A group of 16 au pairs from around the world gathered at the Newport Beach Police and Fire Departments for tours and a cultural experience. The group enjoyed a personal tour from Newport Beach Police Department volunteer officers as they were led around the station and to see firsthand the inner workings of such an esteemed station. The group especially enjoyed visiting the jail cells, sitting in the back of a police car, visiting a 911 call center, and speaking with an officer in an open Q&A session. The officers were able to answer all the questions that young people are curious or concerned about and to share with them all of the tools they use on the job, from their belts (tasers, pepper spray, service weapon) and uniforms, to their cars and motorcycles. One au pair volunteered to be “arrested” and promptly was filmed by the group and posted to Facebook en masse!
From there, the girls walked to the Fire Department next door and enjoyed another tour of the Fire Station led by several of the Fireman on shift. A brief safety discussion informed the girls that if they ever are in danger or have medical issues that the fire and police departments are there for them to call and it was always better to be safe than sorry. The girls were shown the kitchen, living and sleeping quarters, and the exciting fire pole (which the rookie demonstrated by sliding down for the group!). After that, the group visited the garage where they were shown the uniforms and equipment the firemen use and how it works to protect the firemen when they are on calls. The group was able to try on uniforms and to get in and on the fire engines. An open Q&A session spurred many more interesting questions about the life and job of our firemen.
The group had another mission while on their tours. While the tours were indeed educational and the group was able to experience a cultural exchange with our local heroes, the group was broken into teams of 2 and the 8 groups were challenged to complete a 20-item “Selfie Scavenger Hunt” with their mobile phones. Julia Otte from Germany and Elena Gallegos from Spain, both 19, were the big winners by beating out the runners up by one picture before time expired.
Au pairs are young adults who come to America for a period of 1-2 years on a J-1 VISA in a program approved by the Department of State, and to attend college courses in their area. They range in age from 18-26 years old, and can come from over 40 countries. The au pairs are first experienced in their home countries and then come to America to improve their English, learn about our cultural, and to provide live-in child care for their Host Families; the program costs Host Parents less than $19,000 annually for full-time, live-in, in-home child care. The au pairs get together monthly for a cultural experience led by their Area Director, and further enjoy spending their time off with group their members and building lifelong friendships across the globe. For more information on au pairs and AuPairCare, please contact the local Area Director directly at email@example.com or visit our website at www.aupaircare.com.
Written by Tami Wiersma, AuPairCare Area Director for the North Orange County region.