Yesterday was the “coming out” event for the Boulder Pod of 500 Women Scientists, an organization promoting diversity and inclusivity in science, and the application of science to problems within the social sphere. I can confidently say that I am proud to be a part of this group of passionate women scientists who are ready to make a change.
For context, the Canary Islands are part of Spain but are off the northwestern coast of Africa, in the Atlantic. Apparently the name Canary does not refer to the bird but instead derives from the root of the word canine, after large dogs, and the birds are named after the islands. Nor does the name El Hierro, my destination island, refer to iron (it’s literal Spanish translation). It possibly comes from the native word for cistern. But I digress. Already.
I had but one day on the Iberian Peninsula before heading off on my next adventure. I had things to do, people to see, issues to resolve, and a bag to pack. On the list: See family, see Madrid, meet with volcanologist friends, and unlock iPad. Not necessarily in that order.
I woke this morning to a whisper of, “Bye bye, Bethie,” from just inside the hotel room door.
“Are you leaving?” – me
But I was already too late. Click. Door closed. I’d heard my travel companions of the last week moving quietly around the room in low light, getting themselves and their things ready for departure, but had assumed that they would wake me up when they were ready to leave with more than a whisper, for a heartfelt goodbye and a warm hug. They’re too kind for that, apparently. Continue reading “In Transition”
Saturday was by far our earliest start. We actually saw the sun rise, which isn’t a particularly hard feat since it doesn’t rise until 8am. In fact, we were up for all the daylight hours. For once.
I awoke to the sunrise, and dozed, and woke, and dozed again. I probably read on my phone, curled under the soft blanket in that dreamy window. When we all got up, we went through our last morning routine. I put the bacon on and beat the eggs, Marijke seasons the eggs with herbs, saying her version of whatever Finnish word is on the herb packet and sounding as much like a muppet as I look in my puffy. Continue reading “Day Eight: Our Last Full Day of Cabinning”
The days start to blend together. One cabin day after another, distinguished by the dinners and maybe an event or two. The big event for Day Seven: I leave the cabin. Of my own volition. I decide it must be done and, eventually, sometime in the late afternoon sun, I do it. (Actually, the bigger event comes later, but I don’t have pictures of it, and, unlike the walk–which actually required some degree of motivation–it was outside my control.)
There were two things on the agenda for Day Six: Get car unstuck, and go to the store. The latter could not happen without the former. After, yes, sleeping in and having breakfast, we tried getting some advice from our hosts again. Marijke had sent a message the night before but we hadn’t heard back, which led us to think that now that we’d become a problem our once-responsive hosts wanted nothing to do with us. But Eeva-liisa came through, and not only offered advice but called someone for us before we had a chance to. She said he didn’t speak a word of English but the price should be reasonable. Continue reading “Day Six: In Which the Car Gets Rescued and We Get a Special Dinner”
Another road trip day, but for moving on. I felt mixed about leaving. Our main motivation to relocate when we planned the trip was because we wanted to balance maximum aurora viewing with a sweet cabin. Location 1, Nuorgam, maximized the former. It was as far north as we could go in Finland. But we weren’t so hot on the looks of the cabin we’d booked, as the one that we fell in love with was not available. So we booked a mediocre-looking cabin for the first part and then agreed to transition to a different, sweeter cabin much farther south. But then, our northern dream cabin opened up at the last minute. Continue reading “Day Five: In Which We Relocate to Dream Cabin #2”