For Immediate Release
June 4, 2008
American Institute For Foreign Study
River Plaza, 9 West Broad Street
Stamford, CT 06902-3788
Thousands of Miles Away from Epicenter, Au Pair Still Feels Quake
SHORT HILLS, NJ – The Short Hills, New Jersey, home of Yu Huang’s host family is thousands of miles away from the tragic earthquake near Chengdu. However, for this au pair, she may as well have been at the epicenter.
“I clearly remember May 12 when I heard the news of the earthquake. I was shocked strongly,” said Yu. “It took me about an hour to make contact with my father through the Internet and know both my parents, my relatives and friends were safe. The one hour for me was like ten years – during the waiting time, I kept hope in mind, kept blessing them.”
Yu, and other au pairs brought over from China through Au Pair in America, are dealing with having been away from their homes during China’s strongest earthquake in more than three decades.
“I could not hold my tears when I saw the number of deaths and how they kept growing and the huge damage to Si Chuan province, my hometown,” Yu states. “Both my parents still suffer a great fear of the earthquake, and I still worry about them a lot. My host family has been very supportive.”
China, with its expanding global influence, is one of the newest recruitment countries of Au Pair in America – and Yu, one of its first Chinese au pairs. Since 2004, inquiries and requests for Chinese au pairs have surged from nearly nothing to more than 4,000. Like many parents requesting an au pair from China, Tim and Wendy Baker, Yu’s host parents, wanted an au pair from China so that their children could be exposed to Mandarin – a language many believe will be the new language of commerce.
In addition to the experience of living in America that every au pair takes home, Yu has come to see the good through all of the heartache as she witnesses the ongoing relief effort. “This has moved me very much…everybody in my country and all over the world do their best to help. From this earthquake, every heart is brought together.”
On a program that aims to bring the world closer together, Yu has been given a first-hand view – albeit unwanted – of humans at their finest in the wake of tragedy. This pioneer continues to keep hope at the forefront: “I believe a country is just like a person: suffering bad effects will only make it stronger. I will keep blessing my hometown. My China.”
To learn more about the program, contact Au Pair in America at (800) 928-7247 or visit them on the web at www.aupairinamerica.com.
Au Pair in America, the nation’s first legal au pair agency, matches potential au pairs that meet the different criteria posed by host families for a mutually rewarding and enriching live-in child care and cultural exchange experience. Au Pair in America is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has offices in 5 countries.