Flight details

Good morning,

I am on my way to Frankfurt right now to grab the last things I need like some magnets from Frankfurt and a little suitcase for my hand luggage and a lot of other little things. I have ordered a lot of stuff online already e.g. a new jacket and a new bikini. 

But now back to the topic I mentioned in the caption: I have got my flight details on Wednesday which was even eleven days before I depart! You all know that I am in the WhatsApp group with the other AuPairs and one of them noticed the Email with the details straight away and told us. I was very nervous and checked my emails immediately but I haden’t got one! First, I thought that they may have forgotten me but then other girls wrote that they hadn’t got one as well so I was relieved. Eventually we, who hadn’t got the flight information where the ones who will fly on Sunday already. But do not worry, we got it two hours later. One can see when and with which airline one flies and who accompanies one. I fly alone. My preference would have been if at least one would fly then too so I am not (uncertain) alone. The next day six girls depart from Frankfurt. My check in is at 8 am so I have to get up early but not very early because we need only 30 minutes to the airport. One thing I really like about flying on Sunday is that I will arrive at JFK while the other ones will arrive in Newark so I am going to see a bit of New York already on my drive to the hotel. 

Originally my aunt wanted to say goodbye at the airport but she rather goes to church.

I realised that I had my first lasts already like my last grocery shopping with my mum, my last meeting with my aunt, the last time eating my favorite food. Wow, I still cannot believe I will leave in only 8 days!

My host family has wrote me now and asked if I needed any help and if they could get my driving record and license for the insurance. I requested the record yesterday but I doubt it will arrive before my departure. 

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Only 17 days

Hey guys!

It gets more and more real! Today arrived the last gift for the boys. I have now all presents for the boys but still no clue what I could give the host parents! Sigh. 

My mum tells me everyday that she will miss me and that she does not know how she will survive the year without me. That’s so cute but makes me feel bad! 

Moreover, I got the email with which I can book the New York City tour in which I will participate of course! 

Our au pair chat grows as well. We are 8 girls at the moment, not only from Germany but from Austria as well. We all do not depart from the same airport and not even on the same day, some (like me) already on the 15th October because of the driving course and some one day later.

I have had my first goodbye already yesterday. My uncle came over to give me my birthday present and say goodbye. He hopes I have a good time, he would never leave Germany for a year. On Sunday my aunt and her family will visit us. I won’t see them afterwards so there is my next goodbye! Ahhh, I hate it. 

I am already preparing my departure. I cleaned up my room and threw a lot of things away so it is not so dirty and messed up when I come back, I cleaned my car because it won’t be cleaned for over a year now and I ordered my travel case for my documents. Yesterday I copied all important documents so my parents have some copies, my host family will have some copies and I will have some copies because I have to carry an ID, my Visa, my DS2019 and my passport always with me. 

XOXO Becca

Only 17 days

Hey guys!

It gets more and more real! Today arrived the last gift for the boys. I have now all presents for the boys but still no clue what I could give the host parents! Sigh. 

My mum tells me everyday that she will miss me and that she does not know how she will survive the year without me. That’s so cute but makes me feel bad! 

Moreover, I got the email with which I can book the New York City tour in which I will participate of course! 

Our au pair chat grows as well. We are 8 girls at the moment, not only from Germany but from Austria as well. We all do not depart from the same airport and not even on the same day, some (like me) already on the 15th October because of the driving course and some one day later.

I have had my first goodbye already yesterday. My uncle came over to give me my birthday present and say goodbye. He hopes I have a good time, he would never leave Germany for a year. On Sunday my aunt and her family will visit us. I won’t see them afterwards so there is my next goodbye! Ahhh, I hate it. 

I am already preparing my departure. I cleaned up my room and threw a lot of things away so it is not so dirty and messed up when I come back, I cleaned my car because it won’t be cleaned for over a year now and I ordered my travel case for my documents. Yesterday I copied all important documents so my parents have some copies, my host family will have some copies and I will have some copies because I have to carry an ID, my Visa, my DS2019 and my passport always with me. 

XOXO Becca

Birthday boy

Hi,

I am back. Nothing happened concerning my Au Pair adventure so I did not wrote. 

Yesterday I send a parcel to my host family in celebration of the birthday of one of my boys in two weeks. I was not sure what I should send them and eventually I came to the conclusion that a few candies for all, a body lotion for the host mother, a logic puzzle for the host father, a bracelet for the current AuPair, who btw gave me her phone number so we can reach out to each other more easily (although I still have to write her), a monster stuffed animal key ring for the three boys and for the birthday boy a toy car as well. It would not be fair if all the boys would get the same although it’s ones birthday but I have to agree I have thought about it for a long time if one should really get more than the others… 

Somehow, now that I have send the parcel, it feels like the wrong decision and that I should not have done it. I do not know why. Maybe because I haven’t had contact with the family since matching except for one time when I told them I got my Visa. There they seemed already annoyed that I wrote them. I do not want to unnerved them and that is exactly what I think the parcel will do now. Crap. 

