Officially a Volunteer

I’ve been in Ghana for 11 weeks and I still haven’t been able to call myself a Peace Corps Volunteer—until last Thursday when I officially swore in as a volunteer. Peace Corps Ghana threw a big ceremony for our homestay families and us.  After the Ghanaian and United States national anthems, the 23 trainees swore in with an oath and were handed “graduation certificates”. The rest of the ceremony consisted of speeches, cultural dances, gifts for our host families, and lunch. After the ceremony we took pictures with our host families.

Me with my homestay mom and dad.

Me with my homestay mom, two brothers, and sister.

For the ceremony, each homestay family made matching shirts for the guys and dresses for the girls. So my dad and I wore identical shirts and my mom wore a dress made out of the same pattern. Unfortunately, the tailor finished my clothes halfway through the ceremony, so I had run outside for a wardrobe change during the Peace Corps Ghana Country Director’s speech. However, my shirt was worth the wait, because my mom picked out a bright red fabric with shiny golden streaks on it. The next time I wear it will be for Chinese New Year.

It’s a huge relief to be done with training, as it was starting to drag on and get really repetitive. Now, the rest of my service will be drastically different from what I’m used to. Instead of having every hour of the day planned out for you, it will be up to me to find ways to fill my time. Furthermore, it’s going to be difficult to be apart from the other 22 volunteers. After spending every day for the past 11 weeks with each other, we have all grown to be pretty close. In order for us to integrate faster, the Peace Corps requires us to spend the next 3 months at our site with little to no travel. So there is a good chance I won’t see the other 22 volunteers until we have a week of training in 3 months. However, I am excited to finally start living at my village!

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About Ryan

I'm serving in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer for 27 months. View all posts by Ryan

6 responses to “Officially a Volunteer

  • sean

    I have been reading all your posts Ryan, they are filled with some amazing insight into your life in Ghana. In some ways I am at a loss for words on how to relate. I do hope you enjoy being a part of a small community, I think it is going to be an incredible experience. You are doing some amazing work! I hope you are having a great time, and learning a lot along the way. I miss you buddy.

    • Ryan

      I feel the same way about being at a loss for words on how to relate and sometimes that makes writing these blog posts difficult. There’s so much I want to say, but most of the time I don’t know where to start. I miss you too!

  • Cousin Jean in Washington State

    Hi Ryan ~ This is your Grandmother Sharon’s second cousin Jean. I live in Rochester, WA and wanted to let you know that I am totally facinated by your bog! I had a good friend who did construction/ road work in Ghana back in the 1960’s so I am a little familiar with the country. What a wonderful thing that you are doing and the beginning of a lifetime journey filled with awesome memories. Memories being built from as your grandmother says “A heart of gold” ~ I am impressed and send blessings your way and to those who you are helping….

  • Gary Amico

    Congrats Ryan – Looks like you are taller than your Host Dad as well – just like being at home. Everyone is very proud of you.

    Uncle Gary

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