PST c’est fini! Language training – passed! Site visit – boom! OSTT – completed! It was finally time to swear in and service to begin.
We all headed together back south with only a slight setback near Techiman. It resulted in hanging out at a restaurant from lunch through dinner and having to crash at one of our sub-offices. It was one giant sleep over and fun if you ask me. It is events like this that make a trip unique.
Eventually we made it back to our homestay village and I was happy to see my host family. Even my beloved Jeff Jeff remembered me. The few days we were there flew by and our swearing in day arrived before the dresses my host mom had made for us were ready. Literally picked up my dress twenty minutes before we were due to show up at the venue. As people started to arrive, it started to sink in that I was finally going to be a Peace Corps Volunteer. Also, everyone looked fantastic in their outfits!
Things moved along quite quickly to avoid the worst of the heat and anyway, the PC Ghana staff has the swearing in process on lock down – having been doing this for 50+ years. The US Acting Ambassador, Deputy Chief of Mission/Chargé d’Affaires and RPVC, Melinda Tabler-Stone swore us in. At one point we bungled it up, unable to repeat a long part of the pledge, so we just mumbled and giggled through that part. Our cultural dances had everyone in stitches, which in my view, was the whole point. The group put in its own flare of course.
My language group, naturally, went above and beyond what we were assigned to present. Fossy and I did a modern interpretive dance to Ro’s PC rendition of Disney’s ‘A Whole New World.’ At the end, the entire group hijacked the program and burst into song with ‘Lean on Me.’
I did have to keep it together as the realization that I was now a volunteer hit me. A dream had come true and I had two years to live it! We immediately went to celebrate with a few drinks.