Here’s a news clip of our official Swearing In ceremony. (You’ll see Jedd shaking the Ambassador’s hand. Michelle was hidden but standing behind Jackie, in the blue dress, in the first first clip as it pans left.)
In the Newspaper
Article about our Swearing In in the Jamaica Observerwith quote by Michelle
In Our Own Words
Jedd was chosen by his fellow Youth volunteers to give their group’s speech at Swearing In. Here’s what he said:
I’m here today as a representative of the Youth as Promise/HIV-PEPFAR volunteers of Peace Corps Jamaica, group 83. This young, passionate, and wonderful group of fun individuals are committed to serving the youth and at risk populations of Jamaica. I am inspired by them and I will miss them all dearly as we go out all over the country.
I wanted to share with you all a letter that I wrote to the Country and people of Jamaica and though I am nervous… Daag a sweat, but long hair cover it.
It’s been almost ten weeks since we have arrived on your shores, and
today marks an exciting day for us: today we become official
What this means is that deliverables have been delivered. You should
know that our trainers, staff, and host families have done an amazing
job preparing us for our new adventure – we look forward to you taking
us the rest of the way during our time here.
We have learned to understand and speak di patois…or at least try.
We have eaten the ackey and salt fish, the turkey neck, oxtail,
chicken foot, and cow foot. We have loaded up and smalled up. And
though you might assume that many of us cannot dance as beautifully
and amazingly the way Jamaicans do….some…..but not many, cyan.
At least we know that “when you go a tumpa foot dance, you fi dance
We will continue to surprise you, the way you have surprised us. You
might think that some of us are likkle, but really we are talawah. One
of us can do fire hula hooping. One of us has professionally trained
tigers. One of us has risked their lives to serve our country in a
time of war. Another one took this journey in the Peace Corps as a
response to opportunity of becoming a new citizen of the United
States. You have people from all over the US bringing their
experiences, talents, and skills to serve.
For some, serving in the Peace Corps has been a lifelong dream and for
others, it even seems to run in their genes. If you can believe it,
there are others from this group who have already served and just cant
get enough. For some, being a PCV will be the first step in their
professional careers and for others, this is a chance to share their
experience and skills from their former professional lives.
You should know that for many of us have made difficult choices and
sacrifices to be here. For many of us, it has taken us 1, 2, almost 3
years for things to come together to be here. Many of us have left
significant others, family, and friends back at home. For some of us,
it has meant being apart from our spouse temporarily while serving
here in country. We chose to be here and we still choose to be here. I
hope you see how much you mean to us and how committed we are to being
We know that the need is great and the challenges are real, but we are
excited and prepared to meet them. We look forward to exploring your
beautiful lands, to continue to discover new amazing fruit and food.
though we want to jump of cliffs, hike up falls, and play in the
crystal blue water….more importantly, we look forward to partnership
and friendship. We look forward to all the things that you will teach
us and for the life long relationships that will be forged.
I can’t promise you that we will always get along, that we won’t
frustrate each other. I can only tell you that we will try our best to
be flexible and positive. Please try and be flexible and patient with
us. We will cry together……we will laugh together. As we look to
the coming years, we hope that you will accept us and that out of many
we will be become part of one people, for you, Jamaica.
As I conclude, I wish to give the following pledge, in the beautiful
words you have taught me:
Before God and All mankind.
I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart
The wisdom and courage of my mind,
The strength and vigour of my body
in the service of my fellow citizens.
I promise to stand up for justice,
Brotherhood and Peace, to work diligently and creatively,
To think generously and honestly, so that,
Jamaica may, under God, increase in beauty, fellowship
and prosperity, and play her part in advancing the welfare
of the whole human race.