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Happy Thai New Year! Our Au Pairs teach us about their celebrations!

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

One of the special treats of being a Community Counselor with APIA is learning about so many different cultures from our wonderful au pairs.  Thai celebrations look like a lot of fun for all! Songkran 2014 Dates When: 13th – 15th April, 2014 Where: Thailand Water Festival in Thailand (Songkran) - You will get wet on Read more…

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace April 6th, 2014

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

  International Day of Sport for Development of Peace exemplifies the potential of sport to advance human rights, eliminate barriers and promote global solidarity. Through two films, we see, “Through our journey, we learned that sports really are the great equalizer, unifying people of all abilities on a level playing field.” 

St Patrick’s Day Around the World

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

So what is it and who was St. Patrick?  Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.   Many Read more…

International Women’s Day, March 8, 2014

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

International Women’s Day   celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women. There are some countries in which International Women’s Day is celebrated as a national holiday. The Suffragettes are honored for their work to get the right to vote for women.  The holiday celebrates the successes of women but also reminds the world Read more…

Multi-Cultural Celebration of Chinese New Year!

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

Ana Cruz, Costa Rica Christine Connally’s Cluster, Maryland  I celebrated the Chinese new year with all my friends at the Chinese new year parade in WashingtonDC.  It was really fun because we saw dragon dance, Chinese music, bands and different activity from Chinese culture, and of course we can’t leave without eating the most popular Read more…

And the winner is…Penny Yong!

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

For telling us about her celebration of  Chinese New Year.  Many thanks, Penny, for sharing your festivities with Global Awareness! Chinese New Year Essay by Penny Yong, Malaysia.   Chinese New Year (CNY) is one of the big celebrations in Malaysia aside from Ramadan and Deepavali. Each year we kick-start CNY with a reunion dinner on Read more…

Chinese New Year, 2014, The Year of the Horse

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

Chinese New Year is the longest (15 days) and most important Chinese holiday. It is also called the Festival of Spring.  Each year has its own corresponding animal from the Chinese Zodiac.  2013 was the Year of the Snake, and 2014 is the Year of the Horse.  Some say that as the year 2013 ended, the Read more…

A Language Simulation for Host Families

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

I recently did a language simulation for host families and community counselors.  Redundancia allows participants to experience communicating in a new language.  The exercise allowed us to view one of the challenges faced by our au pairs as they attempt to fit into a new culture.  Without fluency in a language, communication is severely hampered; Read more…

And the Winners Are…

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

Thanks to all the au pairs who participated in the Global Awareness Scavenger Hunt.  I hope you had a great time browsing the site to find the answers to our Global Awareness questions. There were many of you who had the correct answers, but prizes go to the first 3 au pairs who submitted the Read more…

What is Girl Up?

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

I recently had the good fortune of attending a program about Girl Up, an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation which mobilizes the general public , specifically American adolescent girls,to raise funds and awareness of  UN programs that serve the hardest-to-reach adolescent girls in developing countries.  Melissa Hillebrenner, Director of Girl Up was a Read more…

“I may sound fluent but….”

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

I was recently talking to Karla, a very lovely au pair from Costa Rica.  Her English sure sounds fluent to me, her host family and anyone in the community who meets her.  “And that’s the problem,” she said.  Her spoken language is good:  vocabulary and grammar, but she said that she often can’t find a Read more…

Au Pairs helping each other

in categories: Blog by Gail Tomanelli

Annika Halder, a German au pair wrote this beautiful song with one of her host children.  It’s become a hit with other au pairs, and we think it’s perfect for someone who’s suffering through homesickness or doubting their ability to adjust to life in the U.S.   Of her time in the United States, Annika said, Read more…

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