¿Cómo entregué mi puesto de AuPair en China?

Hola, este es un post que tenía guardado hace mucho, simplemente nunca lo había dejado para que fuera publico. Cuando tuve que entregar mi labor como AuPair en China fue un poco complejo porque la llegada de la AuPair siguiente era el mismo día que yo partía por lo que habían muchas cosas que no podía explicar.
Es por eso que deje un súper relato de las actividades que yo hacía con Nina durante mi tiempo con ella. Aquí también muchas de ustedes se pueden dar alguna idea de cómo eran mis rutinas y qué hacía con la niña.

Esta publicación está en inglés porque fue el documento que le deje a mi Host Mom para mostrar lo que le explicaba a la nueva AuPair en ese momento. Si tienen dudas ya saben que siempre pueden preguntar.

Hi (New Aupair) !

I wanted to leave a little handbook for you to know a little more about how the things were going
on before you arrived, also you know my blog and sort of know I really enjoy
writing so I hope this is no too much.
-For easy understand I categorized the information-

Nina

You have probably met already the cutest Chinese girl on earth (but don't tell her, she still
says she is HongKonese and doesn't understand very well where Hong Kong is
located) apart from that. You probably found out she is not as outgoing as she
is in some videos I have on my FB profile, but it is only because she is shy at
first sight, give her 2 to 3 days and a couple of songs and she will become
your best friend.

When I met Nina,she didn't speak much English and only knew some words, like colors, numbers
and some random vocabulary, we have moved forward very much because I really
needed Nina to understand most of the things I was saying, it was really boring
to do any activity with someone whom didn't understand. So far Nina is really
good she understands, memorizes and paraphrases a lot, on my perception she is
a three and a half years old in English Speaking, She still has some difficulty
listening but if you use your vocabulary with some relevant examples she will
understand. 









During working shifts relevant information

After school shift: 
Usually after Nina arrives from school, she either eats a fruit, drinks soup or just bonds with
Damon, after that she will be ready for homework (the one I have prepared for her)
***Every 2 or 3 weeks I prepared the activities I was going to do with Nina that includes her
homework, crafts, games or stories I told her during our walks or while she was playing with her toys. 
The homework are mostly 5 pieces of paper with words, numbers or to letters to color. (I pick 5
pieces because it was her age, you can bring your own method).
I checked her school agenda every Monday to know what words and vocabulary they are studying during those days.  

She mostly takes one hour doing her homework, (I usually time everything), so I put the timer to
30 minutes, if she gets to the 30 minutes and she hadn’t finish I started pushing and cheering, if she doesn't get motivated by that then I sit down by
her and help her just focusing in the paper and not playing around. (I usually had something plan to do after she finishes her homework, sometimes go for a walk with the bunny, or having a party in the living room, painting rocks etc.)



Since we arrived to Shanghai, I explained to Nina, reading will give us new words and we will learn a lot from the books. since then we have dedicated 30 minutes each day to only read, usually I do that at 8pm which is a perfect time to cool the mood down because it’s getting close to the sleep time.

When reading I used to pick 6 books, 3 were picked by Nina and the other 3 by me, I used to
repeat 1 book everyday within 2 weeks to be able to use the sentences of the book later on daily basis.





I usually accompanied and helped her during her washing time. I believe somebody will explain
to you how to help her take a shower, if they don't make sure they do because of some shampoo and washing methods and mostly the after showering process, she will have to be dry within 2 minutes because she could get sick. 
The English relevance in this take a shower time is: Since you can see her through the shower crystal window while she washes, I use to spot body parts for her to wash and
that help a lot with her body vocabulary. (Just FYI She doesn't use the word “ass”- or “bottom” we call it butt and because she is little I always say
“butty butty” to refer to it). 











Notes:
«  Every Monday Nina has swimming class, after she arrives, make sure you put her swimming equipment out to wash and dry, when its dry fold it back put in inside of its bag and hang
it behind the mirror in the leaving room.




«  Every Friday she will bring a book from school, I usually read it on Sunday´s night and pack it
instantly in her school bag

«  We watched an English movie usually on Fridays and I literally sat down by her and talk about the movie like a friend´s night. (Trust me this will help a lot bonding, besides you can explain her little by little some English jokes and situations occurring in the movies).

«  There were two activities I kept as a routine the whole year

1.      The first one was listening to any English music that helped Nina to know when somebody
speaks in English and difference it from other languages around besides of course the listening and pronunciation.

2.      The second one was exercising her body, I usually spent from 40 to 60 minutes (weekdays) in any activity that she had to move and use her body that includes dancing, climbing, running, walking. (Some days we even go up and down the stairs 10 times in a row as a way to exercise).

Weekend Shift:

Depending on the schedule you get, you will work on weekends, which is really nice because
mostly would be the family time, and you get to share with the whole family, as a recommendation, try to ask the hosts parents what you are doing or where you are going so you can dress properly and bring just in case books for Nina, water for you and for Nina and maybe your phone charger, some days I had to carry an extra shirt on my back pack for me, because I sweat and I feel hot easily in most of Chinese places because of the warmers and calefactions. 

