Monday, December 21, 2015

Swearing In Ceremony

I officially swore into the Peace Corps as a volunteer December 16th.  The ceremony was at the U.S. Ambassador’s house in the capital Maseru.  They did a very good job with everything.  The ceremony was short, the food was great, and the Ambassador even let people swim in his pool.

Here are all of the girls in the group and I just realized that they organized themselves by color, dorks.

No silly color organization here.  About the hat.  I had my hat stolen on a trip the week prior.  I found a North Farce (obvious knockoff) hat for M35 or about $2, deal.  The next day I saw a man wearing this sweet hat so I traded him my North Farce hat plus M12.50, with every intention of wearing the ridiculous thing during the swear in ceremony.  

We were in Maseru the day prior to the ceremony in order to get our bank accounts set up and do some last minute shopping for the more rural people and those new to sites.  We had a briefing by the country director Wendy Van Damme (See Thanksgiving pics) about some of our unkempt appearances.  She mentioned some of the more bold hairstyles and said we could either fix them or cover them up.  I saw my opportunity as it was late in the day and people were tired of the meeting, my hand bolted up.  
“Yes Joel” - Wendy
“My family would like me to wear a traditional Basotho mountain hat to the ceremony.  Would that be okay to wear?” - Joel  (a lie I know but a lie in the name of comedy)
“I think that would be adorable” - Wendy

Bait, set, match - Joel

Here are my friends Ryan and Lisa Reid.  They are from Buffalo, NY and are lousy card players as well.  Must be a Buffalo thing.

We all had an equal amount of language training over the course of the ten weeks.  It was something like 100 hours total.  We had a midterm and a final exam.  The winner of the final exam got to read a speech in Sesotho at the ceremony.  Our winner was Katie Dubose.

The speech was long and I had little idea what she was talking about.  I received an F on my final language exam, which I think stands for fluent.

Afterwards we all went to the bar with our host families to party it up.  

We had a Superlatives speech for many silly things.  A word of warning folks, things are about to get real.  
So my charming friend Will and I have been trying to bring mooning back with a great amount of effort over these past few years.  It seems like the gesture peaked somewhere in the early 90’s and it’s been on a slow decline ever since.  That is until Will and I decided to bring it back.  Traveling to another continent half way around the world doesn’t change a thing either. 

Back to the Superlatives awards, not to sound cocky but I figured I would get an award for something as I get along well with the other volunteers.  I was sitting up front during the Superlatives announcements so I took the liberty of preparing (unbuttoning my pants) for my award.  They announced the cutest couples and yada yada and then suddenly… “The most likely to pull down his pants at any moment, goes to…  Joel”.  At the announcement of my name I admirably stood up and bowed to the crowd, then I turned around, jumped up on my chair and mooned everyone at the bar.  There was quite the uproar and I think a few ladies fainted but I earned my award unanimously and I didn’t want anyone to forget.  

- Peace

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