Jennifer Stein, a Community Counselor in Houston, Texas, shared an incredible story from her cluster meeting in September. She and several au pairs were all dressed in their Au Pair in America t-shirts and hats, ready to participate in an Adopt-A-Beach cleanup in Galveston, but due to rain, they shifted their plans. Jennifer made a day out of showing the cluster her hometown of Galveston, where she was born and raised. Read on to learn what happened next!
First, we had breakfast at the Sunflower Bakery and Cafe. The girls loved the homemade waffles with fresh berries and powdered sugar. Of course, this southern girl had shrimp and jalapeño grits!
After breakfast, we walked the streets of the Historic Strand District, where a shrimp festival was taking place. Of course, we stopped at La Kings Confectionery, which first opened its doors in 1927.
Next, we took a ferry ride from Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula, a thirty-minute ride that lends itself to dolphin sightings. We had crossed to Bolivar and were on the return ride back to Galveston when a van full of women drove onto the boat. One quickly got out—her name was Edita—and literally hopped over to us saying:
“I was an au pair! I came to America in 1999! I have never seen another group of au pairs before! I am so happy to see you!” She sang this message as she again, literally, jumped up and down in front of us!
She gushed as she told my girls she had been an au pair with Au Pair in America and had lived her year in Dallas. Her Host Family had triplets, and she still has a relationship with them today. Edita was wonderful with my au pairs, answering their questions and sharing wisdom and insight from her year as an au pair.
One gem she shared: “Don’t run up to your room at 5 o’clock. Stay and be a part of your family. Embrace your time with them.”
I just love that – embrace your time with them!
She had a successful year, and of course, my girls wanted to know how and why she was still in America.
Edita shared that when her year as an au pair was almost over, she applied for a change of visa status, and later, she married an American citizen. She still lives in Dallas and is a professor at the Southern Methodist University. She was in Galveston on vacation with fellow professors, “trying to relax!”
We talked with her for the entire thirty-minute ferry ride back to Galveston. We were so engaged in her conversation and insight that we never even looked for dolphins along the return trip!
We even asked her to be a part of our cluster meeting picture!
Thank you Jennifer for sharing such a fun adventure and lucky encounter along the way. And a special thank you to Edita for sharing your enthusiasm for Au Pair in America after all of these years. What a treat for our current au pairs to meet you while exploring Galveston. These special connections you’ve made are so wonderful; thank you all for an inspiring—and amazing—story!