The Baltimore cluster had a great time seeing the very creative lanterns parade around Patterson Park on the Saturday before Halloween. Afterwards we went over to Matthew’s Pizza on Eastern Ave. They’ve been baking pizza in Baltimore since the 1940’s. A good time was had by all. A definite repeat for next year!
On Sunday, August 18th, the Annapolis and Baltimore clusters of Au Pair in America got together to see the Baltimore Orioles play against the Colorado Rockies. They won!!! A wonderful experience to see a true American sport at Camden Yards. For some girls this was their first baseball game in the United States.
On April 6th the Baltimore and Annapolis clusters met in downtown DC and were given a private tour by the owner “Eddie” from DC by Foot. Eddie treated our group to a wonderful educational tour of the various monuments on the National Mall to include the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. We learned some great facts to include that the term “Mall” does not mean a shopping mall but rather means “open space” and the Lincoln Memorial takes after the Greek Parthenon which translates to “perfect unity.” Lincoln was remembered in history as a great unifier of our country and the 36 pillars that adorn the Lincoln Memorial represent the 36 states that were part of the Union at the time. Our group was able to see the first signs of the Cherry Blossoms (a gift from Japan) come to life throughout the city on a wonderful sunny day. These delicate blossoms signify the beginning of spring! Something we in the DC area have been looking forward to after a long cold winter.
The Annapolis, Baltimore and Columbia clusters all hosted holiday parties this month. The Annapolis cluster enjoyed a gift exchange and an international cookie swap where all the girls brought a baked good typical to their home country to share. Everyone went home with a bag of cookies from around the world. The Annapolis and Columbia clusters invited a Federal Marshal to attend to speak to the girls about personal safety when going out alone, with friends or when out with the children that have been entrusted to their care. Topics discussed included awareness of their surroundings, how to handle going shopping with children and what to do in case they find themselves to be a victim of a crime. Internet safety tips were discussed as well. The counselors presented the au pairs with a wonderful bright red umbrella with the Au Pair in America logo as our holiday gift to them. The Baltimore cluster had fun displaying their cheerful red umbrellas for the camera. It was a perfect day to hand out umbrellas as the weather was overcast and drizzly on Sunday. The cluster also did a Secret Santa gift exchange. Everyone left with a little gift, and feeling very much in the spirit of the season. We wish all the au pairs, the host families and their beautiful children a blessed and wonderful holiday, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving several au pairs and host families joined their Community Counselor, Patty Antreasian, for an afternoon volunteering at Our Daily Bread in Baltimore. The event was sponsored by the United Way, and we prepared hundreds of casseroles, desserts and snack bags to be distributed to families in need. Our group not only had a lot of fun but also felt that it was a very rewarding experience. We will definitely do this again next year!
Au Pairs with Au Pair in America from the Baltimore, Annapolis and Columbia clusters met at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore on July 15th to sail the Inner Harbor with the Urban Pirate ship (www.urbanpirates.com). We were greeted by some very authentic pirates and the au pairs and counselors were donned with appropriate costumes as we cruised the harbor on a beautiful sunny day taking in the city sights. Au Pair in America screens eager and skilled young women between the ages of 18 and 26 from around the world, who will join your family and care for your children during a mutually rewarding, year-long cultural exchange experience. Apply between July 16th and July 31st and save $500.00.
This past month has seen some unseasonably warm weather, and that made getting out and about even more fun! On March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated. St. Patrick is said to have given a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the snakes from Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in the U.Sl. since 1737. Traditional icons of the day are the shamrock, leprechaun, the color green and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The Annual Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held on March 11 this year, beginning at the historic Mt. Vernon statue of George Washington. It proceeded down Charles Street and finished at the Inner Harbor. Imagine my surprise when I saw two au pairs of my cluster riding in the parade!! Marite Donayre, from Peru, and Sabrina Fantoni, from Brazil, just happened to be at the beginning area of the parade, and were invited to ride in a vintage car in the parade. I always say au pairs have the most fun!
American Football Simplified:
A football field is 100 yards long. There is a Goal Post at each end of the field, in the End Zone, one for each team. A Football Game is made up of 60 minutes of play time. The 60 minutes is divided into four Quarters of 15 minutes each. At the end of two Quarters, there is a break called Half Time. On the Scoreboard you can see the minutes and seconds running out. The team with the most points at the end of four Quarters wins. Each team has an Offense and a Defense. If the Offense has the ball and tries to score by getting it across the Goal Line – the line where the playing field and the End Zone meet. The Defense tries to stop them. The Offense gets four tries to move the ball 10 yards toward their own goal post. These are called Downs. If they make the 10 yards or more, they get another four tries to move the ball another 10 yards. If they don’t move the ball 10 yards in four tries, the ball goes to the other team, or the team “loses the ball.” The Super Bowl is the final game of the Football season when two teams play each other for the championship. The game takes place in late January or early February. For some people the TV commercials are the best part of the Super Bowl. For the full rules of American Football visit: http://aupairinamerica.com/resources/life_in_the_us/football.asp
On May 22nd the Baltimore au pairs met for a picnic at Hammerman Beach Gunpowder State park. It was a beautiful day and the weather certainly helps bring everyone back outdoors!