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**2019 Winner** Au Pair Discovers a “New World”

Do you know what rotichapati, and samosa mean? Maybe you are thinking that those are cities or exotic fruits, but if you know that those are Indian dishes, you are going to understand me when I say, “Your tongue has found a new world,” because that’s exactly what happened to me.

“They Understood the Meaning of Leaving Your Country and Starting a New Life Again.”

**2019 Winner** Au Pair Discovers a “New World”

When I was looking for my Host Family, I never imagined sharing part of my life with an Indian Family, not in the USA, because you think, “I am going to America to live with an American family.” But when I saw in the system, “Romit Shahani and Palak Singhee have shared their profile with Gina Estrada,” I said, “Why not?” And when I talked to them for the first time, I knew that they were the correct ones for just one reason: they understood the meaning of leaving your country and starting a new life again.

With this letter, I don’t just nominate my family. I also want families and future Au Pairs to learn, understand, or remember the meaning of honesty, good communication, and familial love. Because, thanks to these things, my Host Family changed my life.

I must start by saying: My Host Family is vegetarian! And I am from Colombia (that word did not exist in my vocabulary because I was a meat lover). Nowadays in my meals, I can find more than 5 kinds of vegetables. You must believe me, it is a lot of food, and they make all delicious dishes because they don’t want me to feel hungry. My Host dad’s mother always says to me, “Take more, take more.” However, that’s not all. They keep some eggs in the fridge for me, this means that they accept the idea that I have a different culture, and they can accept and change their traditions in order that I feel comfortable.

The Whole Family is Involved in Supporting Me.

I confess: I really enjoy talking with my Host Mom. I have in my mind sentences like, “Don’t ask me anymore if you can take food.  You are part of this family and you can take whatever you want.”

Or, “I am your friend. Don’t cry! Tell me what happened.”

I don’t want to go into the details about the day I was crying. But the main idea was that somebody broke my heart. The best part about this situation is she asked me every day, “How do you feel?” until she saw my heart was fixed. Always she was with me.

One of my goals is to improve my English. It’s amazing how the whole family is involved in this goal. Jiva is 5 years old and she tries to explain to me the meaning of words that maybe she doesn’t understand at her age. Or my Host Dad, he is a really busy person, but he takes part of his time to explain to me grammar or pronunciation. Or my Host Mom, when I said, “It is time to brush your baby’s hair,” she just chuckled and told me, “Brush, not broom.”

Shiva, my pajarito (birdie in English), she is 4 months old and just looks at me when I try to read books in English with my Spanish accent. She just smiles at me and listens without understanding what I’m talking about. But she doesn’t know that when I read for her, I learn new words too.

On the other hand, they are always interested in my hobbies. They looked for a CrossFit gym for me, because in a conversation I told them that one of my passions is doing CrossFit. They really listen to me and support my goals.

My Host Family has shown me that it is important to know this world.

Because we are all different, we have to respect and accept other cultures and traditions. When you have a problem or you feel bad for whatever reason, the best way to fix the thing is with good communication. It’s important to listen to people, learn their hobbies, passion, and goals, and help them reach it. And most important: when you accept a new person into your house you have to say, “Welcome to our comfortable, happy, sometimes loud, full of love home.”

On the other hand, and the real reason for the nomination, you must be honest and talk with our brains and our hearts. I want to share part of the letter that they wrote when they were looking for an Au Pair. These are the sincerest words because I can say all these words came true.

“We are looking for an Au Pair who will feel like a part of our family. We believe in open communication and believe everything can be worked out if we can talk to each other. We are opening our home and our heart to you, to experience living in the U.S. and to help us out with our kids and have fun with them. While both my wife and I grew up in India, we have lived in the U.S. now for about 14 years each, and have spent most of our adult lives here and learned everything almost on our own. Now, we can teach you and accelerate your learning of the culture and country. You will learn Indian as well as American cultures, and it will be a diverse experience for you.”

Shonna Anderson


Shonna has worked for Go Au Pair for 9+ years. She started as a Placement Coordinator creating connections between Host Families and Au Pairs. Then moved in to the Au Pair and International space working with Au Pairs from all over the world. Now she writes helpful, inspiring, and fun content for Go Au Pair. If you are interested in sharing your experience, or if you have questions or would like assistance, please reach out to @ShonnaAuPairSis on Facebook or email sanderson@goaupair.com.

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Go Au Pair is one of the best Au Pair agencies in the United States, providing quality child care for over 30 years. Beginning as a nanny company in 1984, we soon expanded to include Au Pairs. We were one of the original Au Pair Program sponsors designated by the department of State in 1989.

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