Guest Blog from Au Pair Evelien

Evelien is a 19 year old Dutch au pair, who started her placement with her host family in Surrey in October. Here she shares two of her blog posts, describing her experiences of two key events: Halloween and Bonfire Night!

1st November 2016

Hey everyone,

This blog post is about a holiday that I thought was only celebrated this big in America, but I was wrong: in England, they celebrated just as big.

It all started two weeks ago, my host mum was talking about home decorations, carving pumpkins, and she told me that I had to have an outfit.

I still hadn’t found anything to wear the Friday before Halloween, so I went to town with my friend, Gemma. All the shops were full of Halloween decorations and different kinds of outfits. Eventually I found a nurse (or waiter’s) dress that wasn’t too expensive and it looked quite okay, so I bought that one.

halloween

On Saturday, I went to an event called “Pillage the village!” in Reigate with my host family. All the shops with the black and orange balloons outside participated. It meant that we could trick or treat at those shops. After visiting a lot of houses, we went to a super scary Halloween house too. The children were so scared that one floor was enough for them, so we went on to a nice little restaurant and had some food.

pillage

It was time to go home now, to carve the pumpkins! Before we got started we made some sketches, and then we had to clean the pumpkins. What a work! Carving the pumpkins was quite some work too! It was harder than I thought it would be, but these are the results:

pupkins

The next day, it was time to make the front yard Halloween-proof.
We had orange spider webs, spiders, rats etc. to decorate the yard. It was super fun to do and in the dark it looked super scary!

The first Monday after the midterm break, we went home very quickly to put on our Halloween outfits again, this time to go to a friend’s house. They threw a Halloween party with Halloween food and stuff like that. After having our “fingers with blood” and “dead body pudding” we went outside to search for pumpkins at people’s houses, where we could trick or treat.  The children were super excited, that was so nice to see! Even the children who are usually quite shy, were now the first to ring the doorbell!

When our buckets were full of candy, it was time to get home.

What a nice first experience of celebrating Halloween! I loved it (:

Lots of Love,

Evelien.

 

8th November 2016

Three days ago it was Guy Fawkes Night. This is an event in England were they celebrate that the parliament wasn’t attacked in 1605. In these days there were plans in London to destroy the parliament. Today they celebrate this with campfires and lots of fireworks.

On Friday I picked up the boys from school, we went to The Bicycle Shop; this is not only a shop but also a café. After a coffee, my host dad arrived and we went to the Fish and Chips Shop. There I had a real English dinner!

After dinner it was time to go to school to see the fireworks. It was an amazing, lots of different colours and music all on. They made a real show of it 🙂

fireworks

The days before and after I still heard fireworks at night on the streets.

Last Sunday, I went to Brighton with three of my friends. In the morning somewhere around 10 o’clock we took the train and after 30 minutes we were at Brighton!  Brighton is a amazing city, everywhere wall paintings, nice little shops and lots of second hand shops.

The atmosphere in the city is chill and calm, nothing needs to happen and everything is okay. It’s a bit like a student city.

First we went to The Lanes, these are small streets with little shops. Not the big brands but little private shops. It reminds me of some streets in my hometown. We went to a big second hand shop were we saw a photo booth we needed to take a crazy picture in there!

lanes

We walked on, then we saw a fudge shop, on the windows were stickers of prices. This was something we really wanted to taste. It was out of this world so delicious. We had three different flavours, sea salt, vanilla and strawberry.

fudge

After The Lanes it was time for the Pavilion building. This is a big concert building that looks like a fairy tale one. It looks like Aladdin could live there 🙂 We could see a little bit inside and after that we went to the big garden behind the building. There we have had lunch and we went to the most famous place in Brighton, the Pier.

When we walked on the Brighton Pier and we ate our fudge, but this was not a good idea. We were attacked by some seagulls, super scary! They took the fudge out of my hand and bit me. We ate our fudge quick and went to the arcades. Of course we needed to try this! We spent too much money but we got two little key rings 🙂

pier

We walked to the end of the Pier, over there it looks like a fairground. Attractions everywhere, but we spend already too much money so we went back to the station.

Back in Redhill we wanted pizza, so we went to a pizza place and had a lovely pizza. Super end of the day!

pizza

Lots of love,

Evelien

If you would like to keep up with Evelien’s au pair experience, you can read her blog here.

evelien

Au Pair Feedback

playing_in_the_rain_by_Alison_Dakota

We ask our au pairs to give us feedback towards the end of their stay with the host family. We are proud to share some to our recent au pair testimonials.

Feedback from our Au Pairs:

“I signed up for smartaupairs, and I got a call the same evening by Someone that spoke my own language! She helped me with my profile. And she found me a very nice family. I’ve been here for 2 months now, and I am really happy!” Adrienne – the Netherlands

“Dear Nicole,
Thank you for all you have done for me especially for calling the embassy to vouch for me.I was relieved when I got the visa.
And I would also like to thank you for all the information you’ve been sending me.” With kind regards Ivana

“Hi Nicole, It is really nice to see something from the country and I met a lot of new people in Cambridge. I met a Norwegian and a Czech au pair too and they were really nice I enjoyed the trip very much. I go to the English classes twice a week and I like it too. The teacher is really nice. I will go shopping tomorrow morning. I like the fashion here.“Thank you for everything. Britta from Germany

“Thanks for your work and your interest for me. I am really satisfied with your agency and with my Scottish family too. I wish you nice day…”Many thanks Maria from Slovakia

“I had a great time and learned a lot. I’m glad, that I was brave enough to do it.Thanks to the smartaupairs-team!”  Anna from Germany

“I am happy I found this agency when i decided to be an au pair because everybody does their job…….all the girls I been talking with are so nice, helpfull, honest and trustfull!! I must say I felt more confident to come to England through this agency…..i felt like protected…..I m sure I couldn t make it alone! Being au pair is exciteing is all the time something new…..but it s hard and not all the time nice moments…..but being a bit lucky and with some help it turns into a great experience!

I will never regret I came here, I changed myself a lot…I met new people, I have new friends, i saw lots of wonderfull places and for all of that I must say thank you to the agency…..the first step is always the hardest!!!!
Thank you for everything you done for me and keep going because you are good!!!” Laura from Romania

“I wish to thank all members of smartaupairs, especially Nicole Kofin, for your kindness an great support. I was really happy to have such a friendly and organized agency.” Angelina from Germany

“I was very happy with the family and I would like to thank you for your help. It was a great experience!”  Josephine from Germany
“The au pair adventure is a beautiful experience which brings you a lot and makes you grow up. I loved living with an English family and discovering their culture. There are tough moments that I think you can’t avoid, like feeling homesick and lonely ; however knowing that you have the support of smartaupairs and that you can talk to them if anything is wrong is reassuring. It helped me a lot to know that I went to England thanks to an agency which really cares about the people they help.Thanks Smartaupairs.” Fanny M. from France


“I’m happy to have found this family. Thank you very much for your help and your patience! You’re a very serious agency; I’ll surely speak good of you! Have a nice week end!” Barbara from Italy


Hey! So far I really love to be here! The UK is wonderful (as far as I got to know it..) and I think I couldn’t have found a family where I would be happier. Well, thanks to you as you “gave” me this family! And I love the people here in general, so much nicer and friendlier than I am used to, I really enjoy living here and I’m looking forward to doing some certain things I have planned for the next months in the UK. I hope you are well!! Annika from Germany

Photo Source:Alison_Dakota/Deviantart