I developed a new-found appreciation for skirts when I moved down to New Orleans. There’s nothing quite like the humid, southern summers to change you from Computer Engineer Barbie to debutant Barbie.
Incidentally, apparently this new Computer Engineer is the only Barbie that seems to be wearing pants. Almost every other profession, including lawyer, businesswoman and architect, are in hot pink skirts. But I digress.
I wasn’t a skirt wearing girl before I moved down here. In fact, the number of times I had worn anything resembling a dress in the last 20 years involved either a prom date or a wedding and usually involved my friends attempting to see if it was snowing in hell.
Then I moved to a place that is more akin to hell during the summers, and quickly converted.
I consider myself lucky to have lived here in New Orleans, especially since it has served as a good halfway point between the idyllic weather of California and the reality of a large swath of the developing world. It isn’t called the dirty south for nothing.
Random deluges? Double check.
But the skirts are particularly important. I will be living in another country with a completely different culture than mine, and while women in Nairobi and Mombasa are more likely to wear pants, I will be living more rurally where nearly all of the women wear skirts.
It is important that I wear skirts while working in these communities to ensure a better working relationship. It seems so small and easily overlooked, but I will be integrating into the community and I would certainly stand out in fatigues and a bomber jacket.
I am just thankful that I don’t have to pack any heels.