Diana Leonardi’s au pairs really are “part of the family.” In this photo, Diana is shown with children Juliana and Lorenzo, and 5 of her au pairs: Teye (Thailand), Ann (Thailand), Inese (Latvia), Nat (Thailand) and Sai (Thailand). All came to visit for Juliana’s First Holy Communion! I talked with Diana about her success in the program and her commitment to cultural exchange.
Diana joined Au Pair in America when Juliana was just an infant. The cultural exchange aspect of the program was what drew her to APIA wanting her children to “experience other cultures” and ” avoid being narrow-minded.” She said that her children look at people “as people” rather than seeing differences.
In addition to bringing another language into the house (Lorenzo speaks Thai which Diana said was a pleasant surprise), they celebrate all Thai holidays, cook Thai food, have Thai celebrations. They are an intercultural home! What’s more, her children are so accustomed to having Thai au pairs and their friends around that they think all homes are “like this”( multi-cultural).
Diana indicated that having the au pairs has impacted her life in so many wonderful ways but most happily because she has a “wonderful extended family” and her children embrace learning about people from other parts of the world!