Posts Tagged ‘cultural au pairs’

…consistent evidence shows that all manner of nuts, including walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and cashews, promote healthy arteries and cholesterol levels when we consume them in moderation. Eating a small handful of nuts about five times a week is perfect (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/food-guides/nuts-seeds ).


(Pepitas:Public Domain)

Children form their tastes for foods at home, especially in the years before they go to school. A taste for a variety of nuts and seeds can lay the foundation for a longer and healthier lifestyle, and au pairs (in partnership with their Host Families) are uniquely positioned to encourage the children in their charge.

The list of yummies on the above page from Whole Foods includes “almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, flax seeds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistaschios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.” Then, these superfoods can be roasted with or without salt, eaten out of hand, or included in a variety of recipes.

A simple recipe for freshly roasted pumpkin seeds (aka “pepitas” in Albuqueque) follows:

  •  Less processed oil (try olive, flax, or coconut) to cover the bottom of an aluminum pie tin
  • Pumpkin seeds stirred into the oil, and
  • Natural sea salt to taste

Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pie tin in the oven and bake, stirring or shaking the seeds as they begin to brown. Some people like their pepitas golden brown—and others prefer just a bit of charcoal. The choice is yours!

Al Ataque!

(Further resources for your pleasure: http://www.nuts.com, and http://www.nutsnberries.com).

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Earlier this evening, Au Pair Sis (Go Au Pair’s online au pair presence) posted the following photograph on Facebook.

au pair sis


Attitude is one of the biggest good things we can do for ourselves and others–and it doesn’t cost a penny!


(Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/goaupair )

Awesome thought!!!

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GoAuPair has done it this time! Au Pair Sis is online—a companion, a friend, and a counselor for cultural au pairs.

Au Pair Sis Logo

Have a question about the Au Pair program? Need tips to improve your experience with your Host Family? Want some advice on how to adjust to a new culture? Ask the Au Pair Sis!

Au Pair Sis does it all: Blog, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook—and videos, like these on fitness.

Check out the Au Pair Sis for daily activities to make the cultural au pair lifestyle a totally new experience!

Let the party begin!

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English: A glass bottle of Clicquot Club Ginge...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Early fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Golden trees and Canada geese flying south fill the heart with joy. But, nasty contagious “bugs” also abound. A simple home remedy to soothe sniffles and tummy aches is Ginger Lemon Ale.

The recipe is simple:

  • 1-2 scoops lemon-flavored electrolyte mix (be sure to check for any recommendations by age)
  • 10 oz bottled ginger ale

Place the scoop(s) in the bottom of a glass or tumbler. Pour in the ginger ale, slowly to allow the extra fizz to settle. Enjoy, and take credit for being a thoughtful cultural au pair.

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"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth"...

“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Cultural au pairs are international nanniesfrom many different cultures. While Hallowe-‘en (All Hallows Eve) is celebrated around the world, Thanksgiving is an American and Canadian holiday. How does an au pair help make the holiday transition for his/her Host Family and Children?

Fall is fall, and golden decorations that reflect nature continue through November–but they darken to brown, and red as the season advances Pumpkins and decorative gourds remain appropriate until Thanksgiving, though they are turned into pie instead of of Jack O Lanterns. Candles (properly supervised) provide soft warm light as grey days increase. Strings of colored lights enchant young minds, as they change now toward the winter and Christmas colors just around the corner.

The main theme of Thanksgiving is the abundance of the harvest. The pilgrims had worked hard, with the guidance of N

ative Americans who understood how to make things grow. At Thanksgiving they celebrated and feasted one last time, before the cold harshness of winter set in.

A traditional formal Thanksgiving round to sing is Dona Nobis Pacem. In northern areas, where snow may come early, there is a common cultural favorite:

 “Over the river and through the woods,

to Grandmother’s house we go.

The horse knows the way, to carry the sleigh

Through the white and drifted snow.”

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A pumpkin carved into a jack-o'-lantern for Ha...

Halloween jack-o’-lantern, Photo Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain

Halloween is an world festival that contains elements of

  • Religion (the day after Halloween is traditionally called All Saints or All Hallows, with Halloween traditionally called All Hallows’ Eve),
  • Festival (children and parents don costumes that turn them into pumpkins, goblins, fairies and other colorful figures), and
  • Food (most Halloween celebrations involve “treats” that range from candy to harvest goodies like apple cider).

Unfortunately, Halloween has also been associated with needless tragedies and injuries. An au pair in the United States for his/her first cultural year may not understand the ins and outs of keeping Host Children safe at Halloween. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a page titled “Halloween Health and Safety Tips.” The page is part of a larger “Healthy Family” initiative that is ongoing through CDC.

Down the left side of the page is a pumpkin orange-colored bar with letters that spell out “Safe Halloween.” S tells us that “Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.” Other letters offer additional advice. To the right of the page are links for Halloween e-cards that feature pumpkins and ghosts, a healthy Halloween, and the “germ monster.”


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English: Cactus growing on canyonside at Tolan...

English: Cactus growing on canyonside (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Luna Community College has satellite campuses in Mora, Springer, and Santa Rosa. This area of New Mexico is very rural and lies southeast of Albuquerque near the Texas border. Au Pairs from the Albuquerque Heights or the Edgewood and Moriarty areas might find Luna Community College accessible.

One feature of Luna Community College is its support for small businesses and entrepreneurship. This month’s home page has a link to an article on small business longevity. The article begins:

“Starting a business is not that hard to do, but staying in business and being successful; now that is the challenge. Below are 8 ways to help improve your business performance.”

