For our Swearing-In Ceremony I was asked to make a slideshow from PST. People gave me hundreds of photos and video below is the result of sorting through the best.
Kyrgyz language, food, inoculations, motivational sessions, vodka, more Kyrgyz, food, tea, trainings and even more Kyrgyz. This has been our lives for the past two months but today the first part of our Pre-Service Training comes to and end and we were sworn in as Peace Corps volunteers!
We woke up at 6am tired but excited for the day. Our luggage had swelled with the addition of the copious amounts of paper, books and medical supplies the Peace Corps provided us (I had to break out the extra backpack I brought). Our family helped us load it into the Marshrutka for the short drive to the Hub site where three buses were waiting. All 54 of us volunteers loaded the buses with our host moms and for the 3rd time in 4 days we headed off to Bishkek. We arrived shortly to the Kyrgyz National Opera and Ballet Theater and filed in to a beautiful hall that had decayed a bit but still had much of the glory from the Soviet days.
We ran around taking photos with each other and our LCFs, the last time we’re going to see them for a couple months (a long time when we’ve been spending all day every day together). In addition to us, taking in the ceremony were members of the Kyrgyz government, the US embassy and the US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Pamela L. Spratlen. We took our seats for the ceremony. We enjoyed speeches by Tammie Harris, our Country Director and the US Ambassador. Also, three excellent speeches by fellow K-22s, Serena, Amanda & Tim in Kyrgyz, Russian and English respectively. Between the speeches we also had performances by Shawn, who played the guitar and sang a Kyrgyz song, and Jonathan, who performed a piece from Manas, the Kyrgyz epic poem. We closed out the ceremony with Ambassador Spratlen administering the Peace Corps Oath, we are now PC Volunteers!