We had our official swearing-in ceremony last Friday (October 16). It involved a police escort from Thiès to the ambassador’s house in Dakar (we wanted to make sure we wouldn’t get stuck in traffic and miss the ceremony – that would have been rather anti-climatic). Lots of people gave speeches – including 4 then Trainees (now official Volunteers) in 3 different local languages (Wolof, Pulaar, and Mandika) and in French. All were wonderful – or so I’m told anyway, since I really only understood the Wolof one (and half-understood the French one). To become official Volunteers we stood up and repeated an oath that is apparently something like 3-5 words different from the oath the president of the United States makes when he swears in. Crazy! Not sure I have quite the power or authority as the president of the United States… ;) After we were sworn in, we had a really nice reception that involved delicious food and drinks, all of which were consumed very rapidly. :) After that, we went to the PC headquarters in Dakar to finish the last of our paperwork and get our official PCV IDs, then all us new PCVs took off for what we call “The American Club” – it is a hotel and club (of sorts) that is free for PCVs to get into. So we hung out at the pool, ate good American food like hamburgers and BLTs, played sand volleyball, and relaxed. Then it was back into the Peace Corps cars to get back to Thies in time to grab dinner and have a very nice party (organized by PCVs) at the local Catholic compound (where beer is sold).Our police escort stopped for a short break to chat with some friends on our way from Thiès to Dakar.
The cute USA/Senegal flags pin that Chris Hendrick, the Peace Corps Senegal Country Director, wore for the ceremony.