One identity I thought a lot about was being a woman in a different country. Even though I constantly am aware of this part of my identity, I was even more aware of it in a different country. I wasn’t sure how we would be treated or viewed halfway across the world. I was surprised that I was not treated much differently than I would have been in the U.S. The few differences I saw were how school children would dress. The girls would always wear skirts, while the boys would always wear pants. This is a common theme, and I was expected to wear skirts or only loose-fitting pants for important community visits.

In addition to what we were expected to wear, some of the women in my group, including myself, were viewed as possible ‘tickets’ to the U.S. Marriage proposals were not uncommon, though usually a playful joke, it was still very strange. Even mothers would ask whether we were married or had significant others and call us beautiful. Most of the comments were meant to be flattering, but it was strange being viewed mostly on physical attractiveness and the possibility of helping someone get to the U.S.