this whole being a Peace Corps Volunteer vs. Peace Corps Trainee, it's a pretty dramatic shift. you go from being this coddled, guided entity to a person fully expected to think and act on your own accord, to fulfill assignments and carry out projects and generally take care of yourself in a way you haven't in two months. to give an example, before swearing-in we were not supposed to leave the Peace Corps compound by ourselves, and it was strongly recommended we take a current volunteer there. less than a week later, we will be dropped off in villages hours away from other volunteers and told to show up in Kombo in three months, and basically just don't die inbetween. it's a little like a pre-schooler graduating college...and it feels that way especially because of the language barrier. but we will all get used to our new independence soon and, i'm sure, flourish in our new homes. that's the plan, anyways.
the ceremony was lovely, as far as ceremonies go (i really could do without them). the ambassador's backyard (we never actually went in the house) was covered in lush grass, something you really NEVER see here, and had a perfect overlook of the beach. the speeches were great, the Minister of Health did an awesome job, as did the United States ambassador, who's name is Barry (though you I would call him ambassador Wells or something equally distinguished were I to cross paths with him again). anyways, Barry gave an awesome speech and after the ceremony i got to talk with his wife, who is really, really cool. she was a Peace Corps volunteer once, too. so she is okay with us all invading her backyard in our matching outfits twice a year. a very gracious lady.
but i am very tired, so i am going to attempt to wrap this up. we had a party last night that went on well into the wee hours of the morning, and today was a full day of shopping-buying mattresses and stoves and other things i may need over the next two years. i'm sure i will be posting again soon, if not before i leave than definitely after i've been at site for awhile and start to get crrrazy and ride a gelly for a few hours to the internet. so look out for that one!