Congratulations to Huiwei C.
Our 2012 Au Pair of the Year!
Nomination Letter from Huiwei’s Host Family
|Huiwei has been the au pair for our two young sons, Brody (3.5 years) and Cael (1.5 years), since the end of June. Since then, our 1 1/2 year old Cael has begun speaking and singing in both English and Mandarin Chinese. It seems Huiwei has really helped with his overall language development. Huiwei spends the bulk of her time with Cael while Brody is in a Mandarin Immersion preschool. Cael really enjoys spending time with her and she takes him to story time music class and kindergym. She teaches Cael numbers, sayings and songs in Chinese. He is learning so much that he is so excited to get to Chinese preschool with his big brother and interact with all the Chinese teachers at Brody’s school.One of her responsibilities is to drive Brody to preschool. When she started with us, Huiwei did not have a California license and she dilligently took the time to learn the U.S. driving laws and learn how to drive carefully. She passed the California driving test with ease on her first try. The boys love the commute to and from Brody’s school with Huiwei because she sings Chinese songs with them in the car. She is also very interested in improving her English language skills and spends a lot of her free time reading vocabulary and grammar books. Huiwei is interest in arts and crafts and is creative with the projects she introduces to the boys. She is doing a good job of developing their creativity skills. She recently borrowed a book from the library and did some of the crafts from it which the boys really enjoyed.Since Cael is too young for preschool we worried that he would be “bored” or not challenged being out of school when we moved to a town where kids couldn’t start preschool or daycare until they are potty trained. Previously we lived somewhere where Cael was able to attend daycare and able to interact with kids and caregiver adults all day. We were concerned being out of this setting would affect his progress and social development but he has done very well over the past few months with Huiwei. He is speaking and singing an unusually high number of words for his age and he understands both English and Chinese directions and can already speak in full sentences. He is very comfortable when he is around other kids at the library for story time and is also very comfortable interacting with teachers and other adults when he goes to music and kindergym. He also loves going with her to a nearby park to run around, play on the playground and ride is toy motorcycle.Our boys are still very young, but they have already developed some very good skills – especially understanding and speaking Mandarin Chinese – from Huiwei that will serve them well the rest of their lives. She is really bringing out the best in them. The boys love spending time with Huiwei and we are lucky to have her!|
|Nomination Essay from Huiwei|
|My host families with me in 2011:I arrived in the US at the end of June, 2010. I can still remember the moment that i took my first step on the land of the US – just like many people who came to the US at the first time, I was so anxious and excited with unknown world and life. How time flies, 2 years passed just like a blink, and I am still fine.The year of 2011 was so special for me, I extended my au pair years, and I lived with two different host families.In the June of 2011, I started with a family who lives in Orlando California. They just moved in a new house one month before I started. The family has two boys, Brody (3.5 years old) and Cael (1.5 years old). Ir was a challenge for the boys for that everything was new – new school to go, new friends to make, and there is a “stranger” (I am the first au pair of this family) to live together.Like a little deer, Brody kept his distance from me at the beginning. I tried different things to play with him. At that time, I found that this little boy has special interests in ART. So I borrowed some art books from the library and did the artist project with him. He seems enjoying doing the projects. After a while, he is close to me. Now, he gives a big hug to me and says “I love you” in Chinese every morning afer I drop him off at the school. The hugs and the words make me happy.I spent the bulk of time with Cael while Brody is in Chinese preschool. My host parents give me the freedom to choose the way getting along with Cael. I didn’t have many nice experiences in the childhood so that my eagerness to make children happy is much more stronger than everybody else. I took him to the story time, playground, kindergym and music class so that he has different activities and social experience everyday. Since then, he likes to say hi and smile to the people. Also I like to read and sing to him in both Chinese and English. Now he is eager to read and sing to me once he remember the words. For me, it is a “special treat”.My host parents are very nice to me. I didn’t have a California driver’s license when I started with the family. My host dad took one week off and helped me to practice the driving. It is very hard to come by that someone can spend a lot of time teaching you that. Of course I passed the driving test on my first try. At Christmas, I got a big surprise from the family. They got the round trip airline tickets to New York for me as a spresent. The grandman also sent me an envelope which has $100 inside (which we called “lucky money” in China). She said that she wanted me to have a nice trip. What a great family!|
In August, I visited my previous host family in Santa Rosa, CA. I had a great year with this family. They offered me a guest house with kitchen, bedroom and living room. At that time, we talked about everything – about life, about work, about the future, just like a family. Even though we had some unhappy experience at the beginning. Sometimes when I think it back, it was because I didn’t know how to communicate with the family, I was shy and didn’t like to share the thought with them at the beginning. But anyway, after one year I become someone more than a friend.
There is an old Chinese saying said: You reap what you have sown. You treat someone by heart and you will be treated by heart. Now, all my hard work have return – host parents’ care, the children’s friendship and life experience I got.
My two years as an au pair almost done. Thanks for all the help and caring from API. One time the care got a flat in the way to the au pair meeting, I still remember how sweet my area director Katrina is. She told me what should I to do, and asked me what was the progress was. All the caring make me feel that I never alone in US. And the API gave me two great families, the au pair meetings every month make me feel I like being in a big family which all of my sisters come from worldwide. I am so glad that I choose API.
Become an au pair, I go a lot of experiences which I never had before, my life is so different from then on.