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My 21 Months in the USA
By South African EurAupair Au Pair Cristelle Fourie
When I got the news that I was finally going to America I was overwhelmed with happiness! My first stop would be in Big Lick (Roanoke, Virginia). Here I spent my first year with the Eddy family Jennifer (mom), Sean (dad), Emanuel (3 years old) and Lillian (newborn). They truly became my family, my home away from home. We went on loads of adventures to Florida, Washington DC where Jen took me to see notable places such as the White House and the Spy Museum!
Myself, Eman and Lilly loved to go to nearby parks for bike rides and picnics as well as the swimming pool. Here I experienced my first Thanksgiving a real traditional American holiday. We went for a turkey trot early in the morning, cooked dinner together and gave thanks as a family. Christmas was just as amazing especially the process leading up to Christmas, which includes the picking of a tree and chopping it down to later decorate it. For my second year I moved to Waxhaw, North Carolina, which is just on the outer skirts of Charlotte the capital of NC. Here I was hosted by the Behrens family Minette (mom), Kalie (dad), Ulrich (12 years), Carmen and Mikaela (twins 8 years) and lastly Heinz (1 year). Let’s just say with a big family like this there is never a dull moment! From fish hooks caught in an arm to road trips across the state and apple picking to celebrate autumn.
I can say without a doubt that this is one nation with a whole lot of diverse cultures - from western cowboys to Southern hospitality, I have experienced it all. Coming to au pair in USA was one of the best decisions I have ever made. You grow so much as a person and an individual. The culture overflows with love and patriotism. Although it is a very fast moving country you will always have the country side to take a step back to breathe and take a break.
Cristelle going apple picking with her host family in North Carolina