Posted by: Españamanda | September 5, 2009

today is 1 week

My street in Palma

My street in Palma

I’m settling in more here in Palma over the last couple of days.  Yesterday I had my meeting with Carlos, and I think that brought me some much needed peace—just being reminded of why I’m  here and the amazing opportunity I’ve been given. 

The facility is in a town called Esporles, about 20 miles from Palma in the mountains of the northern part of the island.  Is absolutely gorgeous—palm trees, old style Spanish houses on the hillsides, surrounded by rocky green mountains.  The town is home to only about 3000 people, and although thoughts of quiet mountain living were floating around in my head, Carlos suggested that might not be the best idea.  Apparently the 1/3 of employees there that actually live in Esporles complain about running into each other all the time and having to discuss work.  And let me tell you, getting away from work and having it off your mind is muy importante for Spaniards.  So for now, it looks as though Palma it is. 

The meeting went great!  After touring the facility and its amazing labs, Carlos and I discussed all of the research projects underway and he introduced me to a few Ph.D students and techs.  Turns out the Malaspina project runs for 5 years, and the “circumnavigational” portion runs through some of my most fantasized locales – Argentina, Cape Town, Perth, Sydney, Honolulu, Panama, Cadiz… shall I continue?  So as I’m sitting there with my heart racing and dreamy music playing in my ears, Carlos proceeds to tell me that due to funding issues, he’s actually putting me on the Arctic Tipping Points project.  Wheee.  And then, brrrrrr.  Maybe throw a *sigh* or two in there as well.  But the truth is, its still an amazing project, studying the thresholds at which major changes occur in response to a shifting climate.  And…if all works out, he may transfer me to my dreamy equatorial project after a year or two.  A few more details about my contract, pay, insurance, etc., and a short break while Carlos gave an interview by phone to (what he referred to as) Spanish NPR, and I was chasing the bus down the street to go home.

Today is Saturday, and my neighborhood is bustling with activity.  All the little boutique stores and cafes and cervecerias are open, and the street performers are painted up and scaring tourists in the Placa Mayor.  Aside from a small alcohol induced headache this morning, my day started beautifully sitting outside my favorite café talking to Mary Frances and feeling a refreshing (and rare!) cool breeze blow over me.  If I ever find Joan, we are rumored to be going to the beach tonight and out on a boat tomorrow.  My first weekend in Mallorca is going quite well, I’d say.



  1. Argentina, Cape Town, Perth, Sydney, Honolulu, Panama, Cadiz — I´m so excited for you! What an incredible opportunity this — and I hope it feels so good knowing you have totally earned it. Enjoy la playa esta noche! xoxo

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