Saskia W. from Germany


What does peace mean to you?

Thinking about peace always reminds the people of the things that are not going well in the world. Considering the on going crises like war, hunger, poverty and refugees it might be hard to still believe that true peace exists.

But peace is so much more than a political situation. I’d like to help you focus more on the little things that create the big picture together with everything going on.

Only 2 months ago I left my home, my friends, my family – my whole life! – to come to the US and live with another family for one year. Trust me that was no peace at all. I felt heartbroken and so alone in this plane to the US. I felt everything at once. I was so scared this whole thing would not work out. I can’t even describe what I felt because I still can’t figure out what exactly was going on.

But it’s hard. I just graduated from school. My mum is cooking for me, doing my laundry and helps out whenever I didn’t know what to do. But in the US there is no Mum taking care of that for you – I mean of course there are wonderful hostmums but they’re not paying you to become the second/third/fourth or whatever child. So I also felt immature and so not ready for this.

But when I came here everything changed. I remember exactly how nervous I was before my hostmum picked me up from the Stamford office. I couldn’t talk and barely breathed. I honestly don’t know why I’m still alive. It would’nt make me wonder if those days were too much for my heart. She smiled so big at me saying „ Hi it’s so nice to finally meet you“ and gave me a big hug. And when we drove home and I entered the house there was this huge sign „ Welcome Sassi“ with paintings and two little boys who were just as shy as I was hiding at the stairs and seeing who would be the one after their wonderful wonderful Au Pair Alina.

And what can I say? Everything worked out. The kids and I loved each other after only two days. We sat on the couch snuggling and watching Lilo and Stitch. With my Hostmum I’m having so many deep deep conversations and guess what? She even cooks for me! I’m one of the lucky girls although I’m also learning to cook myself.

This family really is peace. Not because they’re perfect or better people than all the other great ones in this world. I still don’t like it when the boys are yelling at 6 am in the morning on my day off or when they say „I hate you“ because they can’t have their pancakes with chocolate chips, maple syrup and whipped cream. But no matter what, they stay positive. No matter what, they give you a big hug and say „I love you“ even after the biggest fight ever. I could never be mad at Matthew when he’s coming to me asking „ Can you please carry me?“ or mad at Will when he smiles with the most beautiful and biggest smile I’ve ever seen. This family is peace because they made my new life just as lovely as it was at home and they gave me such a big opportunity. They were scared too and they knew it would be a lot of work – although I’m one of the best Au Pairs ever you know? I never burned a hot dog in the oven or broke the pizza stone… They gave me a chance and they believed in me. And they reward me every day by loving me. So after two months here I am. Sitting in my American bedroom in my American host family’s home, and my „Welcome Sassi“ sign over my bed where I can see it every day reminding me of how lucky I am. And how proud I am that I defeated my fear.

And that is what peace means to me. To be loved, to feel loved, to love, to make others feel loved. If you love and you are loved, you are happy. You overcome bad situations, crises, you are a better person. And what this world needs to solve these huge political problems are good and happy people who truly believe in something. Sometimes people think they can’t do anything. They can’t help. They think it’s not enough. If you love someone that’s the biggest gift, the biggest help you can give. You can’t buy it, you can’t pretend it. If you really love someone you love him or her for whomever he or she is. You love everything even the flaws. And our world is so full of diversity, variety and unique human beings that all we need is to love the difference. Love the normality, love the crazy ones, love the shy ones, the outgoing ones, the funny ones, the serious ones. Just love. Love is more than enough. Or to say it in Lilos way: Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

I believe in love because love means peace.