found the right building and I had to stand in a lane of people outside. It is like waiting to go in the Space Mountain or any other attraction. There where nice people around me. We talked a little bit about what we’re going to do in the US. There was a girl who is going to study for a half-year and another woman who is a stewardess and need a visa to fly to the US.

After more than  1 hour waiting I finally got in. First I had to go through the security check and then I went to another room.  There I had to wait till they call my number.  I had a quick conversation in Dutch at a locket and after I had to sit down again. A couple minutes later they call my number again and I had had a conversation with another woman. This was in English and was going about my host family,  the place where I go and some other stuff. The woman said I’ll receive my passport and visa in a couple of days!! I was very happy that everything went well and that my visa request is approved 😀

At 12 o’clock I walked outside where my mother was waiting for me 🙂  We spent the rest of the day in Amsterdam and went to some shops.  I bought  4 jeans,  1 sport pants and 2 t-shirts. I hadn’t had the intention to buy clothes, because I can’t take all my clothes with me,   but I liked these  very much. Around 4 pm we went on the road back home.  But after an hour we came in a traffic jam 😦  On the radio we heard that it was a traffic jam of 12 kilometres (almost 8 miles) and a delay of 75 minutes :(.  So when we saw an opportunity to  get off the road,  we did that and went to the Ikea. It’s a construction market. It also has a restaurant where we ate something. Eventually we came home at 8 pm.

P1000144Now I’ve got my visa,  I’m almost ready to go.  I can start packing my (very big)  suitcase. In a couple of days I’ll receive my flight details, so than I know how late I’m going to fly.
My great adventure begins in just 12 days!

Sooo, this was just a short update. In my last weeks I’m going to enjoy the weather and have fun with my friends and family. On July 30th I’m giving a birthday/graduation/goodbye party. I’m really excited for that, but it’s gonna be hard to say goodbye to everyone.

I hope you all having a great day!

Babette

 

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