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Published: June 22nd 2013
after a very emotional and difficult goodbye at Heathrow Airport (including a whiney "why are you sending me awaaay" to my poor mother!) I hopped on a plane, hopped off at Singapore after 12 boring and sleepless hours, then back on for another 7 before arriving in the glorious city that is Brisbane. Unfortunately it was 5am so the view out of the window was just darkness really, plus it was chucking it down with rain (in AUSTRALIA
, I know right?!). Sped through security and customs then out to meet my cousin who had kindly come to get me at such an ungodly hour! After a big catch up (and the longest, loveliest shower) my host family came to collect me. I was quite apprehensive at first, of course, having only met them on Skype, but after a few hours in a car and getting settled in to the house in Toowoomba, I knew I had nothing to be worried about. I have felt right at home from the word go and I know that is a lucky situation to be in as an au pair, with many others complaining of feeling uncomfortable in the house on forums and facebook groups.
The first week with the kids was an interesting one. I am looking after Brock (10), Mackenzie (3) and Logan (15 months). I've never had younger siblings before but I'm starting to work out that this is what it's like! Brock is at school for most of the day so my time is spent with the younger two. Luckily Kimberley (my host mum) took the first day off to help me get settled into a routine with the kids and practice driving their beast of a car (Toyota land cruiser- look it up!). After that it was down to me, and whilst it was a scary situation I think being thrown in at the deep end was the best way to do it. If I'd been spoon fed at first, being alone with them would have been way harder when it eventually happened. Brock is a typical inquisitive ten year old boy and Logan is a total cutie and fairly easy to read (crying means he's hungry/needs a nappy change/is tired/wants something you've got, usually) but Mackenzie has been my challenge. She is a sweetie but of course like any 3 year old girl, she has been testing to see what she can get away with (not a lot, by the way). Fortunately for me, I was very similar to her as a child and remember all the techniques my mum used with me! Turns out they really do work (counting to 3 is my favourite!). Whilst she tests me occasionally, she is a lovely little girl and when back from my first weekend away I got the biggest welcoming hug! So that's my home life covered, all good there and definitely feel like I made a good choice with this job.
My first weekend in Australia I got the Greyhound bus from Toowoomba to Ipswich where my cousin and her fiancé picked me up to carry on to Boonah. That's where my aunt & uncle live. It was emotional to see them after 3 years, I was so so happy to be there! We had lunch, caught up and laughed our way through the afternoon before heading back to Brisbane for dinner and drinks with my other cousin and his fiancée. The next day was spent on the beach in the warm Aussie sun and I even went in the sea (for like 30 seconds) just because I could 😊 It was a perfect first weekend and so special spending it with family I've been half a world away from for so many years.
Following that, I came back to Toowoomba and spent another week working. It's currently my second weekend and it's so far been spent chilling with my host famalam. Headed up to Dalby to watch Brock's rugby game this morning and now relaxing in the house. I will be watching the mighty British and Irish Lions take on the Qantas Wallabies this evening though, for sure!
So that's my travel ramblings of Aus so far done, I'll try and update this at least once a week. Even if nobody reads it, at least I won't forget all my adventures if they're documented here!
Missing England and everyone heaps,
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