Go Kart racing has been a popular pastime for about 50 years in the U.S. and has been the first step for many drivers who eventually go on to professional racing in NASCAR, Formula 1 and the Indy Racing League. And there are some women’s names in the professional racing world too, such as Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher. While we may not have been thinking about such high aspirations when we joined together for a couple of hours of fun this past Sunday at Crofton Go-Karts, we surely exhibited the adventurous spirit Au Pairing bring out in person!
Once a year our three clusters, Annapolis, Baltimore and Columbia, come together for our annual host family event, which is one of the State Department’s requirements for participation in the program. While total attendance is still a goal we hope to reach each year, we were very pleased to see all the happy families enjoying this year’s Cultural Fair for host families and au pairs. The venue was EcoAdventures (http://www.ecoadventures.org/) in Millersville, a hands on educational facility that captured everyone’s’ interest. The children were able to touch the animals, with appropriate precautions taken, while they learned about the animals in the Rain Forest room. The adults enjoyed that also! Au Pairs from around the world were stationed at tables with fun information about their countries and children were able to get a passport that they could take to the different tables and get stickers from the different countries. The icing on the cake was the food they brought from their native cuisine, which filled two table tops. Food is always a great way to share culture.
We hope to see even more host families next year!
On May 16, 2015, au pairs from the Baltimore, Columbia and Annapolis clusters came together to see the Orioles play baseball at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Stadium in downtown Baltimore. In total 52 au pairs came out to enjoy the day and to experience one of America’s favorite forms of entertainment! So many countries from around the globe were represented we lost track. While the sun was shining and the weather was very hot the Orioles pulled off a win against the Los Angeles Angels!
Thanks so much to Brian Egger of Trek America (www.trekamerica.com/aupairinamerica) for braving the winter storm today to meet with us and let us know about the wonderful travel opportunities for our au pairs. Tours range from as little as 3 to 4 days to 4 weeks long depending on how much time and money you have to spend! The beauty of joining such a Trek is the opportunity to meet people who may come from all different parts of the world. As you explore American cites and natural parks you find yourself making friends with people who span the globe! The tour guides introduce you to the locals by offering jeep rides on an Indian preservation to horseback riding in the Grand Canyon. For more information visit the Trek America site.
Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1863 when Lincoln became the first president to proclaim Thanksgiving Day. The holiday has been a fixture of late November ever since. The Pilgrims who sailed to this country aboard the Mayflower were originally members of the English Separatist Church. They had earlier fled their home in England and sailed to Holland (The Netherlands) to escape religious persecution. Seeking a better life, the Separatists negotiated with a London stock company to finance a pilgrimage to America.
The Pilgrims set ground at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating. They lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast – including 91 native Americans who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the native Americans. The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival and lasted three days.
It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving today. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies’ Magazine, and later, in Godey’s Lady’s Book. Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Hale’s obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.
To Learn more about the history and traditions of this holiday go to:
http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/videos#history-of-the-thanksgiving-holiday. Find fun activities to do with the children here:
Have you been wondering where you could go to see a performance, a film or an art exhibit?
Towson University has all of the above and more! You can check out their Spring 2014 calendar of events here.
Most of their events are FREE, and would make great outings for families and au pairs.
Here are some of the events happening in March and April:
4/16: Mixed Media “a new musical” by Kristina Kauffman, 7:30 pm, Ruth Marder Studio Theatre
4/2: Ellery Eskelin’s Trio New York, 8:15 pm, Recital Hall
4/11: Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 7:30 pm, Stephens Hall Theatre
3/23: HARANA – The Search for the Lost Art of Serenade (2012), 5:30 pm, Recital Hall and Atrium, Center for the Arts
11th Annual CLA International Film Festival
3/11: Screening of Favela Rising, 6 pm – 8 pm, College of Liberal Arts, LA 2310
3/27: Screening of Dream Land, 6 pm – 8 pm, College of Liberal Arts, LA 2310
4/3: Screening of The Square, 6 pm – 8 pm, College of Liberal Arts, LA 2310
4/3 – 4/5: 7th Annual International Women and Minorities in Media Festival, Van Bokkelen Auditorium, VB 204
4/5: Saturday Night Anime Series: “5 Centimeters Per Second”, 7pm, Media Center, MC 108
4/7: Sustainability Film Series: “TAPPED”, 7 pm, College of Liberal Arts, CLA 12o1
The weather has put a bit of a damper of everyone’s mood but luckily I found in the February issue of Chesapeake Family an article that provides families with five totally cool and unusual museums in the local area to help keep their children entertained despite the cold and the snow! Here is a short listing. For more detailed information pick up a copy of the February issue which can be found in many places including schools and doctor’s offices!
(1) The Baltimore Streetcar Museum located at 1901 Falls Road in Baltimore. Their website is www.baltimorestreecar.org/index.html; Admission for adult is $7/ children $5 and kids under 4 are free.
(2) The National Museum of Health and Medicine located at 2500 Linden Lane in Silver Spring. Their website is www.medicalmuseum.mil/index.cfm; Admission Free
(3) The National Cryptological Museum located at the NSA Headquarters, Ft. George Meade 8290 Colony Seven Road, Annapolis Junction. Their website is www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/museum/index.shtml; Admission Free
(4) The National Capital Radio and Television Museum located at 2608 Mitchellville Road in Bowie. Their website is http://ncrtv.org. Admission Free
5) Geppis Entertainment Museum located at 301 W. Camden St in Baltimore. Their website is www.geppismuseum.com. Admission: General $10, seniors $9 and students $7
After snow caused the Baltimore cluster to reschedule 2 outdoor events, they opted for a cozy meetup at Panera Bread Company where they enjoyed bagels, and each others company. Au pairs each received an umbrella with the APIA logo! The Annapolis cluster participated in an International Cookie Exchange where all the girls brought home baked cookies typical of their home country to share! All the girls went home with a bag of cookies from all over the world. They also participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange and for some it was the first time they engaged in stealing gifts from each other! Additionally, a Federal Marshall stopped by to speak with the girls about safety tips when out on the town with friends and how to remain alert when out with the children they take care of during the busy holiday season. The Annapolis cluster received coffee mugs filled with hot chocolate as their gift!
This past weekend au pairs from the Annapolis and Baltimore cluster participated in Baltimore’s Color Run. Our group ran a 5K around the stadiums downtown and as we ran past the various stations we all got splashed with all the colors of the rainbow to include: pink, blue, green, orange, yellow and purple chalk! There was live music and lots of celebrating at the end. It was a terrific time for all who participated and we are hoping to do this event again next year should this run come back to our town. Patty, the Baltimore counselor, surprised us all with a yellow rose for our accomplishment in finishing the race!