Your Au Pair’s Parents Visiting
If your Au Pair’s family is able to visit at all, this is an AMAZING opportunity to increase your experience with cultural exchange and the Au Pair Program.
Our Au Pair Sofi’s parents were able to come to the US all the way from Colombia. This month they spent a very long weekend with us at our home! They arrived on a Thursday afternoon and we had a quiet afternoon of playing games and having time to get to know everyone! Before they arrived Sofi and the kids made a Welcome Banner and hung this up in our living room. Her parents were so excited and touched to be welcomed so warmly.
Space in our home is at a premium so we brainstormed with Sofi about sleeping arrangements before her parents arrived. This was made a little trickier since my mother was visiting at this time as well! Sofi’s parents ended up staying in her room and we put a second mattress on the floor to increase sleeping space.
Another potential issue is that Sofi’s mom only speaks Spanish and her dad understands English, but doesn’t speak a lot of it! Sofi was so patient translating when she could and we also did our best to practice our own Spanish! We stumbled along for the duration of the visit with lots of laughs, gestures, and using a translating app on our phones when needed! The key takeaway here is not to be afraid if you don’t speak the same language, we made it work and you can too!
My husband and I still had to work for part of their visit, but we also planned a fun weekend of things that Sofi wanted to show her parents around our community and some awesome new activities too! The whole family had an amazing time at the beach, despite the water in the Atlantic Ocean being much colder than the water than that of the Atlantic and Pacific bordering Colombia. We also discovered that there was a festival nearby celebrating Colombian Independence! This was so much fun for them to attend and for us to give the kids a little downtime after a fun morning at the beach. We also invited them to a friend’s backyard barbeque, a true American tradition in our area! On Monday things were back to business, but Sofi’s father was really intrigued by our riding lawn mower since they live in the busy city of Bogota! So my husband showed him how to mow our lawn and gave him a chance to try it out!
Our children loved getting to know Sofi’s parents, and so did we! We learned more about Colombian Culture and we enjoyed getting to see where Sofi I also know that her parents left feeling so much more comfortable about their daughter being so far away from home knowing she was with a family that accepted her as their own and truly embraced the cultural exchange of the Au Pair Program.