Saturday, May 15, 2010

Host Families Party and Swear In

It was been an eventful couple of days here in Peace Corps Senegalandia. Thursday we had a big fete for our host families from our training villages -- we bused in our moms and random other family members and showed them a grand ole time: music, dancing, a delicious chicken lunch feast, speeches, beignets, boissons, and more dancing.

Friday was Swear-In Day, which is a big deal in the Peace Corps miniworld. We left early from the training center, and entered Dakar a couple of hours later under police escort, which - in all honesty - was one of the more fun experiences of my entire life: A moto-cop leading our Peace Corps parade, flashing his lights and directing people to pull off both sides of the road as we drove by.

The ceremony was held at the American Embassy, with a speech by the American ambassador, the PC country director, and a few other big shots, as well as newly sworn-in volunteers from each language group. Yours truly made the Wolof speech! Afterward we gorged ourselves on minipizzas, tartes, and various other hors d'oeuvres. Below are several pictures from the party, party, partying that we've been doing. :-)

Now that we are officially PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS, have raised our right hands and sworn to serve and protect the US constitution, so help us god, we have to leave the comfort and security of the training center and our training villages and go out into the world to fight the good fight. For most of us, this happens early tomorrow (Sunday) morning, when, laden down with everything we own, we will board "sept-places" (rickety station wagons; the preferred form of public transportation in this country) and head out of town for our regional houses. And you know what happens Tuesday? I get dropped off in my village, never to be heard from again. Just kidding.


Team Mandinka, cute and killin' it as always.




LOGGER LOGGER LOGGER LOGGER LOGGER





Jessica, me, Rachel, Maddie. My family made me this outfit.




Tying my "mussor"





Musicians for the Fete de Familles





They used this huge gourd for all sorts of different purposes - to stand on, to do flips off of, to bang on... turned upside down it was an impressive balancing contraption.





Last moments with my host mother.





Rocking out on the way to Swear-In




DJ Kimmie Kim Hall spun the tunes all the way to Dakar.





Jessica and Steve, Team Ker Sadaro... OH, how I will miss my village mates when we separate this week.




A Rainbow made of Boubous




Beautiful baby blue boys: Dave, Jono, Jamie, Justin, David





Hilariously cute, Kourtney.




Engagement photos with Steve





Mike, Evan, and Charles -- Not sure why they decided to hold pinkies... but it's pretty darn cute.




Dave, Jono, Paul, and Evan, bro-in' out by the banner.




All us trainees, moments before we became real live volunteers.




Watch out for the ever-scandalous knee exposure!!!




Sarah, I'll miss yooouuuuuu....




Wolof speakers FO LIFE.





Amanda takes the embroidery prize. (also, what inspired this pose?)




Linguere region warriors!




Eric, Mikael, and I, at the "American Club" in Dakar after Swear-In.

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