The Orientation in New York (Day 1 --- Day 5) 2004 August 15-20
I couldn't believe that now I am stepping on the ground of New York. Recalling that how much effort I had done (writing my autobiography, checking up my body, and getting the recommendation letters), I felt that it was worthy. I was not from a rich family, and I couldn't just come to New York for sightseeing. That was why I treat this trip as a treasure. During this orientation in New York, I met some friends, 3 from Thailand, 2 from Japan, and few others from other countries such as Germany, Brazil, and Southern Africa…etc. It was a small United Nations even though Taiwan was not a part of it. I was so excited about meeting new friends.
I watched " The Beauty and The Beast" musical. It is a gorgeous show. A symphony is under the stage and playing the music. The actor and actress's voices are both harmonious and vigorous. Walking on the Time Square, I hold my breath and excitement, thinking, " Am I dreaming? I shouldn't be here." This is the place I usually watched on TV or on a movie. Every year, I see a lot of people counting down on December 31st here. A lot of Taiwanese singers record MTV on the 5th Avenue. I felt that I became fashionable and brand new from now on.
There was one night when all au pairs took a bus for sightseeing. A red and two-story bus attracted many local residents' attention. " Look at those tourists" they probably said. I didn't mind at that time because I was totally overwhelmed by these awesome scenes. The old churches, the architectures, the bridge, and Boston are not only famous but also historic. The tour guide kept talking and instructing, but I didn't really listen to what he was talking about because my V8 was running with my hands.
The last day in New York was tough for me because I had to say good-bye to those good friends. We just began to know each other better, but we had to be apart now. How cruel it was for me. My roommate, a French girl, asked my address and email so that we could keep in touch with each other. "
It is nice meeting you, please keep in touch" I heard someone said so. I hugged my dear Jeab (from Thailand) and stepped into the bus, feeling that my tear was running in my eyes.
California Here I Come~~~~~(August 20th 2004-September 7th 2005)
When I reached California, I saw that Debby and Josh hold a sign and welcomed me. " They are so thoughtful" I said. At the same time, Jordan was hold by Alex, an ex-au pair from Germany, and Dave and Sarah were standing aside. They all showed their kindness to me. I felt really warm in my heart even though it was cool no matter inside or outside of the airport. At the first sight, I knew that they were going to be important people in my life. They were going to teach me how to act as a lovable person, how to say I love you, how to deal with difficulties, and how to educate kids. Actually, I was influenced not only by these things, but also by something much deeper.
I became much bolder. I tried many things for my first time such as skiing, ice skating, attending a wedding in America, and playing music with a band.
I knew that I wouldn't had opportunities to do these if I hadn't come here as an au pair. My host mom and dad always encouraged me to try and taste it afterwards. It is life, and I should make it colorful and bright as possible as I can. My host mom is a living example for me. She always tries to make things special and interesting. For example, one time when we were on a highway to go to Reno, she asked me to roll down the window and put the right hand out. I followed her instruction and then she said, " pull your hands in the air twice when a big truck is next to our car." I did it and I heard " Ba~ Ba~" because the driver pulled the horn line. I was surprised and excited. It was really fun during our boring driving.
The trips I took with the Levy's during the year were Long Beach, LA, Hollywood, Reno, San Diego, Lake Tahoe, and Washington State. During the winter break, we went to Long Beach and LA. During the spring break, we went to Lake Tahoe for skiing. During the summer break, I went to Washington State and San Diego. There were too much fun to describe. Skiing was for my first time, and I tried my best to learn it. I didn't feel cold at all because it isa kind of sports that I need to act a lot. I don't know if I can control it well now, but I definitely want to play it again.
I had been to Yellowstone National Park, and this time I went to Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks. I admire the majestic beauty of nature, knowing that the environment should be protected forever. I appreciated the waterfalls, the trials, the black bears, and other animals. Getting in touch with the natures made me talk to myself and let my body relax. The fresh air is hard to get in cities, not to mention about Taiwan.
Before I left for home, Debby and Dave gave me a birthday &farewell party. They invited 28 people to my home and we had a great time together. Socializing is such an important part in this family. I cherished every one I met because I had no idea if I would see them in the future. I was blessed to have them as my family and friends. Just like what Debby and Dave told me, " Once you are a part of this family, you are always welcome to come home and to stay with us." Who can be so lucky to hear this sentence?
Someone asked me if my English was improved a lot. I couldn't tell if it was, but I just knew that I had a great experience with the Levy's, and I grew up a lot, which is beyond words!