My name is Nancy Villalba and I would like to share my gratitude to my host family. I believe everybody needs to know how amazing they are and how they have changed and impacted my life in so many unexpected ways in such a short period of time.
I believe that it would be more accurate if I share my experience since the very beginning. I still remember the first time I talked to them. I was nervous and excited; I was rechecking the list of questions that I wrote in my notebook and I was rehearsing my lines while I was waiting to talk to them. As soon as our video call started, everything went naturally. While I was talking to them, the only thought in my mind was “I finally find the perfect family for me”. As soon as we finished our conversation, I knew that my life would change and that the dream of going to the USA would soon come true.
“They were not just looking for a nanny.”
From the very beginning my host family told me that they were not just looking for a nanny, they were looking for a new family member. They were looking for somebody that could be like a big sister to their girls. They never even said that we would be a work team, they always used the word family which meant a lot to me.
When I just got to the USA, I had an uncertain feeling. Was I doing the right thing by becoming an Au Pair? I started to have second thoughts about the experience. However, as soon as I walked through the arrival aisle and saw my host parents, they both welcome me with a big hug. I then knew that I was doing the right thing
When I got home for the first time, they prepared a welcome package for me. They even got me a tea that I love, Yerba mate, which is something we use for a traditional Paraguayan drink. They wanted me to feel like I was at home.
It is really hard for me to describe an “Aha” moment because ever since I got here they have worked so hard to make me feel like I’m at home.
I consider my host family the best family because they encourage me to try new things and enjoy things that I did not do before because I was too scared or lazy. They help me have an active and healthy lifestyle that makes me feel more than accomplished. Before coming to the USA, I would not be able to run even a mile. Now, I can run at least 3.10 miles a day. My family taught me how to ride a bike, card games and board games that I have never played before, and even some American expressions that are very interesting.
When I Got in a Car Accident, They Were There for Me.
Last but not least, they taught me how to overcome a hard situation. About a month ago, I was involved in a serious car accident that I can only describe as the scariest experience of my life. They told me that they do not want that bad experience to stop me driving here in the USA. they helped me to see this situation as a learning experience that will help me to be a better driver.
This event helped me to see how much they love and care about me. They were right there for me when I needed them the most. I still hear my host parents words “The only thing that matters to us is that you are ok”. I can still feel tears coming after thinking about them saying that. They were not mad at me, they were actually relieved that I was fine. It was in that moment when I realized that I actually have a family here, not just host parents or people that I work for, but a family. I am pretty sure that if something like this had happened to me at home, I would not face the situation the way I am doing it here.
I believe the reason why I love being an Au Pair so much is because of the amazing host family that have. They make me feel secure, loved and respected in all the possible ways. I came to the USA looking for a good experience but so far they have gave me even more than I could have ever asked for. I just cannot imagine my life without them or the girls anymore. I am definitely not the same person that left Paraguay only a few months ago. I can only be thankful with them for new version of me that they have helped me become.