Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’

cranes wiki public domain

(Cranes, Wiki, Public Domain)

In winter, Canada geese have long gone south and are no longer visible along the Rio Grande corridor that marks the almost-western border of the Albuquerque, New Mexico metro-plex. However, cranes have taken their place.

As the earth is plowed and turned to rest before the start of the busy growing season later this month, it is a common sight to see small flocks of migrant birds resting on the soil, as they quietly seek out last fall’s remaining seed in the soft dirt.

For au pairs in the Albuquerque area, the Rio Grande corridor is a journey into nature—and into history. The beautiful horse farms that border this road are back away from the road, behind agricultural fields in which birds rest. Many homes are adobe, and date from the middle of the past century or earlier.

Los Poblanos  (famous for their lavender fields in summer) draws international visitors to their farm. Near the Old Town end of the Rio Grande corridor are shops and restaurants with a local flavor, and Old Town Plaza itself is a world class tourist area.

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Flag of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image created...

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Albuquerque is a semi-desert area–with lots of sandy soil, cactus, and a humidity factor that plummets during most of the year. Temperatures make extreme changes when the climate is dry, rising and falling as much as 50 degrees between day and night.

Host children (and Host Families) in New Mexico may enjoy learning about these changes at a site designed especially to teach children about deserts.

The example given is the Sahara Desert, where summer temperatures exceed 100 degrees during the day and drop to 50 degrees or less at night. Albuquerque isn’t as extreme as the Sahara, but it still requires an understanding of how to dress in layers and how to keep hydrated.

Au pairs with native skills in desert and semi-desert lifestyles (and those who develop these skills in caring for their New Mexico adopted families) will recognize Albuquerque weather on this website.

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Creamy guacamole

(Creamy Guacamole, Wikipedia: Public Domain)

What is harder than thinking up delicious (and nutritious) meals for Host Children—and doing it every day?

There is hope. Au Pair Sis has gathered an awesome collection of easy and fresh meals on her Pinterest page.

Southwestern soils grow good vegetables: kale, asparagus, avocado, and others. Avocadoes caught my eye, as they are favored in New Mexico cuisine. The featured link to yummly.com offers  awesome alternatives for avocadoes in guacamole. Is anything missing here? Only a local emphasis on green chile added to the guacamole. Yum!

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English: Photographer is V. Green - it's a pho...

English: Rio Grande in Albuquerque, NM(Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

A wonderful thing has been happening in the publishing industry for the past few years—the publication of free magazines and newsletters of very high quality that are targeted for specific audiences. Rio Grande Family is a free magazine for New Mexico families (including families with au pairs) that has recently won the 2012 editorial and design competition award for the Parenting Media Association.

The December 2012 edition of RGF (Volume 2 Number 11) contains information on area events, and a variety of departments (“Facts & Fun,” “Family Health,” “Great Reads,” and others) that are keyed to active involved families with children.

The website for Rio Grande Family is www.RioGrandeFamily.com .

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Carrizo Mountains (Arizona) and Chuska Mountai...

Carrizo Mountains (Arizona) and Chuska Mountains (Arizona and New Mexico), (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Dine College was founded in 1968 to serve the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. It was the first of the tribal colleges to be established and presently has two main campuses, six community centers, and about 2000 students. The Crownpoint site is located in New Mexico, northeast of Gallup and Thoreau. This makes Crownpoint within reasonable commuting distance for cultural au pairs located in the Albuquerque, NM area.

Dine College offers Associate degrees in Fine Arts, Business, Early Childhood and Elementary Education (Teacher Preparation), Public Health, Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Associate degrees are also offered n Dine Studies and Navajo Language.


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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NM lamb with greens, apricots, yoghurt, and chile

Children are not known for their refined taste in food—unless you teach them. Today’s article is a gourmet-quality New Mexico meal that just might tempt children who are ready to experiment.

This presentation starts with a lamb chop or shoulder steak. Place a little cooking oil in a skillet (olive or coconut work well). Saute gently until the lamb is almost cooked through.

Chop and rinse fresh or frozen greens and place them on top of the lamb. Cover so that the greens will steam lightly, as the meat finishes cooking.

Garnish cooked greens with yoghurt. The yoghurt here was frozen, so it made slivers of cool flavor. Add a side of crumbly raisin bran muffin and another of fresh apricot compote (apricot pieces with a sprinkle of sugar or xylitol, lightly softened in the microwave). Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Finish with a side of roasted green chile salsa.

This meal provides protein, vegetable, grain, and dairy. The glycemic index is low, even in the muffin. Flavor notes are salty, bitter (greens), sweet (apricots), savory (yoghurt), and spicy (green chile). Preparation is 15 to 30 minutes.


  • Lamb chop or steak (can substitute beef or goat)
  • Fresh or frozen greens (e.g., dandelion, chard, or spinach)
  • Fresh or frozen yoghurt
  • Apricot compote
  • Raisin bran muffin
  • Roasted green chile salsa

Al ataque!

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One of many walking trails.

One of many walking trails. (Photo credit: Wikipedia, public domain)

The state of New Mexico calls itself the “Land of Enchantment.” Long a haven for artists, the nickname refers at least partly to the magical colors and shadows of the sunlight captured in paintings, photos, and movies.

The natural light is especially lovely in early fall as sunflowers line the highways– or sunlight filters through the trees along walking trails in high desert areas.

Au pairs with a passion for nature can fall in love with New Mexico! Contact GoAuPair to learn more.

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(The Albuquerque Mountains Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Mexico’s history in film is longer than its statehood. In 1898 a black and white documentary titled Indian Day School featured Isleta Pueblo which is located south of Albuquerque. The film was 1 minute long.

Over the years there have been a number of well-known films that were made partially or completely in New Mexico. Butch Cassidy graced New Mexico in 1969 and 1979. Jonathan Livingston Seagull was filmed in 1973. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusaders became real in 1989. Milagro Beanfield War (a local classic) was filmed in 1988.

If you see footage in a film and think it looks very much like the mountains East of Albuquerque, or the rolling hills and golden light of Santa Fe, you may be right. As a final treat, check out this Facebook page.

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English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An au pair may love his/her new Host Family and the children s/he cares for—and an au pair may be homesick and sad at the same time. What is best to do?

GoAuPair takes special precautions to help Host Families and au pairs prevent homesickness. A high percentage of au pairs (69% or more) have lived away from home before coming to this country. Such experiences lessen the chance of homesickness. GoAuPair recommends that Host Families ask the au pair about   independent living during the interview process.

Local Area Representatives next provide immediate support. When a new au pair arrives, s/he is welcomed within 48 hours by the LAR, and immediate needs are met. An initial activity is scheduled soon thereafter. Meeting other au pairs, and becoming quickly familiar with the local area, further smooth the transition.

In the event these  normal precautions still leave a feeling of homesickness to be handled, it is important for the au pair to remember to stay busy, to stay positive, to remember that his/her working visit to this country is really quite short—and to talk about his/her feelings as part of family/LAR sharing times.

New Mexico, Florida, and Arizona are the three states in the U.S.  with the most sunshine. NM blue skies lift moods, and an active and increasingly cosmopolitan NM lifestyle provides real interest. Understanding Host Families and LARs listen. All these things help make au pair homesickness very manageable.

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