Dear Prospective Host Family
I am composing this letter to give you a better understanding of who I am. To begin, my name is Rayvan Chad Zealand, I’m twenty three years old and a recent Musical Theatre graduate. I am from South Africa also described as ‘The Rainbow Nation’ and have many hobbies both creative and physical.
A few of my creative hobbies include but are not limited to acting, singing, dancing, writing, reading, directing, designing and baking. My physical hobbies include but are not limited to swimming, track & field, hiking, paddle boarding, volleyball and ice-skating.
Growing up not having any younger siblings was rather upsetting. However despite that missing puzzle piece I was able to form extremely close bonds with my father’s sister’s children and fortunately as well my mother is the youngest of twelve children which gave me plenty of cousins, nephews and nieces which I love and totally adore being around.
Being a social butterfly is a trait which has always been a part of me since for long as I can remember I would try and be friends with literally everyone in my neighbourhood whether it was High School boys or girls my own age. Having this vast variety of friends around me I was able to understand the complexities of people which enables me to play Switzerland among my different friend groups, not having their personal issues with one another affect my relationship with each individual, today in my life.
Being labelled the ‘goody-two-shoes’ by family but mostly friends was something that truly annoyed me when I was younger but now that I am older it’s a title I carry proudly. Being responsible and making good choices is never something anyone should be ashamed of especially when everyone else around you is ‘living on the edge’ or saying YOLO. As to this day am sure that everyone who knows me, knows that they can depend on me, that I am reliable and always alert about possibilities which may arise.
I am currently studying further online through an institution in London, England simply because I honestly believe that one is never done learning, there is always more knowledge that one is able to obtain throughout our lives. Being a drama major I’ve learnt that drama translates to life therefore being in this field I am actually learning more about life. Actors need to have the skill to sympathize or at least empathize with characters they portray whether they agree or disagree you put aside your own personal believes and try to understand that of the character. Having this training allows me to understand and bond with others much easier.
School has been something that came rather easily to me but I also understand that not everyone has that luxury. As a high school student I did not enjoy studying like many and relied solely on focusing in class. I soon realised that tutoring my classmates was the best way for me to study, you know what they say… “Practice makes permanent.”
I essentially started helping my classmates because it was improving my memory but having the fulfilment of seeing another individual grow and prosper was humbling even though my contribution to their improvement was a mere sugar grain in their pumpkin spice latte.
It was not long after helping my classmates I realized I could help others too, not only kids my own age but younger kids who might be struggling or finding it difficult to understand multiplication or figures of speech. I started tutoring kids I babysat on occasion and then during exams children who reached out just for the extra help during the stressful time of finals.
After graduating High School and furthering my studies at a private Arts Institution I quickly realised that I’ve entered an entirely new space, a competitive space. Modelling from a young age going to castings and auditions, facing rejection and harsh competitors it was somewhat familiar but I always returned to school where there was this supportive and uplifting environment from teachers and peers. Now being, I don’t want to say trapped because I love the entertaining industry, but in this position constantly I had to adapt and focus on myself. “It’s a dog eat dog world” as they say, furthermore regardless of the surrounding circumstances and challenges I faced I was able to graduate with a distinction and as the Valedictorian.
Yearning to help others again after living the competitive world of the arts I decided to become TEFL qualified. I soon started teaching English online to ESL (English Second Language) students ranging from beginners, intermediate and advance. Having the chance to teach these students from China and Japan was honestly fulfilling to see them improving their skills making the long hours I put in all worth it.
I would consider myself to be adaptable. With my father in the Navy and other factors I transferred schools in both elementary as well as high school totalling four different schooling environments I had to adjust to when an ordinary student would only have to adjust to two. Through all this change I’ve always had home to depend on even during my further studies I lived in the comfort of a loving home.
It wasn’t until June of 2019 that my adaptability was truly put to the test. I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to be employed as a Theatre Specialist and Camp Counsellor at an America camp in Connecticut for the summer. Traveling 16 hours across the globe to another country is something that proved to myself how adaptable and strong as an individual I was. Being able to understand and study others in their natural habitat was fascinating, learning American mannerisms and slang as well as social ques is an experience which films do not fulfil like witnessing it first-hand does. Being able to live among the culture and people is an adventure I will cherish forever.
Working at the camp with these American kids I was not prepared for the bond that I was to form with them which was totally evident when we all cried like hungry babies when it came time to say goodbye. This opened my eyes to the ability of Au Pairing. Upon returning home I weighed out my options and done thorough research in regards to caring for children abroad but decided to ponder on that thought before making any hasty commitments.
After having this break from the arts and not sure about what the future holds I decided to study further signing up for an online program to receive my honours. It was not long until I craved my next endeavour, with the online workload being manageable I found myself with loads of extra time and knew I wanted to spend it doing something along the lines of helping or supporting children.
Soon after I began to Au Pair for a lovely family with three boys. My duties as their Au Pair included but were not limited to: making lunch, helping with homework, tutoring, educational activities, fun activities, bath time and bedtime stories. Although I was a live in most of my duties began after school as in the morning the parents wanted to be as hands on as possible to not miss out on any bonding time.
During my time of Au Pairing for this family and looking back on all the countless hours of babysitting, tutoring and helping organizations I came to the conclusion that I do indeed want to explore the possibility of Au Pairing Internationally.
Although I am content with my current family the opportunity to do this abroad, traveling and experiencing an entire new world has a time limit unfortunately so I’d like to grasp this opportunity with both hands because I believe it’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap.
Upon the completion of this Au Pair International program I would love to incorporate all my personal and educational strengths of drama, childcare and TEFL by teaching English abroad to classrooms of children in fun and memorable ways. Once I’m much older after gaining experience and traveling the world I would like to return to South Africa and begin Children’s Theatre Productions by directing and choreographing bring my visions to life both literally and figuratively.
If you’ve made it through this lengthy letter I thank you and truly hope you’ve got a better sense of the type of person I am.
Thank you for considering me as a possible Au Pair. I would be eager to answer any questions you may have about myself, my experience or intentions.
I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about your entire family.
Your Potential Au Pair, Rayvan
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