The Toth family of Colorado recently decided to spend the Christmas and New Year holidays with their former au pair Silvana in her home country of Argentina. Says former host dad John, “We’ve kept in touch with Silvana since she returned home, so, when it came time to plan our holiday season, we thought it would be great to take the boys to Argentina to experience something different. It was, by far, the most culturally authentic vacation we’ve ever had, really getting to see a side of the Argentinian people that most tourists never do.”
In addition to spending the holidays together, the Toth family—including John, Dayna and their two boys, Ethan (6) and Emerson (4)—took a roadtrip with Silvana to visit the cities of Buenos Aires, Iguasu falls, Cordoba, Salta and Jujuy. Dayna adds, “Silvana went on two amazing vacations with us during her time with us as an au pair. One one of those trips we travelled through Europe with a 2- and 4-year-old—not easy! But she took all the ups and downs in stride and was always positive even when we were not. She was, and still is, a wonderful travel companion.” Below Silvana shares more details about their trip and and an update on what Silvana is doing now and how her au pair year changed her life forever.
What were the dates of your reunion with your host family?
December 18th 2015 – January 2nd 2016
What was your favorite moment during your reunion with the Toths?
Christmas’ Eve, when the met my family and participated in all of our customs and traditions. They also watched the fireworks show on New Year’s and kids launch lanterns and made a wish—a tradition in my country. Another cool thing we did was fishing together in lakes and rivers of Argentina.
What is new or different about your host family since you last saw them?
My host kids are so big! They are great fishermen, and now they can do it on their own! Also, Emerson is not shy anymore.
What has changed in your life?
I’m 23 now, and I have a job that I love. I’m a representative for Cultural Care in Argentina, Córdoba. I’m still studying, and I am close to finishing my degree in English Translating. I live alone in a small apartment now, and I support myself. I became even more independent and the au pair experience changed my life for better. I love travelling and my first time in Europe was when I was au pair and we lived there a month. I’m thankful my host parents taught me so many things about travelling abroad!
What favorite traditions do you remember sharing with your host family?
Breakfast together in the mornings—my host dad John was usually the one cooking. And dinner together at 6pm which is early for me! (Here in Argentina we have dinner at 8.30pm or later.)
When will you see your host family next?
Hopefully July 2016, for summer break!
Do you have plans to reunite with your former host family or au pair? We’d love to hear more! Host parents or host children, share your story here. Au pairs, share your story here.