During the weekends I mostly follow the family´s plan, and I was always super exited to visit everywhere with them. Some days they will drop you in a park or inside park to play with Nina, and those are really cool places to play with balls, toys and jump around. Enjoy those family moments and don't get overwhelmed by the excess of Chinese, try to listen and practice. 


Holiday/Vacation or Day at home Shift:

Figure it out about when Nina doesn't go to school when is a holiday, so you will know and won´t make plans for that day. When she is sick, you can deal the same day with the mom if Nicole doesn't mention anything I usually kept the same hours as a normal weekday shift day. 

Probably you will travel at least once with the family, for that I usually use the airplane as my
classroom, it is in fact a great place to practice with Nina, because most of the crew will speak in English and she will practice with not fear. I usually asked the mom about the trip, and depending on it I used to bring with me one
book per day, colors, paper and a sticker book for the airplane. (You will find those inside a blue box on the top of your closet, she will be distracted with the sticker book for a long while), I also bring colors and paper for the airplane so she could draw, and I always had a just in case movie on my phone. 



You can always contact me on my social network if you need any hint or you are wondering about
anything.


At home
So, I imagine you already know how to say Ni Hao, and some other greeting words
in Chinese, to be truth I didn't know much for not saying nothing, before I came and I felt really bad about that therefore I don't want you to feel like
that:

So, Usually when I woke up, I go for coffee downstairs in the kitchen, You can use the Chinese good morning and say Zao Shang Hao or say good morning in English, most of
M the people living in the house are used to have a foreigner speaking in English and they will smile or nod to your greetings.

You will find different smells in the house and around the neighbor, but they are the spices
and some herbs usually use in the kitchen. In the very beginning I had a little problem with some smells then I didn't really want to eat much, but while you get use to the culture and their cuisine you will start eating more, but be aware that our body it isn’t use to eat at 11pm (Colombia’s time) 12noon (China’s time) then you are going to start gaining some weight even when you eat rationally, I came up with 7 pounds more gained last winter, and trust me I didn't eat that much, within the time and some lectures I found out that the -
food jetlag - is the really bad for any diet, and your body but It will regulates by itself within time, don't rush to eat if you are not hungry, I got
sick at the beginning of the program because I was a little afraid to say no to the food but then the cramps and stomachache really made me regret  I ate it.

Since we started living in Shanghai, Grandpa is in charge of the food, and he cooks really good
(he gives big portions, perfect for hungry days), but sometimes a little too much spice so try to tell him you don't want spice, and then you can add it
yourself. (Spicy is really good, mostly in winter because it really heats you up). Nina tends to repeat everything you do when you are eating that is why I sometimes stayed longer, just sitting in the table waiting for her to finish and when the food was finished we said Xie Xie or thank you for the food to the grandpa or the people in the table.  

 I usually ate lunch and dinner with the family, It was really hard for me in the very beginning to get use to the Chinese breakfast then I skipped it and within the time I tried a couple of times the breakfast but only joining with a coffee or some bread. In my advice you should try to join the breakfast, at least to share and observe. 

For lunch I joined the grandparents and the little brother who are usually the ones at home. For
dinner, I was always with Nina, frequently she will eat something different from you, because she eats “À la carte” so don't bother when she whines about you eating some way or another it is just a way to call attention because she probably wants to play with you and avoids eating., she sometimes put her chop sticks in my plate but I didn't tolerated it and I always told her that was improper, so its ok if you gently tell her to don't do it again, she will mostly try some things and if you approve them once, it is going to be a little tricky to change them. Something similar happens with your room’s door, anytime she opens the door without knocking, you can ask her to close, knock and wait for you to answer back, (most of the Au Pairs in China will complain about this, you will find out), but if you explain her that you could be naked or doing something personal she will understand and knock the door any time after. 

For my personal hygiene I use the second floor washroom, I used the third shelf to put my shampoo and conditioner, I always put my razor behind this two in a way Nina wasn't able to see and tease with it. In the mirrored furniture I used the upper shelf to put my tooth paste and some little things, but most of my face lotions and hair accessories I kept them in my room.

As you know now, your bedroom is in the third floor and you have a little door that connects
with a little room where Nicole has some belongings and Nina has a little play room, well try to sleep with that door open, and the shades open to get a beautiful sunrise, it is usually very nice during the morning since the room gets warm because of the sun and you can relax on the bed, it will also help you to wake up in the morning. (Be aware that to much light with few hours of sleeping will make some eye bags and it wont let you sleep deeply in some cases). 

In this little room you will spend some days with Nina, either playing, reading or whichever
activity you plan, and usually Nina will clean up with you after finish. Even though once in a week, I cleaned with some alcohol or wet wipes her stuff, so it will not be dusty. Sometimes I cleaned with her in the room, (mostly when she
was playing some games I didn't like to join, like little Elsa and her friends or Elsa and her family, Belinda and others) this cleaning part I did it in most of her belongings that were shared with me, (her desk in her room, book shelf in the second floor, bunny, painting and crafting tools in the back yard).

    

   



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