I am officaly now a Peace Corps Volunteer. Sixty of us swore in yesterday in Fez and then scattered to the wind early the next morning. I am currently in my Region Capitol with my region mate Mara preparing for a meeting we have with the Regional Ministry of Health Delegue tomorrow morning.
Goodbyes were somewhat emotional as all of us came to the realization this morning that we are no longer in the "summer camp" that is our Pre Service Training. We now have to go out and make this work. I don't have a schedule anymore, from here on out I do the work I find to do... a daunting task.
I want to share a little it about the swearing in ceremony with you. So I found out several days ago that I scored the highest of all of our language groups on our language test and so I was bestowed the honor/stress of giving a speech in my language (Tamazight)at the swear-in ceremony. Needless to say I was excited about scoring so high, but the downside was that the last couple of days were spent preparing a speech in a language that I had only started learning two months ago instead of cherishing those last few days with newly made friends before we were separated for God knows how long. I was so nervous the day of swear-in leading all the way up to the speech and even after. It went really well though. I had a couple of people come up to me and complement me on my language ability, which was encouraging.
After the ceremony, the stress didn't end. Moroccan television wanted to interview me both in French and in Tamazight. I did the interview in French, but I wasn't about to go on television speaking Tamazight, so I passed that one off to my roommate Alex. We were both on TV that night which is always a little morale boost.
Here are some pictures of swear in...
I think I was talking about my reasons for coming to Peace Corps at this point in the speech... "If my brother is sick, I too am sick..."
This was me telling a funny story from my host family. I had quite a few goofy faces during this speech, but cross cultural communication is always a little goofy.
This is me giving a TV interview in French.
This is me and Ann right before the festivities began. Ann was tied for the person to give the speech in Tashelheit, but passed it off to one of our friends named Aaron.
This is me and Anna Wadsworth after the Swear-In ceremony being good little representatives of the United States. ;)
This is Sean, Mara, Ann, Lacy, and myself after Swear-In. This is a quality group of people if I do say so myself.
And this is me with my LCF Fatoume who was an amazing language teacher