To my lovely readers, you may have noticed my recent absence from the blog-o-sphere, and I am very to have left you all in such suspense! Of course, you may not have noticed at all…you may be a new reader, in which case WELCOME! Anyway, my absence was due to the fact that I was experiencing difficulties with my family. As a consequence I am now looking for a new family in Seville with younger children. The antics will continue, and should I promise that there will still be antics, adventures and absolute nightmares.
The thing about au pairing is that it’s isn’t recognised as a job – there’s no specific contract, it’s mainly just an ‘agreement’, and so it can be difficult to know exactly what is required of each party, and where the boundaries lie. Many people have experienced au pairing abroad, and many people told me that it is quite often the case that au pairs can be taken advantage of. I do not wish to paint a bad picture of au pairing, or of my host family, who were kind and welcoming. However, I do think it is obvious that the system could do with some improvement in order to avoid either party feeling unhappy. Personally, this family just wasn’t really what I expected au pairing to be, perhaps because these girls were probably just too old to have an au pair! I certainly don’t feel much like an au pair to them, more of an English teacher, and that is not what I signed up for. When I decided to be an au pair it was due to my wonderful little godson and his big brother – there is nothing quite as liberating and fabulously fun as running around a garden after two squealing and laughing little boys, or trips to the farm where baby goats eat out of your hand (yes this did happen and I have to tell you that goat breath does not smell great…). This is what I envisaged for this year, but sadly it has not yet come to fruition. Fear not! Many of the other au pairs have assured me that these are the kinds of things they have been doing, so BRING IT ON!
I am quite sad that it hasn’t worked out with this family (and trying to shake the sense of failure), but I know that I can learn from this experience. What have I learnt? Well:
- How to fold socks (obviously number 1 on the list!)
- That teenagers are grumpy
- The Spanish word for courgette (calebacín)
- That you should NEVER EAT THE LAST KIWI IN THE FRIDGE (what followed this minor episode was a lecture on how I was basically eating too much fruit…although I was already buying my own reserves due to the fact that there was precisely 1 apple, 2 bananas and 4 kiwis provided for an entire 2 weeks…)
- Or for that matter, should you ever eat Sonia’s broccoli…
In all seriousness, of course this has not been a completely terrible 6 weeks. Isabel and I have had many fun moments playing board games and going to the park. The family welcomed me into the home, but I simply never quite fitted, and that is no one’s fault. They were kind and helped me to get to know Seville at the start, allowing me to get my bearings in the city. I could also waffle on about how I will be able to grow so much as a person from having overcome this challenge. That said, I look forward to a new family that suits me better with enthusiasm.
Seville itself continues to be beautiful and simply stunning. Every day for the past 2 weeks at least we have had a gorgeous blue sky and glorious sunshine. The air is quite cold now in the early mornings, and it feels just like a beautiful autumn day The highlight of my week last week, as daft as it may sound, was the fact that I saw a PARROT when running one morning. An actual PARROT like you would see in the zoo! It was green and red. I was so overcome that I stopped dead in my tracks and narrowly missed being flattened by a passing bicycle overtaking me! Every morning that I see the sun on the river I am reminded how beautiful God’s creation is, and this parrot re-enforced this (not to mention that it is just awesome to see a real life parrot in its natural habitat!).
The next time I write I hope to bring you news of a wonderful new family, so fingers crossed. Until then, I hope you enjoy this latest update.
Besos to you all