I have made it back from the African continent. I was placed next to a Senegalese woman for the last leg of the flight, the stretch from Dakar to New York. Unfortunately, she smelled bad. It was interesting for me to observe my own culturally sensitive American approach to the matter, though.

Here are my thought processes:

Hour One: She has a unique scent, an earthy musk perhaps.
Hour Three: I am not that hungry and will not eat this dinner due to a slightly upset stomach.
Hour Seven: Why do you bathe in your own feces woman?

My culturally sensitive approach to the matter deteriorated in the face of severe olfactory invasion.

It is much more difficult to be sensitive to culture (olfactory culture) when confronted on a sensory level.

But I am back. With Jen. All is well.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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