Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States
As official Peace Corps Volunteers, we have sworn to the same oath that the President of the United States does. We promise to uphold the Constitution and serve our country, as well as this new country in which we live. Each of us promises to respect the loving people of this land, love and learn from them every possible moment. This year represents 50 years of work and collaboration between Peace Corps and the beautiful country of Senegal
The ceremony was beautiful! At the National Theater in downtown Dakar. We got there after having dinner out in the city (so amazing to get a delicious American meal! Ate at a Kentucky chicken restaurant – actually surprisingly fancy and delicious). Ceremony started around 9:30pm. The Country Director, Chris Hedrick spoke very highly of us and of Peace Corps and the work that we do, followed by the Prime Minister of Senegal.
All rise and repeat the pledge. We swore in as Federal Service Agents of the United States after the playing of our national anthem and the Senegalese national anthem. Then we sat and listened to a few other speakers (not exactly sure who they were) who spoke mostly in French and Wolof. Awards were given to celebrate 50 years of working together. Many things have been accomplished in this country with the help of Peace Corps Volunteers such as us. Many areas no longer need our help because they have successfully developed infrastructure to accommodate their communities. Other areas, the work has just begun. Many people in the country are familiar with our organization and us. We are thought very highly of, as far as I have experienced. People know and appreciate the work that we do. These are all huge benefits of having such a long-standing positive relationship with a country and it’s people.
After the ceremony and speeches, came the concert! What we had really been waiting for. Alibeta and the Nomads, Ngari Law, and the legendary Baaba Maal. All of whom speak Pulaar, I might add. And I think two of them, if not all, are from the Fuuta region of Senegal! Dancing and good times were had by all. It was incredible and memorable and wonderful.
If it lasts, it’s true. (Wolof Proverb, and theme of the 50th Anniversary Ceremony)