Sugar Never Tasted So Good

By Stephanie P., Current Au Pair in France

Hi there,

It’s warm in my room and even though the fan is pointed directly on me, my fingers feel like they’re melting into the keys. My brain is mush and I can barely understand the lyrics of the music drifting around me. Work is exhausting– and who would think working in Camp Snoopy at Knotts Berry Farm would wear you out? Somehow holding down a button to make a ride go is tiring. My thoughts are barely making sense right now, it’s like I have to play scrabble with myself to make anything sound alright. Does that even make sense…?

Anyway, these past weeks have left me feeling frustrated and anxious! I really just want to get to France already! I know the amazing CE staff (thanks Kristen!!) is working their hardest finding me a placement but I’m feeling a little stuck. It just feels so close, but so far at the same time. I stumbled on this program in a strange way actually, and the decision to Au Pair just came naturally. I knew I wanted to take time off school to travel, but I didn’t know when, where or how. No tours– I want to experience something new and become part of the culture, not watch it. I was considering maybe volunteering somewhere. While searching around the Internet I found Cultural Embrace though STA Travel, and their volunteer programs. Eventually it led me to find the Au Pair programs. It was a perfect match! I’ve been babysitting since I was 14 years old. I love kids, and living with a family( actually becoming part of the family) really appealed to me. I filled out my application around the end of October 2009. My original start date was January, and I was going to go for 6 months. Soon enough I got a placement offer, and of course I accepted. It was an awesome family only 20 minutes north of Paris. Two children, a boy and a girl, and the parents were so nice. I had my own cottage in their HUGE garden. It was a sweet deal. BUT the day spring session started at school the family dropped the program. I rushed to add classes, and ended up with one class. It was crazy!I had the option of maybe chaining what program to do to leave sooner. I ultimately decided to stay with the au pair program, I just couldn’t imagine going any other way. Then my program coordinator, suggested we polish off my application after no one else was biting. My start date changed to June (cross your fingers!), I changed my duration to a year, and I quite smoking. I feel like my application is solid. And now I’m just waiting. The wait is the hardest part. I just keep thinking, do I suck or something? But I know when its time I will get placed and it will be with a great family. I stay positive by thinking about how amazing its going to be when i get there. My Friends and family have given me a lot of support and they’re helping through the rollercoaster effect it can sometimes have. I just have to be patient. Patience is key… that’s all you have until your placed. So instead of freaking out I enjoy the time I have with the people I love before I leave them for a year! I just think about how good of an experience this will be for me and the family I get placed with. I also think about how fat my portfolio will get with a new place to take pictures of!!! The only way to deal with the wait and the placement process to relax and take it day by day.

France I’m coming so you better be ready!!!

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