Monthly Archives: November 2012

So Thankful this Year!!


Thanksgiving is a holiday all Americans celebrate and the Au Pairs enjoy the holiday with their host families.  The Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America took the time to express what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving.

2013 Au Pairs are Thankful for………………………..

Staying in America for a year and meeting new girls. I am thankful that my family and friends are healthy.

Being here in the USA and having a great family at home which helps me not getting too homesick.

Travel to the USA, being in Michigan and meeting awesome friends, awesome places, then travel to New York and finding a great host family.

My time here in the United States, the friends I’ve made and my host family has been so supportive.

All the wonderful people I have met thus far on my time in USA. My great host family and all the memories that will last me a lifetime.

All the people who love me.

My mom and my siblings, that they are there for me when I need them and that we help each other every time. I am thankful for the possibility to spend one year here in America.

My new host family, because the rematch was so hard and I feel so happy now in this host family. I can finally enjoy this new experience in America.

Having a lovely host family, the support from my family and friends at home, my strength to go through all this so far away from everything I know, all my possibilities her in the US., all the people I have gotten to know and will get to know…..

The supportive family and friends I left behind. The struggle it has taken to be here, the amazing host family I’ve come to know and the amazing friends I have made and have yet to make.

My host family – my friends and family who are at home – the opportunity to be here – my life and my health

Being here in America, for supportive, loving family and friends back home, to be able to travel and meet new people, to be blessed with such a great host family, to be healthy, etc.

Waking up every day and having the opportunity to learn something new. I am thankful for nature.

Host Families & Au Pairs Holiday Preparations!

1. Schools breaks during holidays; talk about how the work schedule will change during the holiday season.

2. Talk to your au pair about how you celebrate the holidays, ask her about how she celebrates, add au pair’s traditions into your holiday activities!

3. Talk to your au pair which activities you really want her to participate in if possible.

4. Discuss what time off she would like during the holiday season so you can put it on the schedule.  New Year’s Eve is usually very important to au pairs, if possible give her off – it may be her only one ever in the USA!

5. Gifts for your au pair are normally given by families; she will give some to you too, though I encourage crafts, books or games for her to give the kids.

6. Au Pairs will probably be a bit homesick this time of year, so be sensitive to her feelings.  Host families and au pairs will be stressed during the holiday season, be sensitive to each others’ feelings.

7. Try to keep the kids on as much of a regular schedule as possible.  Kids will get over tired and cranky if there are too many activities in one day or several days in a row.  Try to help limit the activities to a few a day or week.

8. Give kids downtime with quiet activities au pair can supervise, like reading a holiday story or watching a holiday DVD.

9. Make sure the kids get plenty of sleep.

10. Encourage your au pairs to participate in the kid’s school holiday activities; class party, concert, etc.

11. Encourage your au pair to do a Global Awareness presentation about holidays in their country in your kid’s classroom.  Introduce the au pair to the teacher.

12.  Enjoy the holidays and participate in Cluster Activities!

Au Pairs Meet about Hurricane Aftermath and Upcoming USA Holidays

On Sunday, Nov. 11 2012, Senior Community Counselor for Suffolk County, Cindy Garruba gathered the au pairs in her cluster together to discuss how Hurricane Sandy impacted them and to prepare them for the upcoming holiday season.

Nov cluster meeting 2 web

Some of the au pairs experienced no problems during the hurricane, they never lost power, had the internet and their host families functioned normally.  Others had to go to host families’ relatives houses to ride out the hurricane and the 2 weeks of no power, internet or phone.  One au pair shared that she and the host family’s grandmother slept on the couch, while the whole host family slept in Grandma’s bed.  She joked about the togetherness, but was very happy to back in the host family’s home again!  No one in the cluster was hurt and everyone now has power!  Some of the homes have some damage, trees are down in many yards, but everyone is fine.  Cindy said she is very grateful to her au pairs for their strength, courage, flexibility and all the love they give their host families.

After discussing the hurricane, the discussion moved on to American Holidays, childcare during the holidays, winter driving, staying healthy this winter and upcoming holiday activities for au paris and host families.  Along with all the important discussion, there was time to make ornaments for an International Tree for Stony Brook Village’s Promenade of Trees.  After all the conversation and projects, Cindy served the au pairs pumpkin pie to give them an early taste of Thanksgiving!

