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Photo by Elke Schmidt, Senegal Bridge Year Program.

To My Senegalese Husbands

Living in Dakar has been a beautiful experience. I have met so many amazing people who I look forward to getting to know more in the coming months. However, as in any place in the world, sometimes I have to interact with people who want more than a friendly conversation. Most days I can laugh it off, but sometimes it can be kind of tiring. The following are the things I tell these men, who insist that we are married.

  1. I am not your wife.
  2. My smile is not an invitation for you to talk to me and does not mean I am in love with you.
  3. I do not want to be your first, second, or third wife.
  4. I am at the store to buy food, not to see you.
  5. I am laughing because I will never be your wife.
  6. No, I am not Muslim.
  7. I am not your wife.
  8. I am only 17; I am a student.
  9. I will not be your wife.
  10. Another time….


The attached photo is my host brother doing one of his karate moves. It is a great representation of my mood on the days I am just too tired to deal.