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I want to tell you all about the exciting year I've been having. On January 17th I flew out of Auckland airport and a few hundred hours later arrived in the freezing, but beautiful, city of New York. Its been 10 months since then, and I can hardly believe that it is almost time for me to finish my year here as an Au Pair in America.

I had a wonderful time at orientation, with the highlight being the night time tour, where we got to see the main points of New York City - Central Park, Rockefella Centre, Trump Towers, Times Square, Lincoln Centre, The Statue of Liberty (at a distance) and of course The Empire State Building which we went to the top of. I was also impressed with our tour guides who managed to stage a three car pile up right outside the entrance to Central Park and you guessed it...they were all yellow taxis!! We all made a lot of friends, who we have kept in contact with, during our 4 days together and it was a little hard to say goodbye so soon after meeting them all.

On the Thursday I literally came in with a snow storm to Medway Massachusetts, which is where my host family live. Its about an hour from Boston. My host family are wonderful. I look after a soon to be 4 year old Kevin and there is a baby girl on the way. Unfortunately for me she is due just 8 days after I leave here, but I will get to come back and see her. Kevin has his own theory on how the baby is going to be born - "she is going to live inside mommys belly, and then she is going to cough her out!" I can't wait to see that happen! I have a large room, in a huge house, and a car for my own use.

I have enjoyed looking after Kevin this year, and just being part of the family. We love to do playdates with other kids in the cluster, and Kevin has been dubbed the "stud of the cluster" after the girls fight to hold his hand on our outings. There have been so many highlights of this year, including a trip to Orlando, Florida with another Christchurch Au Pair, Kirsten. We did the Disney Parks and Universal Studios and also hired a car and drove to Miami, where we drove around in a thunderstorm, and further on down to the southern most point of the US, the West Key, which is gorgeous. I went with my host family to Long Island, NY, and managed to go into Manhattan again and saw the sights during daylight hours.

My family have also come over to the US to visit me during my time here, and we spent some time here in Massachusetts and also in Las Vegas, and in Utah where there are some gorgeous canyons. Halloween, just a couple of weeks ago, was hilarious - its just a big "candy-fest" and is amazing to watch. I carved a pumpkin and went trick or treating too. 4th of July on the Charles River was spectacular, the fireworks seemed to go on forever. I am currently waiting for my white Christmas! My community counselor, Barbara, is the best. She is Australian, so knows all about things like Milo and pavlova, which the Americans have no clue about. She truly is there for all of us 100%. There are currently about 40 girls in the cluster, so it is impossible not to make friends from all over the world. Well, this is just a small sample of what I have been through this past year - there has been so much more! This truly has been the experience of a lifetime." Michelle S.
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