As I was reviewing the entries for our Flag Day Contest, I was impressed by the number of au pairs who worked on their entries with their host children or with au pairs from other countries. I was inspired by the clusters who worked together to submit one entry comprised of many different flags.
Of course, all of us at Au Pair in America are reminded daily of the importance of the work we do by bringing nations together. We want our au pairs to learn about the U.S., throw away incorrect pre-conceived notions of what life here is like, and return to their own countries with information based on the reality of the American way of life rather than on what the media portrays. But this cultural exchange experience fosters so much more. The au pairs (and host families and counselors) learn about countries from around the world. The au pairs make friends with other young women who they’d otherwise never have the opportunity to meet. They learn different approaches to life, different value systems, share traditions and leave with a much broader picture of the world.
One of my favorite (and my cluster’s too) cluster events is our “Gourmet Club.” Every winter, for several months, I host a “Gourmet Night.” We take turns teaching each other recipes from our home country. As we’re cooking, we share the holiday and traditions that go along with the food. There have been so many “ohs” and “ahs” over the course of the evening. And then of course, we settle down to eat! And what better venue is there for learning about each other.
Our Flag Day Contest is a way of sharing our cultures with each other. We hope you’ll view the entries and read the stories.