Slowly but surely I am settling into life in Lutry. It is very different than living in Lausanne–or even Ouchy–where I lived for one year each. Although Lausanne is only a city of 150,000 people, it is a bustling metropolis relative to the sleepy town of Lutry. I definitely feel less “connected” here–which is not a bad thing! It does reinforce my preference for living in the heart of a major city while choosing more “out there” settings to get away.
I’ve always found Switzerland to be a very magical place and the further out you go the more fairy tale-like it becomes. Villages like Lutry are interspersed with old forests full of tall trees–very much how I would imagine the “dark forest” although not nearly as sinister. There are also spiders everywhere! Each morning when I wake up there are new cobwebs along the paths outside. Although I have no great love for spiders, I do appreciate the work they do on keeping the “mosquito” (not real mosquitoes because they don’t bite!) population small. The most surreal aspect of the Swiss environs, though, is the false twilight. Because we are surrounded by mountains, the sun “sets” out of sight at 8 or 9. However, it still provides plenty of ambient light until it actually slips below the horizon around 10. This leaves 1-2 hours with the sky a soft, mystical blue. The street lights are already on, but it isn’t quite dark yet. It’s fantastic.
Despite this I have been doing more than frolicking in fairy tale land. Every day (after taking Acacia on a morning walk through the nearby vineyards) I have had meetings in town with IMD faculty, staff, friends, and other connections. It feels great to be back in touch with this crowd!
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights have all featured meet-ups with classmates. Tuesday’s was to cheer on the Dutch (on behalf of the Dutch wife of a French classmate) at the huge outdoor viewing party in Ouchy. While I’m still not in love with soccer–World Cup or no–it is fun to be around lots of people who are!
Wednesday evening I had to pass on social activities in order to give my first investor pitch on this side of the Atlantic. There is a budding Angel network here that has just started a small sustainable investment subgroup. The gathering was tiny and informal but it was very nice to be around others in the cleantech space. Because I was a last-minute addition to the program I just gave a five-minute “quick pitch” but it stimulated a great deal of Q&A. This group may not be a great fit for us right now but I’m very excited to have made the contacts.
The rest of the week and weekend is still up in the air but I will report in soon!