Our family is passionate about foreign languages and other cultures, and Hagen has done an excellent job sharing these with our family! Thanks to Hagen and our previous InterExchange au pairs, our daughter is fluent in German. No one else at home speaks German, so nearly everything our daughter has learned has been because of au pairs. Hagan also shares holidays and family traditions with all of us. He surprised us with advent calendars and he made sure our daughter had a schultüte on her first day of Kindergarten!
Hagen’s little brother (age 8) and his mom will be visiting from Germany in April, and Hagen already has a number of activities planned and has asked if our daughter can participate in some of these!
Having Hagen as our au pair, has had additional unexpected benefits as well. He’s taught all of us some techniques to help us stay more organized and most importantly, works with our daughter to make sure she’s learning to keep her things clean and organized. There has been a great deal of learning about our two cultures on both sides.
Lucas showers our toddler son, Niko, with affection, attention, and fun. Lucas loves sharing Brazilian culture with Niko. Every day Niko and Lucas FaceTime with Lucas’s mom – whom they both call “mamãe” – to practice their Portuguese. Mamãe is even giving Lucas and Niko cooking lessons so that they can prepare some Brazilian foods together: delicious batches of seasoned rice, beans, and even the occasional pastel.
In his first week here, he signed up for an improv group and a writing workshop (both in English) to meet people and be active in the community. Lucas has integrated himself into our local community outside the home. He volunteers at a local elementary school, leads a toddler sing-along at our local, and has visited a class of students learning Portuguese at a local university. Lucas knows every au pair, nanny, parent, and teacher in our neighborhood, and all the kids and adults know him.
We are so glad and grateful to have Lucas as our au pair, extended family member, and friend. Our family’s life has been immeasurably enriched by his presence.
Miyu came to join our family a year ago when we were first-time parents and our son was only 11 weeks old. We were full of anxiety, not knowing how this Au Pair thing would work for us. Well, we are happy to tell you that it is working absolutely fantastically.
Starting at our son’s 3-month-old birthday, Miyu took pictures of our son every month capturing his quickly growing changes in most memorable ways. We also appreciate that Miyu goes the extra mile to make our son’s play fun and safe. She uses her creativity to transform our plain living room into a colorful amusement park. Outside home, she explores our neighborhood and chooses parks that are particularly good for our son at his current developmental stage.
Miyu has made many friends here from outside of our community. Through her strong interest in hip-hop, she has made many friends in the African American community. We love to hear about her experiences on weekends. In addition, she has introduced us to more modern American culture.
Miyu has exceeded our expectations in every way. She is the best possible caretaker for our son and host-daughter to us.
Réka approaches being an au pair like she approaches everything in life; she means business. She is honest, caring, responsible, punctual, professional, and flexible. For Réka, safety is first; we don’t have to worry about that. Helmets, car seats, sunblock? You name it. It’s happening, and it’s happening the right way.
Adventure comes at a close second. Réka loves to travel and meet new people. She has made the most of her time in the United States. Two months into her first year, she went on a road trip around the plains, visiting Wyoming, South Dakota, and Utah states. She has visited most of the National Parks in our home state of Colorado.
Thais is our third au pair and has shown us something we never thought possible - even when you think you've found the best au pair out there, someone incredible can still come along. Many potential au pairs are scared of my family's profile after seeing that we have a son on the autism spectrum. Thais said from day one she would do everything she could to connect with him. As soon as she landed, she began creating a loving and meaningful relationship with him. Thais is able to do something that can be very difficult, which is to require respect and positive behavior from children, while also having so much fun that kids clamor to be around her.
Most importantly, Thais is part of our family. Even though she misses her family, she is always talking about how this experience is worth it and ensuring she makes the best of it. Her positivity, love of helping others, kindness, way with our children, and ability to join our family so quickly and easily, most definitely make her the best au pair ever. Thais is truly THE BEST!!!