"There are so many great moments that would deserve pages and there are definitely a couple stories about my struggle, which would worth its own place in this letter but I will try keep this short and sweet.
At 23, after working for big cooperation in Hungary and spending couple month in England working library, I decided to apply for this job. I was very anxious when it comes to speaking English so I hoped this program will help to gain confidence. Shortly after my acceptance to the program I had to face a difficulty that I didn’t anticipate at all which was being a male au pair. Most of host families that I talked to never had any experience with male au pairs and were worried about trusting a guy with doing choirs around the house. Even though I tried assure them about their concerns, we all know you can only say and promise so much in these skype interviews.
After couple unsuccessful interview Taylor family decided to give me chance. That was my only serious offer so I was very excited to take it. I remember when they told me in my first week that their previous au pair was the best that they had so far. I told them I will do everything to prove them otherwise. His mum was newly divorced and had to work extra hard to provide everything for us. Since most of time it was just three of us are bond became incredibly strong. Apart from swimming I am big on every sport and he is incredibly good swimmer so we made a perfect team and spent hours with teaching/ challenging each other in our free time. Seeing him swimming and beating even older kids on swim meets always amazed me and taught me a lot about determination. He always supported me getting better at English so I promised him if he keeps working hard in the pool I will take one of the hardest English test (TOEFL). I will never forget how proud he was when after 8 month in the US I got my TOEFL language exam. Just like this year I was lucky enough to be nominated by them too for the au pair of the year. The end of the year I decided to experience very different side of US but we still keep in touch and he knows that I am only a call away.
My second year I moved down to Houston from Washington Dc. After being part of family of two (single mum and her son), I joined family of five: three incredibly talented and art loving children and their generous and friendly parents. Needless to say it was quite a change. It felt like I got on right foot with the parents right away while the kids and I needed time to get to know each other. Since they all gifted musically, I felt like I had a lot of catch up to do. Obviously I knew I won’t be able to learn how to play piano or sing so I took the time and just listened to them. Slowly but surely I learned about them what they like or how I can approach them. After couple weeks I was able to join conversations and give my own input on things. The more that I saw from their world the more that I realized about my own. I developed new appreciation for instruments and classical music. After my first month when I thought I got through on the hard part, Hurricane Harvey came and turned our life upside down. As result of the endless rain my host family’s house got flooded. During the peak of the hurricane, we helped out several families with providing a place to stay. There were times when we had 8-9 children all together for couple nights so it was challenging to keep them busy and not have them thinking about difficulties. My host mum and dad showed amazing character during this devastating time so I was just trying to stay as strong as they were. Since it was all hands on deck situation, I tried to make sure that I involved the kids and showed them good example by helping as much I could. Aftermath of the Hurricane brought new challenges, which we all had to accept and adjust to. Our family gained new members. Hannah, my oldest host child, had two friends who needed place to stay for couple months. They were very helpful but I had to learn how to navigate the chemistry between 3 teenagers, addition to my other two host children. How the Bernosky family took in two friends of Hanna and cared for them just like they are their own, taught me a lot about sharing and unconditional care for others. The support they provide for their children is remarkable and great example to follow.
This whole au pair experience taught me endless life lessons that I am proud to take with me wherever my future takes me. Besides gaining confidence in speaking and writing in English, visiting amazing parts of this beautiful country, I discovered my true passion for childcare. In my next year I am looking forward to start education in field of psychology. My goal is to use all my gathered experiences and help children as adolescent and family therapist. Before I came here I didn’t have any idea what I want to do with my life I will forever be grateful, for my host families, children and everybody that I work with, to share the perspective and give me new purpose."