Jiralak Ruangsri says children in Thailand do not have temper tantrums, so it was quite a transition for her to come to America to be a live-in au pair as a part of the Au Pair in America program. In her country, she says, what the adults say goes and there is no room for discussion.
When she first came to the United States a little over a year ago, she lived with a family in Kansas, taking care of five children while their parents were at work. But an interest in tourism and a desire to travel and change things up brought her to Fairfield County. Six weeks ago, she traded in the flat open lands of Kansas for the hills and woods of Weston, a town, she says, not unlike her home in Khonkaen, Thailand.
During the day, Ruangsri watches 2-year-old William and 1-year-old Chloe while their parents are at work. She prepares lunch and dinner for the children, washes their clothes and cleans the play area, but what she loves most is spending time with the them and living with her host family.
Spending time with the kids is easy, she said as Chloe reached for her hands and William slept curled up in a ball next to her on the couch. The most challenging part, she says is not being able to understand the childrens needs because they cannot yet verbalize them. It depends on the kids age, she said. A baby cant communicate.
In April of next year, Ruangsri will return to her home six hours outside of Bangkok to work with her sister, who owns a small business painting canvas shoes, she said. In the meantime, she has big plans to travel when she gets her two week vacation. Florida, Boston and Niagara Falls are high on her wish list of places to visit.
The national Au Pair in America program hosts 40 au pairs that have been placed with families in Weston and Wilton, according to Loralyn Cropper. Senior Community Counselor for the program. The au pairs come mostly from Thailand, Brazil, Germany and South Africa, she said. There is an application process in which the families can choose the person that will be taking care of their children and the au pairs themselves can choose the families so everyone is happy.
To find out more about the program, visit www.aupairinamerica.com .
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