Cultural context: Senegalese people take extreme pride in their appearance. Wrinkles, stains, and sloppy clothes are not okay. People will skip meals in order to afford presentable clothes. And most of our students dress up when they come to meet us because people think Americans are rich, dress nice and care about our appearance the same way they do. Well, I’m just going to say that when I was packing to come here I packed a few cute things, but knew that hand washing clothes would ruin a lot of my good clothes. So, I packed v-necks, tee-shirts and stuff that I wouldn’t mind leaving behind. So, there’s some background context.
Here’s the story: One day we had a ministry party and one of our girls who is the most Western, fashionable cutey came in wearing a long baggy v-neck and a long bohemian skirt. Conversation started after the party and someone mentioned, “So-and-so, didn’t look herself today. Normally she’s so fashionable but today she looked frumpy. What was up with… OH MY GOSH. She was dressing like us!” Ha, yup. We realized that we might need to step up our game and try to fit in with the culture a little bit more by being more presentable.
Here’s a video: So, I was watching some videos on YouTube and I stumbled upon this one that pretty much made me laugh at my long skirts and v-necks. [I don't really understand the latter half of this video, so if this is all bad words and such, my sincere apologies.]