From Dr. Robin Bell


In January, 2007, two of Mr. Hubert's Grade 3 students, Jennifer and Fatima, sent Dr. Robin Bell their flat selves. The following are Dr. Bell's responses. Jennifer and Fatima were delighted!


From Dr. Bell:

February 8, 2007

Nora (Rosie's sister) who did Flat Stanley in NYC when she was 8, Rosie with Fatima and Beryl with Jennifer.  They are waiting for the bus.  It is dark because leave at 7:15 even though school starts at 9:00 here.  It is a long bus ride from the docks where we all live to the hillside at the edge of the city where they go to school.


Jennifer and Fatima sailing with me on Saturday- we are leaving the Barcelona harbor to test our equipment.  We just had our sails fixed for the trip back. 


February 25, 2007

Dear Jennifer and Fatima,

Realized I am getting way behind.... you have now sailed down the coast of Spain (Barcelona around Capo de Gata (cape of the cats) to Almeria to the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) and to Gibraltar.....Lot of dolphins..... I have not finished sending you the pictures from Barcelona! so here goes

I thought I would introduce you to the people who are our neighbors in Barcelona.  They all live on boats like we do.  We live on C dock in front of the Palau de Mar or Palace of the Sea in Barcelonetta the fishing/beach community in the city of Barcelona.

We live on our boat called Mabel Rose, named after my great aunt who loved to hike and live on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. It is 12 m or 38' long.  She was built in France and is about 20 years old.  She is white with a blue stripe.  It has  3 rooms. Beryl's room (cabin) is in the bow.  it is about the size of a double bed and has a hatch overhead where see can watch the waves come sometimes. The main saloon is like our living room/dining room and kitchen all rolled up into one.  Then Karl and I have a little cabin in the back (aft) where we sleep.  Mango the canary lived with us but very sadly he got crushed just before we left.  We gave him a burial at sea.  He was going to stay in Barcelona and live with the art teacher.

Rosie lives 3 boats away from us.  Her boat Sparrow is beautiful Blue and came from Canada.  IT is brand new.  Rosie shares a cabin with nora.  They have 3 rooms too.  They have also made the cockpit into a sun room with kind of a canvas tent.  Jessie is Rosie's puppy.  He is a Spanish water dog... they are supposed to help with the lines (ropes) on a boat.
Next to Rosie and Nora lives Lennie.  He is from England.  He loves to ski.  Do you know the Wallace and Grommet

 movies.  He sounds just like Wallace.  He makes me laugh.

At the end of C dock lives a boy names Nicko.  He is 8 years old and lives on a catamaran with his mom.  She is from Canada originally but Nicko is Catalonian, the part of Spain where Barcelona is.  Their boat is has 2 hull so it is very wide.  Nicko draws great pictures.

Across the dock from Nick and Dana lives Nicko grandparents - Linda and Don.  Don used to teach junior high in Canada.  He even had and uncle who lived in London Ontario until this year.  Nicko is very lucky.  He ride to school on the back of his grandmother's bike.  He sits side saddle.  They go to school from 9-5. it is a long day.

At Christmas an elf left gifts and golden footprints on all the docks with kids on them.  We also decorated our boats with lights.  Don won the prize 300 Euros!!  We all got free electricity for putting up lights.









Dear Jennifer and Fatima

People Seem to like to take flat people to markets in Barcelona. About 150 years ago they ran out of room to build things in Barcelona and they needed markets so the they turned all the convents into markets.  They all have St. names.  You went to St. Catherines and St Joseph but everyone calls that one the Boqueria.

They are marvelous places.

We took a Spanish family sailing.  He studies ice sheet and plate tectonics and she builds satellites.  Their kids are Manuel and Nadima.  They are 7 and 8.  They got seasick when we went sailing. The picture is after we got back and they were giving us cookies as gifts.  The cookies were delicious.  They have wild boars in their back yard!

Here are some photos:

You and Mushrooms


You and Ostrich Eggs


You and fishmonger - see snails and crabs they are alive



You looking at the ruins of the convent that is now under the market


You and Fruit


You at the Boqueria


Flat Fatima and Flat Jennifer with Karl in front of the Rock of Gibraltar


My graduate student Adrienne Smith and Vladimir Kotlikov cutting the official cake
to open the International Polar Year in Paris


With Amber and Michelle, leaders in youth for IPY at the opening - they have sent postcards


Riding a tram up El Tiede


At the top of the highest mountain in Spain, El Tiede


Lizard that lived near hot vents on top of the mountain

Dr. Robin Elizabeth Bell
Director, ADVANCE Program at the Earth Institute
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
61 Rt. 9W
Palisades, NY 10964-8000