Last time, I talked about how and why I decided to become an Au Pair in the USA. You can read about it here. The last months at home (early summer 2001) were pretty busy. I had to finish school, have exams, graduation parties etc. I met with all my friends and my family again and just enjoyed myself. Who knew, that I would not see one of my best friends ever again (no, he did not die, but a lot can happen in a year, even if you do not see each other at all). On July 23rd, early in the morning, my Dad drove me to the airport. Saying Good-Bye to everyone was soo hard. My sisters cried the night before, my Mum and me when I left. I’m glad it was just my Dad and me at the airport. More people would have made it all the harder to go. During check-in, I already spotted a couple of girls, who were clearly going to be Au Pairs as well and in the bus, that brought us to the Terminal, I met Martina. She would be the Au Pair, that lived the closest to my house (5 min. by car) and we already met in Germany (we were on the exact same flight back as well, and we didn’t even use the same agency…). Talk about coincidences. The flight was pretty uneventful. We connected in Amsterdam and there were about 150 future Au Pairs from all over Euope on this particular flight. The other passengers were THRILLED to be in the presence of that many over-excited 19 and 20 year olds.
In NYC, we were picked up by buses and brought to student halls on the C.W. Campus at the Long Island University. It was July, so there were hardly any other people. the next couple of days are really a blur. I was sleep-deprived, had a stomach virus, did not eat very much and still attended all the classes (they were mandatory). The days were filled with all sorts of workshops and activities and on Thursday, we were shuttled to Manhattan for the afternoon. It was my second time there, so I was not too sad to only be there for 5 hours. Friday morning, the buses started leaving again. At different times though and to different Aiports. I was one of the last to leave and we flew out from Newark to Milwaukee. I was with one girl from Poland and Martina. We connected in Detroit again and I kept thinking to myself „What a horrible airport!“. It was hot, we were really afraid, that our families would not like us and I am so glad I remembered to warn everyone, that they might meet us at the gate (you were never allowed to do this in Germany). This was before September 11th! My family was there, all four of them plus their current Au Pair. They were happy to see me and after getting my bags we left to drive to my home for the follwing 12 months!