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143 [userpic]
by 143 (pink_fairy)
at January 20th, 2009 (06:15 pm)

I am going to Kenya this summer and my travel brocure suggested I not wear tank tops etc but it's hot there! So wow do women in their early 20's tend to dress in Kenya?

x-posted to peacecorpsfolks


Posted by: Dot (timetravel)
Posted at: January 22nd, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)

i was a PCV in kenya a year ago (i was evacuated in Jan 08). I did not wear tank tops anywhere in villages, only in the few largest cities. kenyans are very convservative in their dress, and consider how you dress to be a reflection of your respect for those around you, so i would reccomend bringing two or three, but to never wear them during training, and only in your permanent site after you've been there for a few months and have scoped out the culture. i also never wore trousers in my village, only long skirts. i would reccomending bringing both, but count on wearing the skirts much much more often. and, have a great service! feel free to ask me any other questions you might have while you pack and prepare...

Posted by: Dot (timetravel)
Posted at: January 22nd, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)

i now have re-read your question and realize you are not going as a peace corps volunteer. in that case, you CAN get away with tank tops, but i wouldn't necessarily reccomend it. it attracts a lot of negative attention, and, plus, serious sunburns. as a tourist, though, you can get away with wearing trousers, though i would bring skirts if you are in the more conservative smaller villages, they'll respect you more for it. good luck, and safe travels!

Posted by: harm1020 (harm1020)
Posted at: January 22nd, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)

I haven't been to Kenya, but I agree it's best not to wear tank tops as a tourist. I would even say not to wear shorts. It just makes you stick way out as a tourist in nearly all parts of the world.

Posted by: FireSika (firesika)
Posted at: January 22nd, 2009 11:52 am (UTC)

What I usually do is bring tank tops and button-down, short-sleeve, thin (but not see-through) cotton shirts. It allows enough air in, and then when I'm on my own or am in an area where I see locals (remember that a Kenyan who lives in the city but is visiting a village is not a local for these purposes) wearing tanks, I can take the top shirt off. If I don't see locals wearing tanks, I keep the shirt on and usually partly buttoned so it looks a little smarter.

It's better to be cautious, in my opinion, but it's also good to remember that you are a foreigner and therefore you have a bit more leeway.

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