On Thursday, May 28, 2009, thirty-three Americans were sworn in as OFFICIAL PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS in ALBANIA in the Skampi Theater of Elbasan. Now that you know the end result, let us rewind in true Quentin Tarentino style so you know how much work it took to get there…
As previously mentioned, the host family party took place the night before Swear-In. In light of the fact that we were all together Wednesday night, we re-iterated with the host families that we had to be in Elbasan at 9am fiks (SHARP!) Thursday morning.
Planning accordingly, I wake up at 7am and was ready to go at 7:45. It is then that I notice something is not right: my host family is still in their pajamas, cleaning the house and doing other completely irrelevant tasks. My host dad is also missing, and my family tells me he will be back at 9 to take us to Elbasan (45 minutes away). Additionally, PC only allowed me 3 guests, so someone had to get the ax: as my host brother headed off to school, I assumed they chose my host sister for the party. This is of course until I come to find out that she would not get dressed until she had the approval of my host dad. They argued about picking up my brother from school because he is a boy and more important, but I won in the end to try and move the process along. Conveniently, I had no minutes on my cell phone and had to run to Carrie Ann’s to call my host dad and ask when he was coming home from COFFEE WITH FRIENDS so we could leave. While I am FREAKING OUT about being late and desperately trying to round everyone up- they repeatedly tell me “mos u merzit” or “don’t worry.” By some stroke of luck, we were all in the car at 9:10, and I thought I was in the clear until my Training Manager called and told me I was late. Bummer to get in trouble for something I had no control over. By some other stroke of fate, the U.S. Ambassador was also running late so the ceremony didn’t actually start until 11.
As a punishment for being late, I had to sit in the front row during the Swear- In Ceremony, and there were only about 17 video cameras there to record my every move. The ceremony was short and sweet because of the late start and followed by millions and millions of photographs. Immediately following the Swear-In, my host family left, and I stayed around with the crew. I was able to meet the Ambassador and say goodbye to all of the training staff. The rest of the day was spent hanging around Elbasan one last time with the entire crew at our favorite bar- and might I mention favorite because it has the most fantastic waitress in the world. She is always scowling and accusing us of not paying, and is sort of like a ray of sunshine in your pocket. The night ended in Bishqem, kicking it at our favorite hang out with our favorite locals… but this time as OFFICIAL PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS =)
Taking our oath at Swear-In
Our new bling: America.Albania.Peace Corps.
With the host family at the Ceremony Suzana & I with the American Ambassador! The Bishqem 4 and our lovely teachers!
Me & Luli- Rockin my shades again.