I’ve heard it said that the sense of smell is the most evocative of our senses. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to put this to the test. As part of the workshop on Results Based Management that I started to help lead yesterday (the Africa leaders’ meeting finished the day before) we had the group making models out of Play do’. It’s not something you see much in the UK, but I was given some for Christmas when I was seven or eight. The distinctive smell of the Play do’ took me straight back to that time – and judging by the number of people who were sniffing their balls of dough, I wasn’t the only one with similar memories.

Only about a third of the people who were here for the Africa Leaders’ Meeting have stayed on for the workshop and so the centre management had to consolidate room use and I ended up moving. It’s nice to be in a room on my own now, though this one is further from the main block and I can’t get a wireless internet signal in my room. One thing is strange – whenever I step into the room, I sense a smell that reminds me of living in Gouabafla in rainy season. I can’t identify the smell and though Gouabafla and Brackenhurst are both in Africa, there is very little in common between highland Kenya and the hot steamy rainforests of Ivory Coast. But whether I can identify them or not, smells are evocative!

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