Last weekend’s snow storm pushed our celebration of Chinese New Year a week later, but we enjoyed learning all about it and how to make Chinese Dumplings from Yujue, an au pair from China! She taught us about the Chinese Zodiac, how the new year is celebrated in China. Then she taught us how to make Chinese dumplings, which were delicious.
Cindy Garruba and Nancy Picart combined their clusters at Cindy’s house for the meeting. Cindy led the group in filling out their tax forms, reviewing some school information for classes au pairs can take, safe driving tips from the DMV, childcare activities for fun on days when you have to stay inside, and then we learned some heart idioms in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Nancy Picart made a Valentine dessert for everyone, we handed out candy kisses to all the au pairs.
It was the last cluster meeting for Juliana from Brazil! She will be traveling around the USA for her bonus travel month, then returning to Brazil. Cindy presented her with a certificate, a good bye gift and all the au pairs cheered her accomplishments. Juliana has been an au pair for 2 years! We look forward to hearing more about her trip and her success in years to come!
From Diana, a Host Mom in Setauket, NY
“After 4 years of German au pairs, we felt the German language was well grounded in our twins as I am able to continue this bilingual upbringing non-stop after work and on the weekends. The German au pairs brought my girls the “fun” aspects of the German language by making it come alive with creative craft activities and all the fun outing activities, whereas I was able to reinforce all their German learnings through reading and more traditional teaching. So in our most recent au pair cycle renewal, we decided to expand the twins learning with two additional languages which had been privately tutored up to this past summer.
Since August 2012, we have a native Spanish speaking au pair and a Mandarin speaking au pair who split the longer work days that I have. The twins know very well that Spanish is spoken only with Jenny Quintana and Mandarin is spoken only with Yu Jue Wang. Very recently, my husband remarked that the girls don’t stop speaking Spanish!!! Basically, chatterboxes!! Mandarin is their fourth language, and they love singing and engaging in the very funny children’s stories from China. Yu Jue makes everything very amusing in Mandarin and the girls really like being challenged by her. It’s a big puzzle and game to them!!
At 4 and half years, learning languages is just pure fun! In short, the cultural enrichments stemming from understanding the language itself are an excellent foundation for all the years of global awareness and travel yet to enter into our twins lives. Our au pairs have and will be giving our girls a gift of a life time and we are so humbly grateful for these opportunities!”