Further information at the bottom of the page references the Luna Community College Small Business Development Center:

“For FREE business assistance, contact the LCC SBDC at 454-2582 or 1-800-588-7232 ext. 1759. For an up to date listing of all SBDC services and trainings visit our web page at <http://www.nmsbdc.org&gt; www.nmsbdc.org.”

Au pairs are creative individuals with forward-looking attitudes and a strong desire to succeed. Today’s global economy stresses the role of small, local business ventures whose effects are felt around the world. Entrepreneurially-oriented au pairs may enjoy checking out Luna Community College.


Brown Mackie College(505) 559-5200Albuquerque http://www.brownmackie.edu

Brookline College – Albuquerque Campus(505) 880-2877Albuquerque http://brooklinecollege.edu/locations/albuquerque/

Central New Mexico Community College (505) 224-3000Albuquerque http://www.cnm.edu

University of New Mexico(505) 277-0111Albuquerque http://www.unm.edu/

Clovis Community College(800) 769-1409Clovis http://www.clovis.edu

Dine’ College- Crowpoint Site(505) 368-3500Crowpoint http://www.dinecollege.edu

Luna Community College(800) 588-7232Las Vegas http://www.luna.edu

The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM)(505) 662-0344Los Alamos http://www.la.unm.edu

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Map of Virginia highlighting Arlington County

Map of Virginia highlighting Arlington County (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

The GoAuPair blog for Arlington, VA contains an excellent introductory summary of the au pair experience, for prospective Host Families:

“Au Pairs are pre-screened international young adults with child care experience who provide full time, live-in child care and introduce a memorable cultural experience at an affordable cost.”

The conclusion of the same paragraph summarizes the supportive role of GoAuPair:

“As an Au Pair agency, Go Au Pair is dedicated to helping families in the Arlington area choose an Au Pair that fits their specific family needs.”

In the Newsroom link, there is a story about Gloria Grabois, a twenty-year LAR for GoAuPair. Gloria answers questions about how she helps provide “a memorable cultural experience” that fits “specific family needs.” Her response? “Communication, communication, communication.”

GoAuPair has a reputation for professionalism, and tries to provide caring, supportive LARs. Gloria is only one long-term LAR for GoAuPair.

Nice job!

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Diagram of the Albuquerque Box Effect when con...

Albuquerque Box Effect (Photo: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

The 41st Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta ends this weekend, October 14, 2012. In a way it is a signature event for cultural au pairs and Host Families. Many exhibitors come from the same countries that provide U.S. Department of State au pairs.

In 1972 the Balloon Fiesta consisted of 13 balloons in a parking lot; this year there were over 800 balloons aloft in the Albuquerque “box.” The “box” is the area west of the Sandia Mountains and above the Albuquerque and Rio Grande valley. Conditions are often perfect there for ballooning, and local residents become accustomed to colorful balloons above their homes and parks.

Crowds come early to the Fiesta, arriving in the dark to sample hot coffee and burritos while they watch the colorful envelopes inflate. Mass ascensions are scheduled in the mornings, beginning about 7 a.m. Balloon glows, which originated as a Christmas celebration by local ballooners, are scheduled in the evenings about 7 p.m. Balloon glows, which include the ever-fascinating special shapes, are held at the Balloon Fiesta grounds on Alameda, north of the City of Albuquerque.

For a concluding tour of this year’s Fiesta, please enjoy the following links.

Special Shapes Gallery: http://www.balloonfiesta.com/pilots-and-crew/special-shapes-directory

Balloon Glow: http://www.balloonfiesta.com/event-info/balloon-glow-2

Mass Ascensions: http://www.balloonfiesta.com/event-info/mass-ascension

Professional Photo Galleries: http://www.balloonfiesta.com/event-info/photo-galleries

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English: Au Pair

Au Pair (Photo: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

The work of preparing to become a cultural au pair is followed by the anticipation of the matching process, while the au pair is still in his/her home country. Once a match is made, final embassy and flight arrangements are made by the GoAuPair international representatives. The au pair may then arrive in New York for a special introductory workshop before traveling on to his/her Host Family.


The year that a cultural au pair spends with his/her Host Family moves quickly. Below is a general summary that is supported by the Local Area Representative and by emails and correspondence from GoAuPair headquarters in Utah.


The new au pair is flown to his/her stateside destination. The Local Area Representative will call to welcome the new au pair within 48 hours of arrival, according to Department of State regulations. An Orientation is next, to get the Host Family and au pair off to a good start. Then come arrangements for a Social Security card, a driver’s license, and education credits. Monthly contacts and required activities for au pairs and Host Families are scheduled. All of these things are within the first 3-4 months.


As the au pair approaches the half-way point in his/her program year, emails from GoAuPair begin to stress the importance of planning to return home. Decisions to apply (or not apply) for a second year in the United States, with the same Host Family, or with another family, must be made. During this time, the au pair may also travel nationally and internationally using his/her time off.

Going Home/Staying for a Second Year

As the au pair’s year enters the last four months, documents must be submitted to receive the Completion Package. The au pair will submit a transcript, certify that s/he has attended at least 4 LAR cultural events, and participate in year end surveys. Arrangements will be made to book a flight home. During the final 30 days after his/her program ends, the au pair is also free to travel within the U.S., utilizing GoAuPairs’ unique bed and breakfast program. Au pairs who choose to renew or transfer to another family


When the au pair leaves his/her home country, the year in the U.S. seems very long. However, each step is carefully planned to fit within a time frame. It is the common responsibility of the au pair, the Host Family, and the LAR to see that all steps are completed in a timely and non-stressful manner.

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