We first met Lava back in April 2016 in the gorgeous D.C sunshine! She was a few months into her Au Pair in America journey at the time. So we took the opportunity to ask Lava and her host family how their experience on the Au Pair in America program had been, so far. Here’s what they had to say.
Two years on Lava has just finished her time with the Drucker family & is about to start her travel month. We caught up with her to see how the rest of her Au Pair in America experience has been and to find out what she has planned for life back in South Africa!
Au Pair… such a small word with so much meaning! The responsibilities and the many experiences that come with it have been one of the most life-changing phases of my life.
MY AU PAIR STORY
My personal au pair experience has brought me a whole new family who have become my own. I have the most amazing host family who have given me every opportunity to explore the USA. I have travelled to many different states and most of the time I’ve travelled with my host family. They have gone above and beyond to ensure I see all the must see sights and experience the USA to its fullest! I’ve tried to immerse myself in as much American culture as possible. I have been to baseball, basketball and football games. One of my favourite games was a football game in Texas, the atmosphere at the game was so exciting and energetic!
MY HOST KIDS
My host kids Jake (5) and Ronnie (2) are my daily dosage of life. I couldn’t imagine my life without seeing them. As I’m getting to the end of my au pair extension year, the reality of not seeing them every day is becoming ever more real. We’ve done so much together and I’ll cherish the memories we’ve made forever. One of my favourite times with my boys was going to the Easter Egg roll at the White House. We also toured the White House during Christmas which was really cool.
LIFE IN D.C
I’m so lucky to have had such an amazing experience with my host family. Extending for a 2nd year with them, was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. Living in Washington D.C sure has its perks, especially when you’re a few blocks away from the Nations Capital. My weekends were never empty as there was always something new to do. When the video above was filmed I still felt quite new to D.C and didn’t really know my way around. Now though, I could take you on a tour of D.C knowing it like I’ve lived here forever! It has become home for me. ❤️ The friends I have made here have become like family, we are all close and are always together. There’s an amazing community of South African girls here which has been such an incredible support network when any of us has felt homesick.
There are just SO many!!
- One of the most amazing highlights was going to the IIFA Awards and seeing Chris Brown perform.
- My family visited me from South Africa and we visited New York and Boston together. I felt so proud to be able to show them around!
- My first experience of SNOW! It was so cold but totally awesome!
- I also taught my kids to speak different languages from my culture.
My plans after being an au pair for 2 years were to complete my teaching degree. The reason I became an au pair was to gain experience looking after kids from a different culture. I also hoped experiencing life as an au pair would help me decide whether teaching was the career for me. This decision still stands as my host kids have taught me so much. In fact, the entire culture in America has broadened my mind and made me believe that the career I have chosen is definitely the right one. It’s such a privilege to be able to help children discover who they are meant to be. I love what I do and I can’t wait to continue my passion of helping children when I return to South Africa.
GO FOR IT!
To all the talented people that are thinking about becoming an Au Pair in America, I will be honest, it’s not always a walk in the park. There are days when you miss home so much and there are days where you may feel a bit lost but that’s totally normal. If you want to gain some international childcare experience and are ready for a whole new adventure then go for it! Everyones au pair experience is different but mine has definitely been one to remember.
There’s so much to see in America and there are so many opportunities awaiting you. From travelling and meeting new people everyday, to being recognised by your accent and having friends from all over the world. Every moment is sentimental and are moments you won’t be able to experience again. Photos won’t even compare to you being able to feel and experience these moments first hand.
These special moments and most importantly the kids, make all of this possible. I would do this all over again if I could. Having 2 handsome, energetic and compassionate boys like Jake and Ronnie has sure kept me busy but, they are shining stars and I wanted to be a role model who could help them to shine brighter. ❤️