Friday, October 12, 2007

Swearing-In Ceremony

Final Recommendation to be sworn-in as a volunteer

Back in Teguz before our swearing-in ceremony at the US Embassy, we got a tour of the Peace Corps office where everything that has to do with Peace Corps goes down and where everyone we need can be found. There is also a resource center for volunteers with a phone, three computers with internet access, and tons of shelves of books (resource books and novels) that we can borrow. We also had elections for VAC (the Volunteer Advisory Committee) which is a group that meets with Trudy, our country director, once every three months in Teguz to discuss how to improve Peace Corps here in Honduras and to bring up concerns that volunteers have had. Each project gets to pick two people for the committee and so Alice was elected as our representative and I am the alternate.

The swearing-in ceremony was held outdoors at the US Embassy. It was a very nice celebration and we got to hear words from the US Ambassador himself. He began with a speech in Spanish (like all the speakers) so that everyone could understand. And then he addressed us directly with a few words in English. One thing that he said that I really enjoyed was that Peace Corps is a program where success is not defined by the money you earn, but by the relationships you build. I thought this was nicely worded and very true. I wish it could be true worldwide. At the end of the speeches, we all stood, raised our right hand, and repeated the same swearing-in statement that all government officials, soldiers, marines, etc state.

PAMers at the swearing-in ceremony at the US Embassy

After the swearing-in ceremony, all the volunteers were invited to the Ambassador’s house for a few hours of fun. Sitting high above the homeless beggars and trash-filled streets of Teguz is the nicest house that I imagine exists in Honduras. The Ambassador’s house has a pool, basketball court, beach volleyball court, and . . . yes . . . a tennis court! I didn’t think I would get as excited as I did at the sight of a tennis court. Brianna (my roommate from way back in Washington D.C. who played #1 at her college) and I immediately picked up the rackets and played the WHOLE time we were there. I was one of the first ones off the bus and we were the last ones to board at the end of the day. The next day, I was so sore but in that good familiar way that I used to get after playing a tournament. I can’t even describe how good it felt to play.

PAMers in Santa Lucia for the last day of training

Sunset in Tegucigalpa

A last goodbye in Teguz before we left for our sites

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