My Name is Gabriela. I am already 19 years old and I am originally from the Republic Of Moldova. When I tell someone the name of my country, they all ask me back: "Maldives?". I have been Au Pair in Germany for 5 months and I can say that these 5 months have changed my life.
In my country there are 12 classes at school. So, right after I graduated from school, I became an Au Pair. I was always the best in the class, the teacher's daughter, the nerd with big dreams. My mother had already found me a good university, to which I would have had to apply, if I had not accidentally, at 3 o'clock of the night of an advertisement about the possibility of becoming an Au Pair. I completed an investigation in 15 minutes, a small letter of motivation and in the morning I was already called by an agency, which then followed to guide me in the process of becoming an Au Pair, finding a family, making the documents. I was afraid to tell my parents my crazy idea - to live a year in a foreign country, in a foreign family, to work as a "nanny", as my father put it at the beginning. But I had already made a firm decision - I wanted to be an Au Pair.
I understand that my school years have not yet prepared me for life as a grown-up. My parents raised me like a flower in the greenhouse, watering me and warming me up. I had to learn to take care of someone, other than myself, I had to become really independent, I needed to see the world from a different angle, from a different corner of the world, speaking a different language. I made it!
At first, my parents were indignant because I did not even know the language (at all) and it's the first time I go so far and on so long from home, but to my great amazement, they supported me, found me a German language course and my mom went with me to the agency headquarters to discuss with them about conditions and possibilities. The agency guaranteed me security, that I would find a good family and we would make the documents together, but they also indicated the amount of their services. It was a lot for my family, but my mom said she'd pay for it because she wants me to be happy.
It was July. I was preparing documents to obtain a visa, I was learning the language, and the agency sent me inquiries to different families, but rarely, and the family rings did not correspond at all to my requirements. I was sad. I received a family one time every 2 weeks and if I got to the interview phase, they could tell me: “you are too small” or "you do not know the language very well". I didn't know there were so many agents. I finally found a family. I successfully passed the interview at the German Embassy. I got the visa. On February 8th I was in Germany.
When I got out of the plane, I closed my eyes for a moment, and then I opened them quickly and realized that I beamed into another universe, so large and unknown, without borders. In my ears there were so many unfamiliar words, all around were new faces. I'm an Au Pair! In Germany!
The first month was euphoric. The 2 little children were accommodating me a little, Host Parents have created a plan of the day very conveniently. I had simple obligations: to take the children to the kindergarten, to bring them. I was tidying up their rooms. I used to pack up after lunch and a lot of little things that helped my Host Parents feel helped. The agency texted me regularly with recommendations.
But when all the stuff started with the new virus, the recommendations didn't suit me anymore. Host Parents were alarmed by the situation. From the beginning, they wouldn't let me walk, so I wouldn't get into the risk zone. The kids were home and I always had to take care of them. We work most of the day. I couldn't go out and buy myself chocolate or deodorant, even though my parents always went out. I was scared. I ordered my ukulele online. It came quickly and in the moments when I was free, I was singing. I was singing because the music reminded me of the times when everything was fine. Relationships with the family became like boss and worker. I'm sorry, I'm an Au Pair!
I made a few friends in an online peer group and a girl recommended me to change my family but I told her I did not have the money to do it. She said there's a lot of agencies that do it for free. It helped me a lot. I integrated on Au Pair.com and I found a wonderful family within a week. I've been here for 1 month now and I feel like I've never had another family. In a month I travelled more than ever in my life, I started doing online courses, I learned how to make homemade ice cream, I learned a new thing, Wanderung. I started doing sports. I get along very well with children and I'm treated with respect. Host Parents here gave me an Ipad so I could study easier. my host mother got me a swimsuit in the first days because I didn't have one and we often go to the pool together. I feel like a part of the family.
What did the first family give me? I learned to work and be alone in the face of trials. I knew that they would not help me hard and I learned to do it myself! The host father of the first family once took me in an old model Cabriolet. Then I felt like I was dreaming.
Do you want to feel like in a dream? Become an Au Pair?
You must know that you are foreign. Foreign, in a foreign country, in a foreign family. You're the one who needs to change. You will be homesick, especially on cold evenings, when you will be tired and you will want to talk to someone in your language, but you will have no one with you. Everything will be different. Your eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin - all sense organs will go through a tremendous shock, because now they will perceive other things altogether, than before. You will get lost many times in the city, you will not know very well how it is correct to address in a foreign language to someone to ask for help. You'll become different.
I've changed a lot. It's a unique experience that guides you and teaches you to cooperate with people, to get out of trouble, to learn new things. I want to become a journalist and I think the Au Pair experience has already helped me because I am now writing my first article for a German magazine.
Dream! Travel! Work to achieve your goal! And where you would not be - be yourself!
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