Wednesday, September 10, 2008

so happy

I am so happy here. The more au pairs I meet, the more I realized I completely hit the jackpot with my family. Some au pairs only get one night off a week (!), some don't have fixed schedules, some have to spend every dinner with their families and ask to be excused (just like the kids), and some have to ask permission before going out. I definitely feel like I should be doing more work... but I'm not complaining. :) I actually might offer to do the children's laundry, because this is my schedule:
Monday: Mathilde - school am & pm, home for lunch, Malko - school am only
Tuesday: same as Mon., but they have a music class at 4:30, and Ivana takes them - I don't have to go.
Wednesday: Mathilde - school am, Malko - no school; grandparents take them in pm (I don't even have to make lunch)
Thursday: Mathilde & Malko - school am only, other grandparents take them pm (no lunch again)
Friday: same as Monday and Tuesday.
So easy. I'm done at about 6 every evening. And they are such agreeable children. I'm allowed to do whatever I want in the evenings, and the weekends. If I have to babysit, they let me know way in advance. I'm lucky because Ivana & Bertrand are both incredibly family-oriented; they love spending time at home and with their children. They also care very deeply about my comfort and happiness. What more could an au pair want?

Another reason I am so happy is all the incredible people I've had the pleasure of meeting. Sunday at church, I met two more au pairs; Nicole from Rhode Island, & Priscilla from Minnesota (and spent a year at Bethel, small world). I also met a bunch of other people roughly my age, and after church we grabbed some pizzas and ate at the castle (yes, a castle!), and enjoyed the absolutely perfect view of the lake, and the French Alps reflecting the pink sunset. It was just so nice. I don't think I have ever been to a church more welcoming than Westlake.

Today, having the afternoon off, I met up with Priscilla in Nyon, and we just walked around and talked about adjusting to life in Switzerland and the world of au pairs. Being an au pair here is like belonging to a special club, only everyone knows about it. All you have to say is "Je suis une fille au pair" (I am an au pair girl), and everyone says, "Ooh", nodding with understanding. It's interesting. Anyway, Priscilla indulged me in a little shopping, and I think I found the shoes I have been looking for, but I didn't buy them. They weren't expensive, I'm just going to sleep on it. I can go back Saturday. I did buy a Logitech iPod dock, so I could simultaneously charge and listen to my iPod, and the sound is actually pretty good. We also indulged in a little ice cream (coffee) and a little chocolate. It was a nice day.

Tonight I had choir, which is fun, but no one speaks English, so during our twenty minute break I sit there and smile at everyone. My comprehension of French is getting way up there, but speaking it is still coming very slowly. I feel like such a little kid sometimes, but I guess you can say I'm learning French like I learned English - complete immersion. The choir isn't the greatest choir in the world, and I am the only one there who doesn't belong to the Swiss version of the AARP, but it's nice to sing some simple music.

I am exhausted and it is definitely time for bed.

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