Our chat with au pair Mary from Uganda

Our au pair Mary has arrived in the Netherlands in September. We had a chat with her about her experience so far and here you can read all about it!

About her host family:
She is very happy with her host family. She plays a lot together with her host children (for instance local games Mary used to play as a child), they are teaching her Dutch and she is teaching them Luganda (one of the official languages in Uganda). They teach each other about their cultural differences. They have visited various museums together like Nemo  Science Museum and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
“The kids are so lovely and we have a very good connection together”.

About the Netherlands:

Mary finds that the Dutch hardly are outdoors, but she thinks maybe the weather during this time of year isn’t the best to go outside a lot. In Uganda folks usually do a lot of activities outdoors.

Mary took two week lessons on how to ride a bike and is now comfortable bicycling around. She loves the fact there are special bicycle lanes, as this makes it safer, especially for a new learner. She also really likes it that when someone passes you by on the bike, they are always greeting her.
I love Dutch people, they are friendly people, smiling while on their bicycle, and also walking with their dogs. They always say ‘Hoi’. I love this”.

She is learning Dutch online, finds it a bit hard to learn the words, but in time she feels she will be able to at least communicate using short sentences. Her host children help her a lot in this area as well.

She also likes the trains in the Netherlands and the tall futuristic buildings in cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam.


About her birthday:
She had to get used to the different kind of weather here. But her host parents got her a new raincoat when it was her birthday recently, and she loves that!
“My host family gave me a rain jacket 😂 to learn how to walk in the rain.”

She celebrated her birthday for the first time in her life as it is not a tradition in Uganda to celebrate birthdays. Her host family sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in English, so she could understand the words. Her host children helped her cut her birthday cake, as she never did this before.
“The kids had to teach me how to cut my birthday cake. It was the best day in my life”.

Her appointment at the local GGD Health Center (to do the mandatory Tuberculosis tests) was eventful as well. As the appointment was on her birthday, the nurses sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her.
“I have never felt so special. What a nice tradition to celebrate birthdays.”