Settling in

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I met some lovely friends in New York who I feel I will stay in touch with. On the Thursday we had a great tour of the city in the evening, where we saw and learned about the major sights of New York. I was disappointed that I did not bump into Taylor Swift, but I had an amazing time all the same. We saw the Statue of Liberty at dusk, which was spectacular. I was also hit on twice! A very uncomfortable experience I might add, once by a man selling CDs and once by a man selling hotdogs! I was glad to be with other girls that’s for sure! We saw tower number 1 and the fountains where the twin towers once stood. This area is now a beautiful reminder of a tragic event. Times Square is unbelievable with its bright lights and busy streets. We went to the Top of the Rock and saw the city from above which looked beautiful in the dark. We also saw the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree which I was excited about. The ice rink is disappointingly small compared with the movies however!

The next day we left for the airport at 9am after saying goodbye to our new friends. This was early for our flight at 4:30pm. Arriving at the airport at 10:30, we managed to check in with no problems at this early time. We prepared for our long wait. There was no wi-fi in JFK airport!!!! This sucked for us all as we could not communicate with home or our new host families. After hours of waiting we then discovered that our flight was delayed by 5 hours! I was the designated spokesperson as the only native English speaker among the au pairs on my flight and I rang the Cultural Care people from a borrowed cell phone. We got on the plane at 8pm and it took off after 30 or 40 minutes. Unfortunately on American airlines you have to pay for everything including movies and food so it was a long flight. We arrived late at night, 2am in NY time and 11pm SF time. The little boy was not able to meet me because of the time so he was disappointed.

I saw the host parents easily and we hugged and discussed the flight etc. They are Russian but speak very good English. They are really lovely and have welcomed me into the family. The children were so excited I am here and wanted to spend all of their time with me on Saturday. We went to a Christmas party. It had a French theme and so we ate a French lunch. After lunch we went to the main house. It was very beautiful, filled with Christmas trees and ornaments and gifts. We could select things to buy from every room.

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We had duck for dinner and we had some dinner guests over. This was my first experience of duck and I did enjoy it have been trying a lot of new foods and even eating some vegetables! The family keep feeding me and I am not always hungry! I have not liked all of the food that’s for sure, but I am trying my best and discovering new tastes and likes.

Yesterday I went for a walk with my host mum and the 2 children. They were on their bikes. The girl was confident and rode her bike which had stabilizers but the boy was scared. His mum tried hard to teach him and persevered with him despite his crying. He slowly improved with her holding him up. I stayed with the girl. On the way back I helped the boy and he managed to cycle without me holding the bike. He said I was magic and he loved cycling (a complete change of opinion from when he set out). It felt great.

Last night was our first au pair meeting. We went ice skating and had pizza. It was nice to have something which tasted familiar 🙂 and Lena, who travelled on the plane with me and lives nearby, was there and it was good to see a familiar face. I met some nice people there too.

The real work starts this week and I look forward to being busy and helping these delightful children.

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