11-11-12 We Honor Our Veterans

The Story of Veterans Day

  1. November 11 is Veterans Day. A veteran is a soldier who has served his/her country.
  2. Thirty-five countries fought in World War I. They fought for five years, from 1914 to 1918. The United States fought in the war from 1917 to 1918.
  3. Finally the countries stopped fighting. The leaders signed an armistice. They signed the armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The armistice meant that the war was over.
  4. Americans were very happy to hear about the armistice. No more soldiers would die in the war. The soldiers could come home.
  5. People went out into the streets and laughed and danced. They blew horns and whistles and rang bells. They sang songs. They thought that there would never be another war.
  6. President Wilson made November 11 a holiday to remember the end of the war. The holiday was called Armistice Day.
  7. At eleven o’clock in the morning, everyone stopped doing whatever they were doing. People were completely silent for one minute. This minute was to remember all the soldiers who have died in wars.
  8. The body of an unknown soldier was brought to America from the cemetery in France. His body was buried in a tomb at Arlington National Cemetery. It was called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
  9. The US soldiers served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Currently soldiers are serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day.
  10. The bodies of three more unknown soldiers were brought to the cemetery. On Veterans Day, there are special services at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
  11. Americans remember and honor all the veterans.


Gas Rationing begins TODAY on Long Island!

Due to the gas shortage and electrical outages from the last two storms on Long Island, we begin gas rationing today.

If it is an ODD calendar day it is an odd gas day, so if the car you drive has a number 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 as its last number; you can get gas that day.  If its last number is 2, 4, 6, 8, or 0 you can get it on an EVEN calendar day.  If your license plate has only letters, it is considered an odd number plate,  you can get gas on an odd calendar day.

This will be temporary and soon we will be able to buy gas on any day.  Be patient and we will all be OK!

Election Day in the USA, November 6th

Election-2012-22Election Day in the United States of America is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. It can fall on or between November 2 and November 8. It is the day when popular ballots are held to select public officials. These include national, state and local government representatives at all levels up to the president.

What do people do?

On Election Day, citizens of the United States of America can vote by popular ballot for candidates for public offices at local, state and national levels. In even numbered years, federal elections are always held. In years divisible by four, presidential elections are always held. Elections for local and state officials may be held in odd or even-numbered years, depending on local and state laws.

The way in which people vote, depends on the state in which they live. In Oregon, all votes are cast by post and all votes have to be received at a given time on Election Day. In the state of Washington, nearly all people vote by post and the envelopes containing the voting papers have to be postmarked with the date of Election Day. In other states, people vote at voting stations, where long queues can form.  Here in New York we go to our assigned local voting place.  Many are in schools, firehouses,and  community centers.

In 1792, a law was passed allowing each of the states to conduct presidential elections at any point in the 34 days before the first Wednesday in December. This was the date when the meetings of the Electors of the U.S. president and vice-president, known as the Electoral Colleges, were held in each state. A date in November or early December was preferable because the harvest would have been finished, but the most severe winter storms would not have begun.

As long distance communication improved and became quicker with the advent of trains and telegraphs, allowing each state to conduct its elections at any point in a period of more than a month, became outdated. The results of the elections that were announced earliest could influence the outcomes of elections held later in the permitted period.

In 1845 the United States Congress chose a single date for all national elections in all states. The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November was chosen so that there would never be more than 34 days between Election Day and the first Wednesday in December. Election Day is held on a Tuesday so that voters will not have to vote or travel on Sunday. This was an important consideration at the time when the laws were written and is still so in some Christian communities in the United States.

In 2008 Barack Obama was the first African American to be elected as president of the United States. This historic event realizes Martin Luther King Jr’s dreams for a nation where people would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. On Inauguration Day, which is on January 20 every four years, the president and vice-president of the United States of America are sworn in and take office.


Back in Business after Hurricane Sandy!

I am very grateful to have power fully restored, including internet and phone!  I know many of you are still suffering and I hope you will be back to normal soon. 

The latest concern is a shortage of gas at the gas stations.  The trucks are not easily getting to Long Island over the bridges, so therefore there is a shortage.  Please conserve, minimize trips, stay home whenever possible.  This crisis will pass as the roads and bridges reopen.

Be patient and be safe!