The swear-in ceremony was simple and sweet. Peace Corps staff offered advice; representatives from my group gave pump-up speeches with inside jokes; our host government shared some touching words; and the US ambassador, well, had good things to say but his Spanish wasn’t very good.
We took a lot of pictures. It was overwhelming. As exciting as the oath was, many goodbyes and new things lurked and would inevitably follow. Peace Corps has changed my understanding of excitement. In the Peace Corps excitement and being petrified are inseparable. The two emotions together are a concise summary of my first months in Paraguay.
The oath is as follows:
“I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”