My Swearing-in Ceremony (Peace Corps Kosovo)

IT’S OFFICIAL! On Saturday, I swore in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

I found my swearing-in dress two days earlier at a local store. I’d gone with some friends and hadn’t intended to buy anything. But then I saw my dress, tried it on, and walked out of the store with it ten minutes later. It only cost $17 Euro! My earrings were a parting gift from my temporary host family. Peace Corps pin is courtesy of the Peace Corps. 🙂

Our album drops soon. Look for it.

I began my day at 6:15 a.m. After I got ready, finished packing a few last things, and ate a little breakfast, my host father gave me a ride to the center of our village. Thank goodness he did, because my luggage weighed a ton.

Then, bam! A few minutes later, the moving truck showed up, right on time. My sitemates Charlie and Sierra and I loaded our luggage onto the truck. And then, bam! A few minutes later, the chartered bus full of our fellow trainees rolled up to take us to Pristina (again, that’s Kosovo’s capital city).

Our ceremony was held at a restaurant. We hung out in a back room for a bit, got pictures taken, and were given instructions for the ceremony. We also got to meet Greg Delawie, the U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo.

When it was time to go, we lined up and filed into the main room. The ceremony went smoothly (whew, because it was being broadcast live on Kosovo television). There were speeches, we took an oath, and then one-by-one, we received our certificates and shook hands with our Country Director and the ambassador. After that, we got to eat and spend time mingling with each other and our host families. My (temporary) host mother and brother attended the ceremony.

With Ingrid and Ali. I loved the color combo of their dresses.
I’m taller than Nate.
With Chelsea, who wrote a guest post for my blog
With my language teacher, Kushtrim
With my (temporary) host mother and brother
With Darlene Grant, my Country Director (Peace Corps Kosovo)
With Merita, my program manager
With my roommate from the World’s Smallest Hotel Room Hannah, and Sierra
With Val, who gave a speech in Albanian at our ceremony (on live television!)

After the ceremony, we loaded back onto the chartered bus and went to the bus station (which is the main transportation hub in Pristina, aside from the airport). The moving truck met us there and we unloaded our luggage. After spending a little time in a café with some of my friends, we all left on our various buses to get to our new sites.

My site is an easy, hour-long trip from Pristina. My host parents were vacationing in Albania until Sunday night, so I spent time chilling with my 21-year-old host brother (who speaks English pretty well). His parents left us money for dinner, so we walked into my new village and had dinner at a nice restaurant. Then we went back home and I got to hold a puppy. 🙂 (His dog gave birth recently.)

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” and holding a puppy
Close-up of extreme cuteness

My brother asked what type of movies I like, and I said “drama.” He streamed “Me Before You,” based on it’s description. It turned out to be a love story more than a “drama,” but he sat there and watched the whole thing with me. Anyone who buys me dinner, lets me hold a puppy, and watches a girlie movie with me is cool enough to be my sibling. 😉

I had expected the day to be stressful, but it was actually a lot of fun.

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