So, dear blog readers, as you are probably aware, we are attempting to find an au pair/nanny for the wee-ones.
It's been a rather enlightening process. I now know more about visas than I had ever hoped (or wished) to know. I also know slightly more about time zones, although not as much as one might think because I can never seem to remember whether or not I count backward or forward.
Luckily none of our au pair candidates seem too concerned with my horrible math skills, which is good.
I've interviewed 6 so far. Two of them were definitely not the right fit. One was very sweet but not quite what we were looking for, and three are as close to Mary Poppins as we're going to get. I do have two more that I'm hoping to interview this week so we can make a decision and get the ball rolling on the dreaded visa process.
I'm only half joking when I say that the bureaucracy surrounding the visa process is almost enough to make me a small-government Republican. Although I have a feeling that there are a number of Republicans who support the complicated, redundant, and utterly confusing visa system.
Anyway. It's possible that next week we will have signed a contract with an au pair, which is very exciting! The kids are super excited about the prospect of having what Penelope calls "a new aunty". They have enjoyed "meeting" the people I've interviewed and showing off all their toys and their room. I think it will be a wonderful experience for all of us.
Here are some things I've realized though, while doing these interviews.
1. Fahrenheit is a silly system of temperature measurement
2. Currency conversions are a PITA
3. We need to either all use military time or all use AM/PM. I vote for military time.
4. Hearing someone's voice really makes a difference
5. Our visa system is needlessly complex
In addition, the common thread running through many of these interviews - and which I found to be surprising at first, but not so much in retrospect - is that many of them are excited and surprised by Salinas weather. I forget that in most parts of the world people actually get seasons with real snow in the winter and very hot days in the summer. Salinas is either overcast/rainy, sunny and cool (windy), or sunny and mild. Some days it's all three (early morning, noon, afternoon). It's why we can grow food year round and after having only lived here for 2 years I've already started to take it for granted.
While the process has been exhausting at times, it's been good. I have a good feeling about our top candidates and I'm really optimistic that whoever we choose will become a positive addition to our family.
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