Posted by Bettina Velona on Jul 19, 2014
This month, we met at my house for a barbecue. Since it is summer, there were many good-byes and some hellos. We said good-bye to Melissa, Tazmyn, Natalia, Audrey, Liz and Priscilla. Good luck to you all with your future endeavors! We said hello to Londeka and Miriam, who had just arrived to the area that week. It was nice to see them start making connections with other au pairs. They also benefited from advice and feedback from the more seasoned au pairs.
For more photos, go to July Barbecue.
Posted by Bettina Velona on Jun 19, 2014
What a fun event our annual canoeing and picnic was again this June! For our cluster meeting, we met up with 2 other clusters at the South Bridge boat house. From there, au pairs canoed to the North Bridge, where counselors had prepared a picnic with fruit, brownies and lemonade. It was a beautiful day, perfect for our event.
Summer is a big time for good-byes. We said good-bye to Julia, Junika, Jenni, Khim and Lucie. We wish you all the best for your future! We welcomed Veronika into our cluster.
For more photos please visit Concord 2014
Posted by Bettina Velona on Jun 4, 2014
In May, we congregated at my house for breakfast. It was a beautiful day and we could sit outside in the backyard. Some au pairs even brought their children along. These meetings at my house are always a great opportunity for au pairs to sit together, bond, and talk about their lives as au pairs.
The meeting provided a wonderful opportunity for me to check in with each of them to see how they are doing. We also took care of some end of the year business by discussing their last meetings and providing me with proof of their education.
We said good-bye to Yann Ling who will leave us soon to go back to Malaysia. We also said good-bye to Kathrin who moved to Connecticut.
For more photos please visit May Breakfast
Posted by Bettina Velona on Nov 2, 2013
For October, I had planned a fun host family and au pair picnic at Honey Pot Hill Orchard in Stow. Unfortunately, that had to be cancelled due to rain. We had the au pair meeting at my house instead. In true fall fashion, we had apple cider donuts and apple cider. We also had a good-bye cake, saying our official good-byes to Lilly, Ning and Allegra who are leaving our cluster the next month.
For more photos of this meeting, you can go to October 2013.
Posted by Bettina Velona on Oct 27, 2013
This is one of my favorite regional events that we offer for our Boston area au pairs: a Harvard University tour. Counselor Patti Estabrook organized it this year and almost 100 au pairs showed up on a beautiful fall day.
Au pairs learned about student life and the diversity of one Americas oldest and most prestigious schools. Tour guides provided historical facts and stories. Did you know that the statue of John Harvard (which by the way is not John Harvard, but a student who was asked to model, in the absence of any known pictures of John) is the 3rd most photographed statue in the country?
For more photos, please visit Harvard Tour 2013.
Posted by Bettina Velona on Aug 27, 2013
We had a lovely afternoon at Nahant Beach last Saturday. The weather was just perfect! Summer is usually a time when a lot of my au pairs are traveling, but we still had a fairly big group.
This cluster meeting gave my new arrivals the chance to meet other au pairs from my group. A couple of them had just arrived 2 days ago. It was a nice mixture of new and more seasoned au pairs. A lot of connections were made and phone numbers exchanged.
Welcome all newcomers!
For more photos of our meeting, please go to August 2013.
Posted by Bettina Velona on May 30, 2013
This month we joined another cluster for a self-defense class with “Not Me” (www.not-me.org) . We gathered at Panera Bread in Lexington. Au pairs learned that healthy boundary setting is the first step toward defending yourself. Presenters Erik, Lisa and Melissa talked about their own experiences with boundary setting and talked au pairs through situations they might encounter. It was helpful to hear the signals we give to others unknowingly that indicate if we are an easy target or not.
We also discussed summer safety with children of different ages. This is an important component of the au pair program that aims at providing safe, quality childcare to our host families.
After the class, we said good-bye to Natalia who finishes her year next month and will go back to Costa Rica. We also said good-bye to Dennis who is moving to another Boston cluster. Good luck with your future endeavors!
For more photos, please go to Self-Defense
Posted by Bettina Velona on Apr 25, 2013
This month I led a yoga class for my au pair group at Together in Motion in East Arlington. We had a good time together and enjoyed some food and drink with chit-chat after the class.
For more photos go to Yoga Meeting
Posted by Bettina Velona on Mar 28, 2012
This month, we met another Boston area cluster for a visit to the Prudential Center Skywalk. Au pairs enjoyed the view from the 50th floor despite the fact that it was cloudy. Au pairs also learned a lot about Boston by using the audio tour device and reading up on Boston facts.
Afterwards, we walked over to Vapiano restaurant in the theater district. Counselors distributed a handout about spring activities, including child safety reminders. Each quarter, counselors hold a childcare/safety meeting with au pairs in an effort to ensure good quality childcare for their host families.
View from the top
For more photos of our meeting, go to Skywalk 2012.
Posted by Bettina Velona on Jan 20, 2012
This month we had a snowtubing event planned, but due to un-wintery conditions this week, we postponed it to February. On short notice, we had a small gathering two days later at my house. Since the meeting was smaller, we had the chance to talk about a lot of things. Au pairs had the chance to talk to me one on one about issues that they are dealing with. We also had a nice talk around the table about au pair topics, including child care, paying taxes, boyfriends and life with the host family.