I think that people assume that I’m a missionary. HA!
I mean, consider the clues:
1) Single female, American, Midwesterner. Bing!
2) Relatively conservative dresser. Bing!
3) Infrequent (as far as they’re concerned, non-) drinker/ smoker. Bing!
4) Studying an indigenous language for no clear, practical (i.e. monetary) reason. Perhaps in order to facilitate evangelization? BINGBINGBINGBING!!
I find it really difficult to explain just what I’m doing here. When I say “anthropological research” people assume I’m an archaeologist (I’m not.). Plus, I think “research” raises a few eyebrows.
When I say “language study” people assume Spanish, but when I clarify they get even more confused. And if I say “student” they assume “undergrad” which then leads to confusion as to who is supervising me.
Perhaps I’ll just try to remain ambiguous.