Introducing Au Pair in America’s Au Pair of the Year Award winner, Daiane Maia! This annual award was created by APIA to honor au pairs who have inspired their host families and community. In this blog, Daiane Maia shares her APiA experience.
‘Winning the title of ‘Au Pair of the Year’ is an honor I will remember for the rest of my life. Just looking back at myself two years ago reminds me how far I have come. This program is beautifully designed but you get the most out of it only if you are adequately prepared for it. I had been planning and preparing for it for one whole year. I learnt English and practiced it daily for better communication with my host family, improved my driving skills so I could be independent and travel to the places I only dreamt of, took childcare courses and babysat several kids for hands on experience to make a smoother transition to au pair life, made a list of my goals and what I wanted from this program and harboured strong hope for a successful Au Pair experience.
During my au pair experience, I have met and learnt from people around the world because USA is a melting pot of different cultures. I could not contain my tears when I saw the most magical place on earth – Magic Kingdom and the Center of the Universe – Times Square. I have made many amazing friends and have grown into an independent woman who is discovering a new facet of her strength every day.
My mother who is a nurse has taught me the power of hard work and strong work ethics. I have learnt from her to give my best in everything I do, pour in sincerity and staying positive and focused while at it. Some days can be hard, you may feel homesick when you are thousands of miles away from your family but do not let these moments blind you. Look at the big picture. Through this program, we gain another family in another part of the world, another place we call home and another culture we participate in. This is a unique opportunity which is not paralleled by any other program. Kindness goes a long way. Be prepared to give a lot of love to your kids and be ready to receive dozens of I love yous, hugs and kisses every single day. Sometimes it is overwhelming to see how much these little kids look up to me. I am their guide and I am a big part of their village. My sincerity is reciprocated by my host family and together we experience a beautiful fusion of three different cultures. I don’t forget to count my blessings.
I am looking forward to go back to my home country where my fiancé and my mom awaits me and see the pride in their eyes when I return as a wholesome person who has learnt from Au Pair life’s valuable experiences, has had fun of a lifetime and ready to take on any challenges with the wealth of knowledge I would have procured.’