Saturday, December 5, 2009

relationship advice for la jeune américaine

The Mount Holyoke Handbook on studying abroad in Dakar contains this helpful little paragraph (emphasis mine):

You will likely find Sénégalese people to be, on the whole, friendly, and previous program participants report that it is not unusual for Sénégalese students to seek out American students.  Look for opportunities to get involved in university clubs and activities, which is an excellent way to meet people who share your interests.  Also be aware, however, that some people may see you as a potential ticket to the U.S. (proposals of marriage are not uncommon!), so use care in evaluating your relationships with people.

I had not yet considered the possibility of being fending off marriage proposals while abroad--too concerned, perhaps, with passports, pickpockets, and making une bétise en français.  This kind of "evaluating" much more serious than what goes on in "He's Just Not That Into You."  Now properly warned, I will have to wonder each time I meet a kind Sénégalese man: Does he like me, or is he just saying that?  Does he just want a study-buddy, or something more?  And: does he want me to marry him and take him back to home to Vermont?  

Maybe if I explain about mud season, before I take him "pour meilleur ou pour le pire," he will lose interest.



  2. Are you kidding? Mud season won't discourage a Senegalese suitor. Mud they understand very well. Better go for the five months of snow.