Guess Who Just Took A Government Oath?
I can’t believe they let us swear in either.
But seriously, this is quite the experience – and let it never be said that PC skimps on expenses. We were brought to an über-swanky hotel filled with film props (if you want the picture of me sitting on Ramses II’s chair, just ask) for swearing in, which was a lovely ceremony. The provincial governor, US deputy station chief, and the PC country director all spoke, and the top language learners in each of the three dialects taught gave short speeches.
Following that we all took the oath of service and just like that we were volunteers, with all the honor and responsibility it entails.
Our CBT host families attended the ceremony, which was fabulous. It was great to get a chance to see them one more time and to let them finally meet the people we’ve been talking about for the past two months. I’m fairly certain my host sister thought I was just making up friends who happened to know Arabic and Tamazight.
After lunch (with pizza!), we had free reign of the hotel pool and wireless for the afternoon. I am happy to say I now have a small trove of Gossip Girls to make my way through in the coming days (thank you, wi-fi!). We hung out, ate lots of ice cream, and began to think ahead to life at our sites. We’d be leaving the next day, which gave the evening a different energy. Some (many) of us likely won’t be seeing one another until IST (In Service Training) in another six months, which is hard to imagine after spending two and a half months straight with the same group of, I’ll say it, spectacularly cool people. As one put it, “Why’d they make us like each other so much?”
The consortium will be missed indeed.
We watched X-Files a lot.
The next day we said our goodbyes and were on our way. There was plenty of excitement on the road (who ever heard of a wheel actually coming off a car? I mean seriously), but I made it safe and sound to my site…all my luggage in tow. I’ve got plenty of things to keep me busy the first few weeks – from PC paperwork and applying for a carte de sejour (think green card) to finding a house – but my time now is largely my own, which is exciting and intimidating all at once. So far though everyone has been super friendly and welcoming, and I really can’t wait to see what happens in the next two years.
Home again home again, jiggity jig…
My valley is awesome. Though I may be impaled on a cactus sooner rather than later. Stay tuned, true believers…