Well, let’s see how they will react…

Visa approved

Hey,

today was my appointment at the consulate General in Frankfurt. I got up at 7 which is early considering that I usually sleep until 9 am but regarding stories about people who have to get up at 2 am because they have an appointment at 8 am it is very comfortable. Luckily there is one US consulate General in Frankfurt. The other two where one can apply for a visa are in Munich and Berlin. had no long way to the consulate. My appointmentb was at 10 am. I took three trains early to make sure that I do not miss my appointment otherwise I would have to pay the 160$ again. No thanks, I know better ways to spend my money! I knew that I have to change from train to subway and I have checked it even this morning but I got out at the wrong train station. Because I left my cell phone at home because it is prohibited to enter the consulate with it and there is no chance to give it into a locker I had to search my way by scanning the maps. My mistake was not very fatal and I just had to take the next train and drive one train station further. Fortunately, it drove every 15 minutes so I was still in time. One the right train station I picked the right subway and drove to the Central Cementery, the consulate is opposite to it. There I had to walk round it. I had no watch because I left it at home as well, I was very cautious and did not want to take something prohibited with me and I started to get nervous because I did not know the time. Finally I arrived at the consulate, exactly 15 minutes before my appointment. There was already a queue and I lined up. One get called then to one of the two windows, shows one’s DS160 and passport and gets a number. After this one gets to the first security men who lets one pack all metallic items like belts and keys into a plastic bag and checks if one got a number. After this one lines up again and is allowed to enter in groups of 5. Inside one is greeted by a bulky, strict security men who demands to line up again and to put your belongings onto trays which get checked like at the airport. Oneself has to go through a metall detector (like the one at the airport). The four people before me passed without problems but the dump machine had to beep when I walk through. *Sigh* I had to walk through a second time but it beeped again so the security women said I do not look like I would carry a knife so I was allowed to go through. Then one can grab one’s belongings and continue his walk to the main building. There one can put the things from the plastic bag back to thsir place. One gets to a desk where the women want to see one’s passport, number, DS2019 and DS160. Next one has to go to another counter. There one has to show one’s passport, DS 2019, DS160 and Sevis Receipt to a very grumpy woman. If everything is okay one has to give your fingerprints. If one is finish there one has to go to a third counter (in my case there were sitting a very nice and polite man) where one has to show the passport, DS2019 and DS160. He asks if one got the information leaflet about one’s  rights in the US. After this he directs you to another line (in my case T) for one’s  interview. There are three different lines: yellow, red and blue. Nobody was at the blue line, 5 people were standing at the red one and 20 people and the yellow T line. Great! Fortunately I was standing in front of a very nice girl who applied for the visa because she will make an internship at Harvard and will live three months in Boston. So the time flew by talking to her and later the guy behind her joined our conversation. He has already applied several times for a visa so he told us all the terrible experiences he has already made, for example waiting for more than 3 hours! A few minutes later the guy behind him started talking to us too. It took an hour because there was only one counter for this line. Stupid, there were a lot of free counters! Although I had heard the men behind the glass talking in German to all of of people before me he started talking in.English and asked what the purpose of my journey is. He told.him I want to do a year abroad as an AuPair in Boston, Massachusetts. He then.asked what my childcare experience are. I told him.about my babysitter children and my cousin and sister. He looked at my Passport, took the DS2019, DS160, the number and my Passport and told me my Visa is granted. Yippie! I waited for the girl behind me because I had promised her to show her the way to the Central Station. Her visa is granted, too and we both left.
Afterwards we drove to the Central Station together. She went home and I went looking for presents for my host family. It’s one of the boys birthday soon and I want to.send a parcel with little gifts for all. I even found some little presents and I will send tomorrow.

October

Yesterday I used the whole day to prepare for my AuPair year. I searched for arts and crafts ideas, looked for host family presents, read a lot of AuPair blogs of AuPairs who are currently in the US or go there this year, tried to find a bunch of vegetarian dinner recipes, seeked for travel tips and read up about Massachusetts. Do you know that the chocolate chip cookie was invented in Massachusetts or that the first light house in the US was built in Massachusetts or that Salem is in Massachusetts? I didn’t. Well, while browsing through a lot of AuPair blogs I have not found one single AuPair who departs in October this year. Not one! How frustrating! I hope that I do not feel like an outsider in my cluster if everyone knows each other already! 

By the way, I got my appointment in the consulate today. It’s next Wednesday. I am so excited! 

Hello from London

After I have matched more than a week ago I got my congratulations letter from the German office of AIFS. Included were bag tags, a bracelet, a letter which informed me about writing about my experience publicly to get AIFS points, a info letter “How to apply for the J1 Visa” on Monday. I was very excited but I have to wait for the documents from London. 

On Wednesday, finally, the documents from London office arrived. That means the DS2019 form which I have to sign, a confirmation of my placement, an info letter how my visa has to look like, the Sevis Fee Receipt, letters from the state department (three, about my duties and rights in the US). Now I was able to apply for my Visa. In the instruction manual it said that applying for it in the morning takes not as much time as in the evening. Moreover I had to think of two additional points of contact. The two persons must not be related to me and I have no real friends so it was difficult to think of two. In the end, I asked one of my old classmates, Leonie, and Jaqueline. Leonie agreed straight away but Jaqueline took two days to answer!

On Saturday, I filled out the DS160, which took me one and a half hours. The questions were not difficult and in retrospective I cannot understand why I needed so much time for it… That was just casual stuff, my name, address, my address in the US, my organisation, my parents full name and birthday, etc. 

Yesterday my father paid the money which was not as easy as he thought because he was only able to do it at one special bank. Actually I should be able to set a date for my interview at the consulate today but somehow they say they haven’t got the money. I will wait two days and then I will call the bank. I should not be so excited and in a hurry, I have still 90 days until I will leave!!!