On October 20th 2016, myself and 52 other trainees swore-in as Peace Corps Volunteers in Namibia!!! After so many years of waiting for that very moment, it was crazy that the day had actually come.
My language group got matching outfits made by a local tailor woman for the occasion. We had bought traditional Wambo fabric before leaving the north. Our outfits ended up being AMAZING!
The ceremony was in the morning. We started off by saying the oath with US Ambassador, got a pin with the American and Namibian flags, and we were PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS. We took lots of pictures together since half the group was leaving immediately after the ceremony to head south.
We filed into the training center, which had been decorated. The Namibian National Anthem, American National Anthem, and African Union Anthem were sung. Our Program Manager, Training Manager, and Country Director all spoke. Four language groups were selected to present. Two sang songs and two gave speeches. Our entire group sang a Wambo song that we would sing regularly during our morning assemblies throughout training. Finally we did the pledge with the US Ambassador, as Host Country Nationals, host families, our amazing language instructors, Peace Corps staff, future supervisors, and NBC TV (Namibian Broadcasting Corporation) looked on! And it was official official… we were Peace Corps volunteers! Just like that!
We join hundreds of others (approximately 1800) that have served in the education, business, and health sectors in Namibia since the program started here in 1990! I couldn’t believe that it had actually happened! We did it! Group 44 went from trainees to volunteers, and I am so very proud of all of us! I can’t wait for all the experiences, accomplishments and stories that will come out of our group over our time here in this beautiful country!