So I’ve accidentally re located to Senegal and somehow found myself starting a charity promoting skills toward economic independence!
Please follow, share and if you can donate, message me.
We need cash for notebooks, pencils and computers for each pop up library.
So, here’s what I learnt about how to behave in this beautiful country which is 95 % Muslim.
1 nothing above knee if you’re doing serious tings with locals
2 no tits out unless around ex Pat’s and definitely not in Ramadan.
3 business meetings with local men: traditional dress with matching head scarf. No make up. Smile alot. Speak in bullet points, softly but directly and super confidently. Act attentive.
4 with locals to win favour talk about your knowledge of the country or ask questions about culture so they feel they have the upper hand
5 acknowledge you are a foreigner, a TOUBAB as they call it.
6 in taxis. Pretend to walk away if they want more money. More often than not, they will agree to your price unless it’s ridiculous.
7 make peace not war even when you’re pissed. This is a peace loving people.
8 pay compliments incessantly. Tell men you like their outfits, tell women they’re pretty, tell the taximan something nice about his taxi. Oil relationships.
9 remember that they have something special, that’s why you chose to live there. Walk with gratitude
10 Take time to build trust. Earn trust. Our Western culture is diametrically opposed.
11 Ask questions, dont make assumptions. Come as a learner not a teacher
12 Remember there is no such thing as the individual her so cut that out! Self centred thinking will take you no where fast.
13 Accept stuff will take much longer than you thought
14 Train yourself to see that the Western way is inferior. Decolonise your mind
15 Intentionally link with and practise anything traditional- tea, food, prayer.
16 Tell people about what your life was like back home to dispel the myth that the streets are paved with gold in the West
17 Practise Terranga which means deep rooted community spirit even if locals dont.
18 Dont get bent out of shape if you pay a little more than you should. People are poor here.
19 Pretend you’re a toddler and imitate local behaviour
20 dont live in an expat bubble. Get used to being THE ONLY ONE. Aggressively persue Senegalese friends